Making a Case for Crafted Prayer

January 13th, 2012 · by Tom Stuart · Prayer

The prayer recorded is the prayer rewarded.

That is a phrase the Lord spoke to me many years ago and I have used it to inscribe the inside front cover of each new prayer journal which I begin.  It has been a motivational reminder to me of the power of sealing my prayers in pen and ink so that I can pray them again and again until they are answered. 

It is not a novel idea with me.  The Bible itself is a prayer journal, with many prayers penned by the likes of Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon, Nehemiah and the prophets Daniel, Isaiah and Jeremiah.  Jesus’ unparalleled prayers for his followers are recorded as well along with the many apostolic prayers throughout the New Testament, not the least of which are Paul’s.  Each of these prayers have been prayed over and over again for centuries because they carry the inspiration and anointing of the Holy Spirit while embodying the eternal nature and purposes of God.

Since the first century, believers in each generation have also recorded their inspired prayers. Many iconic prayers from famous saints and prayer books compiled by various sects exist today as a result.  Along with the biblical models of prayer these anointed prayers serve us like familiar old friends to guide us in prayer when we lack for words or feel like we are groping in the darkness for direction as to how to pray.

Praying these prayers with a humble heart can revive the soul and lend fervency and focus to our prayer life.  Because they were obviously penned under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they also release faith because we know that they express the will of God.  That is what the Apostle John is referring to when he writes “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.”  (1 John 5:14-15)

Understanding this basic prayer principle and applying it in our everyday communication with God will vitalize our prayer lives.  And not only that, praying scriptures and other God-breathed prayers introduces an eternal quality to our praying that transcends time and space.  Such prayer carries a cumulative effect as it is coupled with similar prayers prayed by yourself and others all the way from the past to the present.

And here is an even more provocative thought.  Why not record your own inspired, Holy Spirit anointed prayers?  In so doing you can pray them again and again, while each time rekindling the same passion and faith you had when you first were energized to pray them.  Since in most cases they may have been given at a point of focused need, these prayers are like a precious revelation given by God to aid you in contending for their fulfillment.

This form of prayer can be generated in several ways.  One familiar form is termed crafted prayer.  Crafted prayer is a deliberate engagement with the Lord though worship, Bible reading and meditation upon appropriate scriptures with the goal in mind of writing out a prayer that expresses the cry of your heart for what you desire.  What has been written can then be prayed repeatedly and even shared with others asking them to agree in prayer with you.

Another form of recorded prayer, one I have found to be even more personally powerful is what I would call revelatory prayer.  These are prayers that are given spontaneously by the Holy Spirit in the heat of battle, so to speak.  They are words or phrases that a person in the midst of a time of fervent prayer can find themselves speaking out, declaring and often repeating.  They may be quotations of scripture promises and/or simply godly thoughts.  Regardless, they seem to carry an authority in the Spirit with an insistent determination and belief that they are God breathed.  They are words that carry an anointing with creative power to literally produce or arrange their desired end.

Capturing such prayers for the purpose of repeating them as we contend for their answers is doubtless an imperative.  When God speaks into our lives by revelation, it is incumbent upon us to record it.  For me keeping a prayer journal has been a great aid in doing just that.  And I would have to say that the prayer recorded has been rewarded as I have prayed it again and again.

Lately, the Lord has helped me take this form of revelatory praying to a new level.  My most effective praying is seldom accomplished while sitting with pen and journal in hand.  I much prefer walking, kneeling or lying prostate on the floor.  It is in those moments of animated prayer that the release of revelation is most likely to happen.  And when the Holy Spirit begins to give me anointed words or phrases I am not always able to pause and write them down.

I have discovered that by using a little hand held digital recorder I can now record my prayers as I am speaking them.  Then later when I am done praying, at my convenience, I can transcribe them into my journal.  That way I am able to revisit those anointed prayers with their God-breathed wording again and again, each time recapturing the fervency and faith which accompanied them the first time I prayed them.

Let me challenge you, if you are not taking advantage of this amazing form of prayer, it’s time for you to consider doing so.  Our relationship with God through prayer is of paramount importance.  Why should you neglect to use every tool available in your prayer arsenal?  Not the least of which is “the prayer recorded is the prayer rewarded.”

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