30 Oct 2014 by Jason Law CM –
In his book, The Hour that Changes the World, Dick Eastman outlines 12 different aspects of prayer. Prayer is often a time when we remember who God is to us, and stand in the gap for others. But do you know that prayer also has benefits for our own souls and spirit? The other six aspects of prayer given by Dick Eastman can be seen through this lens :
1. Petitions for Our Personal Needs
Do you know that it is not wrong to pray for own daily needs? In Matthew 6:11, Jesus taught us to pray to God for our daily bread. Taking our daily distress, crises, needs, and desires to God, we place our faith and trust in Him in humility and complete dependence. It is a reminder that it is God that supplies our needs.
Dick Eastman cautions us to be careful not to dictate, but to come in faith and trust as God’s friend. When we pray for our needs, be specific and watch out for selfish desires. As Christians, we may boldly take our personal needs to the Father. We can pray with expectation, even about the smallest things.
2. Thanksgiving – Expressing Appreciation to God
1 Thessalonians 5:18New King James Version (NKJV)
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Prayer is also a time when we remember all the good things that God has done for us, not least for the relationship we have in Him. It is a time when we think about the day and thank God for His care. Thank God for the new things He did; spiritual, physical and social. Thank Him for who He is, His gifts, answers to prayer, and all His blessings. Remember each specific good thing He has done for us.
3. Singing – Melodious Praise and Worship
Psalm 100 is an encapsulation of the joy that comes through singing praises to the Lord. When we sing to the Lord, it is our heart cry, a prayer made from the depths of our spirit. Peace and joy wells in the heart. Additionally, singing unto the Lord can be a battle cry against the powers of darkness. Dick Eastman shares that singing and spiritual warfare are indissolubly part of each other.
4. Meditation – Considering the Word of God on a Deeper Level
Joshua 1:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
The Word of God was made specifically for the best way the world and mankind functions. Joshua 1:8 counsels us that by meditating on the Word of God, our way will be made prosperous, and in Hosea 4:6, God cautions us that we will perish if we lack His knowledge.
Christian meditation is the opposite of Eastern meditation. For Christians, meditation is not a passive process where the mind is emptied. Christian meditation is a disciplined process in which the mind is fully involved, actively evaluating, investigating and pondering in a personal way what the Holy Spirit and Scripture has revealed to us. Reflect on whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and admirable – if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things (Philippians 4:8).
5. Listening – Receiving Instructions from God
One aspect of prayer aforementioned is waiting upon the Lord, and it goes alongside meditation. When we wait upon the Lord and meditate upon His Word, we are focusing on listening to the inner voice of the Holy Spirit. In the process, the Holy Spirit gives us guidance according to the Word of God. We can ask God to purposefully reveal to us His will, plans and strategies and the answers to questions we may be struggling with.
Waiting on the Lord is about loving God. During meditation, we want to learn more about God. In the period of listening, we want to hear what God wants to tell us. Dick Eastman gives one caution; do not be presumptuous and too quick about attributing to God what may be our own thoughts.
6. Praise – Magnifying and Glorifying God
Matthew 6:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Whatever good thing, promises, or will God has revealed to us, let our Amen be strong and confirming; that we have heard from the Lord and believe in Him. Amen means this is true and certain, this will be so. It is a final spiritual act of putting God on the throne of our life, and where we confess that the sovereignty of God, His Kingdom, and His power and glory will last forever.
Not too long ago, brother Michael Cheng shared a series of reflections based on his book ‘Man of the Hour’. In that book, he made the call for the One-Hour Prayer. Taking the 12 aspects of prayer given by Dick Eastman and focusing 5 minutes on each of them, we can reach the One-Hour mark. We need not to be rigid (ie ‘5 minutes means 5 minutes’); be flexible but take the time to explore each of these aspects of prayer.
NOTE: This article is guided throughout by principles given by Dick Eastman in his book, The Hour that Changes the World, copyright 2002.
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