Every effective praying person has a familiar place for prayer. It is usually a place that is far from distractions and interruptions. From our interviews with more than fifty nationally known intercessors, we offer you the following suggestions concerning a private place for prayer:
- Pray in the least distracting place (such as, facing a blank wall in a room).
- Unplug the phone.
- Get the family off to school or to work, or put the kids to bed.
- Consider placing a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.
Would it surprise you to know that spiritual giants face the same issues you face? Andrew Murray said, “How now does Satan hinder prayer? By temptation to postpone or curtail it by bringing in wandering thoughts and all sorts of distractions through unbelief and hopelessness.”
In order to overcome such things, like the man building a tower of which Jesus spoke, we too must prepare ahead of time.
In the March 2001 issue of the Community Prayer Circle Newsletter, Annielois Evans encouraged us to try this exercise to prepare the heart for a time of prayer:
- With a heart full of faith, a soul of contrition and a mind set on truth and love, lift up your hands and head toward heaven.
- Let your thoughts overflow with images of blessings from God. Meditate on His goodness.
- As the Holy Spirit dictates, clap your hands as an expression of praise to your heavenly Father.
- Read or recite a verse from Psalms, your favorite scripture or a passage related to the concerns you plan to share with God.
- Continue this process until you feel the presence of the Lord.
Now you are ready to pray for yourself and intercede for others. Practice this exercise as often as needed.
Our posture in prayer
While there is certain value in it, there is no biblical command for us to kneel, to bow or to close our eyes when we pray.
For example, Jesus knelt at times. In describing His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, Luke writes, “He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed” (Luke 22:41, emphasis added). When praying with the leaders of the church in Ephesus, Paul also knelt. (Read
Surprisingly to some, however, there were times when Jesus neither bowed His head nor closed His eyes to pray. John’s report of Jesus’ prayer at the tomb of His friend Lazarus says, “Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me’” (John 11:41, emphasis added).
Earl Pickard, ex-Army officer and director of Campus Crusade’s PrayerWorks, says, “I have a prayer room in my home with an altar area. So, I like to kneel there before the Lord in heart cry.” The Bible also says that we can pray standing or even lying prostrate.
Question: Where do you like to pray? How do you create an atmosphere of quiet and privacy for your prayer time?
Equipment for prayer
In my book Intercessors: How to Understand and Unleash Them for God’s Glory, I (Eddie) have written these statements about the prayer closet:
Not only do I release Alice to love and pursue God, but also to the prayer closet. Perhaps I should say that I released our closet to her! For years her prayer closet was our clothes closet. It contained much more than our clothing. In it were a globe, maps, books, pens, photos, notebooks, Kleenex and other assorted items. The floor of our closet was literally a workstation! It wasn’t until we purchased our new home, which has three walk-in closets in the master bedroom, did I have my own clothes closet! The third closet is Alice’s new prayer closet.
When our children were younger, they thought God lived in our closet. Every time they’d look for Mom, I’d explain, “She’s in the closet with the Lord; don’t bother her.”
One day Alice came walking out of the closet with mascara running down her cheeks. Her eyes were red and puffy. She was clutching a fistful of notes in one hand and a wad of used tissues in the other.
“What in the world do you do in there for three and four hours at a time?” I asked.
“Do you really want to know?”
“Of course I do,” I replied.
“Then sit down,” she said.
She began telling me the details of her encounter “beyond the veil” in prayer. I interrupted, “Whoa! Wait a minute! Let me get a pen and a piece of paper. People need to know this.” I took notes as she shared.
When she finished, I gave my notes to her. “You must write a book about this for the worldwide church to read.” She did. I mentioned earlier that her book, Beyond the Veil, is a source of instruction, affirmation, and confirmation for many who’ve had similar experiences in prayer.
Christian, do you suffer from an unbridled temper, overpowering sinful habits, overwhelming sadness, or any number of other spiritually defeating issues? Are you seemingly unable to establish and maintain positive meaningful relationships with others?
Counselor or Pastor, do you sometimes wonder why you have such limited authority over evil spirits and why, after evicting then one week, the same spirits show up again the next week.
In Delivering the Captives, Alice Smith draws on her 35 years of deliverance ministry around the world to expose some of Satan’s “slickest strategies”. She explains how he deceives us into building spiritual strongholds in our own lives though will full sin so his demons can operate, develop into strongmen, and access levels of dominion over us.
Let Alice show you how to detect and defeat strongmen, and precisely why Jesus said we must bind the strongmen before we dismantle their strongholds and permanently dismiss them.
Here are your guidelines, including Alice’s much sought after list of Apparent Demonic Groupings that reveals how demons work together. Here are your biblical tools, including prayers, proclamations, and pronouncements to renounce evil spirits and remove them from your life and from the lives of others.