Prayer is a crucial focus for us as Christians and is defined as our “petition of God” or “words spoken to Him.” Most people know the act of prayer because it enhances our personal relationship with God, drawing us nearer to Him. When we pray, we exercise different prayers using specificity at times or generality in others. No matter the conditions of our prayer, it is a gift that draws us nearer to God by bringing light to darkness and is one of the most important things we do as Christians.
Does God Hear us
Sometimes the trials and tribulations of life have us question if God hears us. It is essential to know that if we have the right relationship with God and are earnestly seeking to follow and honor Him with our lives, we never have to wonder if He’s listening to our prayers.
Psalm 24:15 tells us that “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.
The good news is that God is always listening to all of our prayers, no matter how we do them.
So, why is there a need to entertain being Emotionally Intelligent in Christ when we pray?
Let’s start by defining Emotional Intelligence in Christ (EIC). EIC is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit within you to discern and manage personal emotions and behaviors in a way that honors God by loving others well as Jesus did.
A prayer is a form of submission to God’s will. But it is also through the work of His Holy Spirit which makes prayer and action connect, and a true conversation with God takes place. Prayer also helps us understand God’s love which is what EIC is all about. The Scriptures teach us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
As you pray, you can feel this work of love as you speak daily with God, seeking His guidance in your life. We serve a mighty God, and He hears and answers our prayers as witnessed throughout the Scriptures.
How we are to Pray
As Christian leaders, we need to teach patience in prayer, as shown in Philippians 4:6.
This Scripture tells us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
We also need to teach the appropriateness of praying. James 4:3 tells us that “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
How to pray in the Different Types of Prayer?
As we look at the five different prayer types listed below, consider how you can connect with the Holy Spirit to put them in action. There is no wrong or right way to pray, but we can dig deeper into our connection with God through understanding how these prayer types are executed in our lives.
Prayer Type 1: Worship/Praise
This is the prayer of adoration or worship. This is where we exalt the greatness of God and acknowledge our dependence on Him in all things. These prayers also encompass prayers of love and charity. God talks about the importance of this type of prayer in (John 4:21-24) when God speaks to the woman at the well. She was a Samaritan, a race of people that the Jews utterly despised as having no claim on their God, and she was also an outcast and looked down upon by her own people.
“Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshipers. God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:21-24).
Prayer Type 2: Petition/Intercession
Prayers of intercession are another form of prayer. This is when we are not concerned with our needs but with the needs of others—through our prayers for our fellow Christians, asking God to shower His mercy on them by answering their requests. In intercessory prayer, we pray for other people’s needs and situations. This could be prayers for healing, needs, and peace. The best example of this is the Lord’s Prayer.
After this manner, therefore, pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
Prayer 3: Supplication – Lifting your needs
This prayer involves the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly. Historically, the word supplication comes from a Latin term, supplicare, which means to plead humbly and has the word supple as its root. Supplication is a form of prayer but considered as kneeling and bending down in which someone makes a humble petition or a request to God.
Hannah’s prayer in I Samuel 1:11 is a great example of this type of prayer when she went to the Temple and prayed for a son (Samuel) and vowed to give the son back to God for the service of God.
I Samuel 1:11, “And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt gives unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.”
Prayer 4: Thanksgiving
Perhaps the most neglected type of prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving. Jesus at the Last Supper is an excellent example of being thankful. He knew the cross was before Him and gave thanks to the Father as He broke bread and drank the cup with the disciples.
Matthew 26:26-30 says, and as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, brake it, gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives.
Prayer 5: Spiritual Warfare
There are two types: Dealing with yourself (Your mind is the battlefield) & (Repentance and Forgiveness); Dealing with Satan and demons (Putting on the Full Armor) & (Binding & Loosing).
Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand (Ephesians 6:10-13).
Begin to pray with Emotional Intelligence in Christ.
Daniel 9:18: “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.”
This beautiful excerpt from Daniel’s prayer on behalf of the Jews exiled in Babylon shows us a profound truth about prayer—that God answers our prayers because of His mercy, not our good works. Many believers think their good works obligate or persuade God to act on their behalf. And while God does call us to live holy lives, it is not our obedience that moves God to answer our prayers; it is His great mercy toward us.