There are so many things in this world to trouble us. Where would we be without prayer and faith? Stephen and Alex Kendrick have written a great “Battle Plan for Prayer” to teach us. They go over things like: the purpose of prayer, types of prayers, what God’s answers look like, the keys of prayer, getting our hearts in the right place, strategies for prayer, how to pray, and so much more.
There are postures for praying. Sometimes we bow, but I have found, for myself, that the best answers to prayer come in the desperation of lying prostrate before the Lord, flat on your face, arms extended.
Jesus was in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, facing death on the cross. Matthew 26:39 shows him falling on his face to pray. In Revelation, John sees Jesus in His resurrected, glorified form and he “‘fell at His feet like a dead man,’ totally prostrate before the power of God.” (see Revelation 1:17 and page 63)
Stephen and Alex go over the “locks of prayer”:
- Praying without knowing God through Jesus.
- Praying from an unrepentant heart.
- Praying for show.
- Praying repetitive, empty words.
- Prayers not prayed.
- Praying with a lustful heart.
- Praying while mistreating our spouse.
- Praying while ignoring the poor.
- Praying with bitterness in your heart toward someone.
- Praying with a faithless heart. (pages 68-72)
They add ten keys to prayer:
- Praying persistently by asking, seeking, and knocking.
- Praying in faith.
- Praying in secret.
- Praying according to God’s will.
- Praying in Jesus’ name.
- Praying in agreement with other believers.
- Praying while fasting.
- Praying from an obedient life.
- Praying while abiding in Christ and His Word.
- Praying while delighting in the Lord. (pages 74-79)
They take you deep in praying scripture and praying like the people we see in scripture. On pages 127-128 they share…
“When feeling fatigued, you can pray knowing that ‘those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint’ (Isa. 40:31 HCSB).”
“When stressed and outmatched by a particularly arduous challenge, cry out to Him ‘from the end of the earth,’ like David did, saying ‘when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I’ (Ps. 61:2 NKJV)….”
“When unsure what to do next, perhaps doubting for a moment that He either cares or is able to help, remind yourself in prayer that “those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You’ (Ps. 9:10).”
On page 131 they address praying for what we already know is God’s will. This includes that God will be glorified, that His kingdom will be advanced, and that Christ will be Lord.
The book is full of scripture to delve deeper in understanding prayer and better communication with God. Toward the end of the book on page 187 they break down Nehemiah’s prayer in a table that shows exactly how we should come before the LORD.
Nehemiah is devastated when he learns a remnant have returned to Jerusalem, but the wall is broken down and they are in “great trouble and disgrace” (Nehemiah 1:3 NLT).
Nehemiah prays with:
- using God’s name (Yahweh)
- using another of God’s names (Elohim)
- praising God’s character
- using another of God’s names (El)
- praising God’s attributes
- fervency and persistence
- confessing sin, interceding
- personal repentance
- praying God’s Word
- using God’s name
- praise and faith
- another of God’s names (Adonai)
- individual praying
- united praying
- using God’s name
- praying specifically
- faith and expectation (See full table on page 187)
My husband and I are using this book for our morning Bible time together. We read a devotional and then read half of a chapter of, The Battle Plan for Prayer, daily. The subtitle of the book fits it well “From Basic Training To Targeted Strategies“. I highly recommend this book to anyone hoping to improve their prayer life.