Not all prayers are the same, but they are all a form of communicating with God. When we pray to God, it is usually about things that are bothering us or that we are dealing with. But one thing stands sure, and that is; all prayers regardless of how long or short or what type they are, are all directed to God Almighty. When we pray, we are literally calling on the power of God from Heaven, to intercede on our behalf in all things pertaining to us as His dearly beloved children. The Most High God is powerful in every way, and He will use his power to help us his children whenever we call upon Him using the name of Jesus. Philippians 2:9-10 “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth ”. When we pray to God, we are surrendering ourselves and whatever issues we are faced with before Him, knowing that He hears us when we call upon Him always.
However, there are different kind of ways that we can communicate with God through prayers. Although they are different, in the manner, mood, severity, occasion, direction, duration, urgency and strength at which we pray; we give legal authority to God to act on our behalf. Our prayers are our spiritual weapons, just like earthly guns and bullets. And just as we have different type of guns and bullets for different situations, so also are our prayers tailored for different situations.
One key thing to remember when we pray, is that all prayers irrespective of its kind, activates God power; especially when we use His word and remind Him of His promises.
The different kinds of prayers
1. The Prayer of Thanksgiving:
The prayer of thanksgiving is a prayer that blesses God for all that He has done in our lives. It is a prayer that gives all the glory and honour to God because He heard our prayers and made His power available to help us when we needed Him. It is a prayer that expresses our gratitude to the Father for His goodness, mercy, grace, power, provision, favour, protection, love, faithfulness, and power. A good example of such prayer is found in the book of Psalms in the bible, where David blessed God for all He did for Him.
1 Chronicles 17:16-27 ”Then King David went into the Tent of the Lord’s presence, sat down, and prayed, “I am not worthy of what you have already done for me, Lord God, nor is my family. Yet now you are doing even more; you have made promises about my descendants in the years to come, and you, Lord God, are already treating me like someone great. What more can I say to you! You know me well, and yet you honour me, your servant. It was your will and purpose to do this for me and to show me my future greatness. Lord, there is none like you; we have always known that you alone are God. There is no other nation on earth like Israel, whom you rescued from slavery to make them your own people. The great and wonderful things you did for them spread your fame throughout the world. You rescued your people from Egypt and drove out other nations as your people advanced. You have made Israel your own people forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.“ And now, O Lord, fulfil for all time the promise you made about me and my descendants, and do what you said you would. Your fame will be great, and people will forever say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel.’ And you will preserve my dynasty for all time. I have the courage to pray this prayer to you, my God, because you have revealed all this to me, your servant, and have told me that you will make my descendants kings. You, Lord, are God, and you have made this wonderful promise to me. I ask you to bless my descendants so that they will continue to enjoy your favour. You, Lord, have blessed them, and your blessing will rest on them forever.”
2. The Prayer of Intercession:
The prayer of Intercession is a prayer made on behalf of someone else other than ourselves. It is usually a prayer that intercedes for those close to us, asking God to intervene in their lives. I call it the “selfless prayer”! This is the kind of prayer we make to God for the salvation of our loved ones. It is a prayer that calls on the grace and mercy of God, to be sufficient in the life of another. An example of such prayer is found in bible, Where Jesus prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail him when the devil sought him out to destroy him. Luke 22:32 “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers”.
Also, in the book of John, where Jesus prayed for His Disciples and brethren. John 17:6-26 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one-I in them and you in me-so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
3. The Prayer of Faith:
The prayer of faith is a prayer made with great belief in God, His word and His promises. It is a prayer that exercises our confidence in God’s power; that God is able to do all that He promised us His children. The prayer of faith believes and calls those things that be not, as though they are, “Romans 4:17”. This kind of prayer comes with grace, as it is a gift from God. When we pray the prayer of faith, we remove every barriers and hinderances in our way, and we are confident that God hears us; and because He hears us, He will honour His word to us. James 5:13-16” Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Matthew 17:20 “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” .
This type of prayer does not require us to see the power of God at work before we believe that our requests are answered. A good example of such prayers is seen when Elijah prayed for rain. James 5:17 ”Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years”.
4. The Prayer of Praise and Worship:
The prayer of praise and worship is a prayer that gives total reverence to God for who He is. It is a prayer that worships God in spirit and in truth; it acknowledges the supreme power of God and His character. This kind of prayer is born out of our intimate relationship with God and the revelation of God’s excellence, magnificence and glory. When we prayer this kind of prayer earnestly, we can draw from the anointing of God and His presence becomes tangible; and at that point, miracles are inevitable.
An example of such prayer, is found in the book of Psalms, where David worshipped God for Who He is. Psalm 19:7-9 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. . . . The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous”.
Also, in the first verse of the Lord’s prayer, we see clearly how Jesus prayed the prayer of praise and worship to God the Father. Matthew 6:9-10 “this, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
5. The Prayer of Agreement:
The prayer of agreement is one of the strongest prayers that we can pray. This is because it involves more than one person jointing their faith together and praying in line with God’s word. This is a prayer that allows two or more people to agree on anything according to the will of God. It is a strong prayer because it unites not only the faith of the believers, but their hearts concerning what they pray for. It is a prayer that is born out of love and compassion for one another. The prayer of agreement is a bold and powerful prayer, and it breaks through hinderances and barriers; it shakes the enemy’s camp. Jesus reminded us of how powerful this kind of prayer is in Matthew 18:19-20“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gathers together as my followers, I am there among them”.
An example of this kind of prayer and its powers, is seen in Acts 16:25-34, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed“.
Also, we can see in the book of Acts, how after the church prayed for Peter’s release when he was imprisoned by king Herod; he was let loose. Acts 12:5 “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him”.
6. The Prayer of Consecration:
The prayer of consecration is a prayer that allows us surrender our will completely to the will of God. It is a prayer that sets us apart from the distractions of this world, to concentrate fully on God plans for our lives. The prayer of consecration is usually made by one who pledges to live his/her life solely for the Lord’s use, in every way. Galatians 2:20 best illustrates what it means to consecrate ourselves to God. And it says: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.
A very good example of this kind of prayer is found in Matthew 26:26-39, where Jesus prayed to the Father to allow this cup past him by. This is what it says: “He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will”.
Another example of this kind of prayer, is seen in 1 Samuel 1:10-11”Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut”.
7. The Prayer of Supplication:
The prayer of supplication is a prayer that allows us push through all our worries and struggles; as we make our requests to God earnestly and humbly. This kind of prayer is made in line with God’s word in Philippians 4:6, which says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”, and also 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. When we pray the prayer of supplication, we bring before the presence of God, all that we need, trusting that cares for us.
The bible gives us a clear meaning of supplication in Matthew 6:25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.
An example of a prayer of supplication is in Job 42:2-6 “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me. ’I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ash”.
8. The Prayer of Repentance:
The prayer of repentance is one that allows us come to God, with sincere repentance for our sins. This kind of prayer is born out of our guilt and shame for what we have done that is against the will of God. It requires use to genuinely repent from our wrong doings and plead with God to forgive us; and make His face to shine upon us. Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. An example of this kind of prayer, is the sinner’s prayer, where the sinner acknowledges all his/ her sins, repents and ask God’s forgiveness. This kind of prayer is born out of humility and reverence for God, His love, grace and mercy. Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”.
Another great example of this kind of prayer, is found in Psalms, Psalm 51:1-14 “God, be merciful to me because you are loving. Because you are always ready to be merciful, wipe out all my wrongs. Wash away all my guilt and make me clean again. I know about my wrongs, and I cannot forget my sin. You are the only one I have sinned against; I have done what you say is wrong. You are right when you speak and fair when you judge. I was brought into this world in sin. In sin my mother gave birth to me. You want me to be completely truthful, so teach me wisdom. Take away my sin, and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you crushed be happy again. Turn your face from my sins and wipe out all my guilt. Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again. Do not send me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me. Give me back the joy of your salvation. Keep me strong by giving me a willing spirit. Then I will teach your ways to those who do wrong, and sinners will turn back to you. God, save me from the guilt of murder, God of my salvation, and I will sing about your goodness. Lord, let me speak so I may praise you. You are not pleased by sacrifices, or I would give them. You do not want burnt offerings. The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit. God, you will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin. Do whatever good you wish for Jerusalem. Rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will be pleased with right sacrifices and whole burnt offerings, and bulls will be offered on your altar”.
9. The Prayer of Spiritual Welfare:
The prayer of spiritual welfare is a prayer that enables us fight and destroy the works of the enemy(the devil). Luke 10:17-19 “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name”. And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you”. It is a prayer that concentrates on the deliverance and welfare of the believer from all schemes and bonds of the evil one. This prayer involves the believer exercising his/her rights over the devil and demons; it involves us using the Blood and Name of Jesus, His word and the promises of God, to destroy the works of darkness against us. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
The prayer of spiritual welfare requires boldness and courage, and the believer must stand his/her grounds against the enemy; using the whole armour of God as protection. Ephesians 6:10-17, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”.
The prayer of spiritual welfare requires us to possess our possessions in Christ Jesus, through His redeeming blood that was shed for us on the cross of Calvary. It is a prayer that resists and conquers the enemy regardless of his vile attacks. A good example of such prayer is in Acts 16:16-19 “Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved. ”She kept this up for many days. Finally, Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her. At that moment, the spirit left her”.
In conclusion, Our prayers mixed with the right attitude and complete trust in God, will bring a quick response to us from the throne God. God is forever faithful to accomplish all His promises in our lives when we surrender all to Him in prayers. Philippians 4:6” Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”. Irrespective of how different our prayers may be, God is able to respond to us in a powerful and dynamic way. Our prayers give God the legal right to help us whenever we call on His name. Romans 10:13“for Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”.