Have you ever felt a thousand times better after having a good, long talk with a loved one about a problem you were experiencing? Communing with God is like this, only vastly better. Prayer is a heartfelt conversation with God; however, most people don’t know how to pray properly. Understanding how prayer changed from the old covenant of the law to the new covenant of grace helps in this area.
Before Jesus came, the people had to pray to get God to bless them; after His death and resurrection, we can now pray with a mindset of thanksgiving and gratitude for what He’s done. God has provided healing, prosperity, abundance, deliverance, peace, joy, and everything else we could ever need or want, with no need to beg Him for it. We can talk with Him any time and any place about anything, and thank Him for already taking care of any issue. Nothing is off-limits. “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT).
The last thing Satan wants is for us to develop a personal relationship with God through prayer; he therefore does all he can to discourage us from praying. However, Jesus gave us victory over everything the devil throws at us, and our prayer lives should reflect that. Nothing just happens by coincidence; there are unseen forces at work, both good and evil, that we can’t see. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). We’re engaged in a spiritual battle, but because Christ has already won it, we don’t pray for victory, but from victory.
Staying connected to God in good times as well as bad strengthens us. Even though we pray from a place of victory, we should still be on the alert for any sneak attacks from the devil. Combining perseverance with a grateful heart in our prayer life is like a one-two punch against the enemy. “Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2, AMPC).
Believers have the authority to command what already exists on the spiritual level to appear on the physical level. Heaven is simply waiting for us to give the orders, but, like builders waiting for the permit before beginning work, prayer is necessary to provide heaven with the permit it needs to cause manifestation in our lives. “…Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). God is waiting for our authorization to get involved; we give it when our prayers confirm what He has already said in His Word.
When we pray, we don’t always have to focus on ourselves; intercessory prayer on others’ behalf is a powerful tool. Lifting up our spouses, our children, our families, and our loved ones puts them before God. “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Prayer brings powerful results on many different levels, not just in the physical realm.
The shift from the old to the new covenant has put all the power of heaven at our disposal. The lines of communication are wide open, and God is waiting to hear from us. The authority our grace-based prayers now have removes all limitations.