VI. PRAY SPECIFICALLY AND PERSISTENTLY
Many times our prayers are ineffective because we are too general; we must pray in a specific way. We may pray, “Lord get many people saved.’’ The Lord does not know which one you desire to get saved. Sometimes we may pray, “Lord get my friend, John, saved.’’ That is better. We can pray more specifically, by saying, “Lord, let me see my friend, John, today at lunch so that I may tell him about the mystery of human life. Lord, prepare him to receive the gospel.’’ This is very specific. You included the person, the time, the message, and what you want the Lord to accomplish. The Lord hears your specific request and accomplishes the work according to your petition.
We also need to persist in our prayer. What do you do, if after your specific prayer you did not meet your friend, John? It seems that the Lord did not answer your prayer. Eph. 6:18 says that we should persevere in prayer. We need to continue to pray. The Lord may reveal to you that you took a pencil from John last year and never repaid him. After you have repented to the Lord and repaid John, the Lord will answer your prayer. If you do not repent, you will waste your time preaching to John, because he will not listen to your message. After your confession and restitution, he will be very open to receive your gospel. So we must persist in prayer until all the barriers are removed in order for the Lord to work.
VII. PRAY AT SET TIMES AND ALL THE TIME
We all know the verse, 1 Thes. 5:17, “Unceasingly pray.’’ How many of us pray unceasingly? We need set times of prayer everyday so that we will be strong in spirit to pray unceasingly. Daniel told us that he prayed three times a day, kneeling down before God (Dan. 6:10). David prayed in the evening, morning, and at noon (Psa. 55:17). Peter and John went to pray at the hour of prayer (Acts 3:1). These brothers had set times to pray; we also need to set aside time to pray individually and corporately if we are to mean business with the Lord. It is not too much to pray three times by yourself and one time with others on a daily basis. We love Him, and we want Him to accomplish His hearts desire; therefore, we must pray at set times and all the time.
VIII. PRAY WITH THE WORD AND A NOTE BOOK
The best way to pray is with the Word (Eph. 6:17-19). We should also have a notebook with us when we pray. Many times we do not know how to pray. Praise the Lord for His Word. We can always read His Word and pray with His Word in order to fellowship with Him. We can also pray according to the burden He gives us through His Word. For example, 1 Tim. 2:4 says, “(God) desires all men to be saved.’’ After reading the verse you may pray, “Lord, you desire all men to be saved; this means all the students in my school are included; this means all my friends are included. O Lord, forgive me for not preaching to them this year. Lord, strengthen my spirit right now and let me preach to my best friend, Mary. Lord, both You and I desire that Mary should be saved.’’ After your prayer, you should write the date and who and what you prayed for in your notebook. If the Lord has not answered your prayer, pray more. After the answer comes, you may give the Lord thanks and write down the date, and how your prayer was answered. You will strengthen your faith by keeping a record. If you become weak in the faith concerning prayer, you can review your record of answered prayer, then you can testify to others that prayer works, and that prayer is the way God works.
(Lesson Book, Level 5: The Church—The Vision and Building Up of the Church, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)