One of the most important kinds of prayer does not really look like prayer at all…and that might one of the reasons we overlook it and don’t use it like we should.
What does prayer look like? Most of us have formed a “spiritual” or “religious” perspective on what we think prayer is. Much of this is based simply on our exposure to prayer. Most all of the prayer tools that we normally use are talking with God in design…. Much the way you would talk with an employer or a parent.
The petition tool might look like this… “Dear Father, could you help us buy a new car real soon.”
The confession tool might look like this…“Father I admit that I am in need of your wisdom with my children.” Or “Father, I admit that I have been running from you and you’re leading.” Or, “Father, I sinned today when I talked to my wife in a harsh manner…”
The repentance tool might look like this…”Father, I see what you want me to do now and I repent from my selfishness, I will follow you and obey your leading from now on. I turn my back on anger and selfishness. I am done with those behaviors and feelings.”
You’ll notice with almost all of the tools of prayer that we are the most familiar with, they all involve a dialogue with God and often the requesting of something from God. These kinds of prayers have become so ingrained into the prayer perspective of Christians that they have failed to see another type of spiritual activity that belongs in the prayer category. Since we have the idea that all prayer looks alike, we have inadvertently missed an important prayer tool that looks altogether different.
The tool that we have forgotten about and the tool that amazed the religious of Jesus’ day is the declaration prayer tool…………
It could also be called the prayer tool of proclamation, the tool of command, the tool of faith, and the tool of rebuke. Though different synonyms might help describe its function in essence it is the use of authority. It is as Jesus declared mountain moving prayer!
Mark 11:23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him.
When Jesus used this tool the religious said, “what authority, even the demons obey Him…” Jesus used this tool when He stood in His authority as the son of God and commanded things to happen; bodies to be healed and demons to depart.
Mark 1:27 And they were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
The Church has forgotten this tool to the point that few ever pray with the same authority that Jesus prayed with. We’ve become like the religious observers of His day. If someone were to come into our midst and pray with authority like Jesus, we would be flabbergasted and say, “what new doctrine is this, they act like they are hot stuff, who do they think they are…”
We’ve forgotten and forsaken the power of commanding things to change, spirits to depart, sickness to go and mountains to move.
In it’s place we’ve substituted other tools, tools that are far less effective for the purpose necessary. For these prayers of mountain moving authority we’ve substituted prayers of petition, pardon, protection and supplication and intercession.
Don’t get me wrong, these other prayer tools are right and good in the right place, but using the wrong prayer is worse than using a tool to do a job it was not created to do.