Alright, it’s time that we all learn how to pray with authority!
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of reducing my prayer life down to something like this:
“If I have time, I’ll pray later.”
“I don’t know how to pray for someone effectively.”
“When I come home from work, I’ll find some time to pray.” (But I hardly ever do)
“I’ll pray after I do everything else first.” (I’ll give God my leftovers?!??)
I’ve used this template to help me in my own prayer life, and believe me, it does help.
Two Guidelines First Before Learning How to Pray With Authority
I want to stress that this helpful resource, which is a guide to help you pray, does not have to be followed every time you pray.
Prayer is a beautiful, uncontained, fluid conversation you have with God that will look and feel different many times. There is no need to make it into a formula.
I also want to let you know that there is no time limit to this.
Each point can be one minute or several. Some points can be longer than others. The time doesn’t matter, just the motive of your heart.
What Is Your Tempo When You Pray?
In prayer, it’s all about keeping the TEMPO.
In music, a tempo is a steady beat or rhythm, or it’s the speed at which a song is performed. It can be fast or slow.
When you’re singing or playing the song, you must “keep” this tempo or the song will not sound right.
Some people gesture their hand to the song's tempo or clap to help them understand and keep the tempo.
Think of each stage in your prayer as a “clap” that occurs. There are five in this guide:
1. Thanksgiving Unto God
The Bible says to “enter his gates with thanksgiving” (Psalm 100:4). Therefore, it’s a good idea to begin your prayer by thanking God.
I want you to try something real quick.
Take 60 seconds and describe things about yourself out loud.
When you’re finished, you’re probably going to think to yourself, “That was harder than I thought!”
You might have said things like, “I am a dedicated worker. I love my kids. Etc.”
But if you were like me the first time I did this, it just seemed a bit difficult.
However, did you list off simple things? “I’m a man. I have brown eyes. I’m tall. I live in a house. I drive a car. Etc.”
Most people forget about these simple things when they do this exercise.
Why? Because we’re overthinking. We’re making it harder than it actually is.
This is precisely how thanksgiving is when I pray. I ask myself, “I’m having trouble thinking of things to thank God for. What should I say?”
When in reality, I could thank him for literally everything because He has given me literally everything.
My house, my health, my friends, my money, my life, my clothes, my coffee, my job, etc.
Don’t make it hard. Just say, “God, I thank you for everything I have.”
2. Exalt God
Exalting means to lift Him up. Now it’s time to think of how wonderful and big God is and express this to Him in words.
David said, “Magnify the LORD with me.” (Psalm 34:3)
When you magnify something, you’re making it bigger than it seems. Try putting something under a magnifying glass.
Sometimes, God can seem far away or “little” when compared to the pain and suffering we’re going through.
That’s why we need to learn to “magnify” Him. He’s already as big as He’ll ever be, and NO problem we face can match Him.
But if we’re shrinking God in our lives, the problem will seem bigger. So, make God larger. That’s what exalting Him in your prayer can do.
Say, “God, I worship you for how awesome you are. I think of how you did this for me or that for this person in the Bible, and I know you can do it for me.”
3. Meditate on God’s Power and Listen
Meditation is a time of reflection. This can be tricky for us Westerners who struggle with how to pray or meditate.
It’s OK to speak during this point, but it’s mostly about really grasping in your mind the power and greatness of God.
The book of Psalms has little areas in them where the phrase “Selah” is used.
Selah means to pause and reflect.
It was important for the Jewish people not just to sing and speak but to take time to remember, reflect, and meditate on the LORD.
Perhaps this is something we’re lacking in our fast, American culture. Perhaps this is something we should incorporate in our prayer.
It’s just as important to meditate and listen in prayer as it is to speak.
You might not hear an audible voice when you reflect and listen, but you might experience a sense of peace in your heart.
I call this a “knowing”.
Say, “Lord, your child is listening. I’m thinking of your greatness, and if you want to speak to me, please do it now.”
4. Proceed With Free Talk
Many times, when people pray, they immediately begin with free talk.
Free Talk is anything you want to say to God in any way your spirit tells you to phrase it.
Maybe you want to vent to the LORD about a difficult time you’re going through. Maybe you want to thank Him some more.
Maybe you want to exercise some power and rebuke things in Jesus’ name or pray for someone else.
Use this time to do just that after you’ve thanked Him, exalted Him, and meditated on Him.
Speak to Him as you would a normal friend and father. It doesn’t matter how elaborate and detailed your speech is. Just talk.
5. Observe the Name of Jesus
Last, do it all in the name of Jesus.
Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Doing something “in the name of Jesus” doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to verbally end your prayer with “in the name of Jesus.”
It just means to speak and do things in the authority of Jesus. And saying this phrase at the end of your prayer can help you recognize this authority.
Remember, all power and authority have been given to Jesus (Matt. 28:18).
And this means that you have power and authority in your prayers.
End your prayer by acknowledging this powerful Son of God and his name.
Know that your prayer will be heard and work because it’s in the name of Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Say, “Father, I’ve come to you in the name of Jesus today. I pray all this in his name.”
There you have it!
In summary, keep the TEMPO when you pray:
Thanksgiving Unto God
Meditate and Listen
Proceed With Free Talk
Observe the Name of Jesus
Here’s to a better prayer life,