As part of an intensive discipleship group, I have been reading “Growing in Prayer” by Mike Bickle.
The first part of the book is spent on setting up what I consider the basic concepts of prayer: Why we’re called to pray, characteristics of effective prayer, how/what to pray and grow in prayer, etc.
Bickle discusses much about our calling to pray, but here are my two favorite reasons:
Fellowship of the burning heart – Bickle discusses throughout the book what he calls the “family dynamics” of trinity: The Father’s love for Jesus, Jesus’s love for the Father, and likewise with the Spirit. He discusses with scripture the depth and character of this love, and then points out that we are invited to the party! God’s love for us, our love for God, our love for others, and our love for ourselves are all designed to burn like the family love of the trinity.
Especially notable to me was the discussion of being jealous of all he called us to. In other words, we must honor his feelings for us by loving ourselves. We are to adopt God’s view of ourselves, not the enemy’s or the world’s.
The power of speaking
Actually covered more in depth later in Chapter 8 about intercessory prayer, in two sections about the power of Jesus’s words and the spoken word, Bickle discusses how even though God knows all, when we verbalize our prayers we agree and align with the will of the Father, the words of Christ, and the works of the Spirit (this is my own understanding and interpretation of the concepts in the book). In explaining this, Bickle uses scripture to describe the creation this way:
The Spirit waited for the Father’s plans to be spoken before He released His power in the earth. When Jesus declared “Let there be light,” the Spirit released light.
The image above is my feeble attempt to understand this. Humans being uniquely created like God have the ability to seek God’s will, speak in the power of Jesus name, and witness or be vessels of the Spirits works of wonder, but none of it happens with out prayers that seek God’s will, speak it, and commune with and petition to the Spirit.