Photo by Nigel Roddis
There are many books on the subject of prayer and faith. But a lot of these books are theoretical in their approach. In other words, there is very little practical material presented, and the reader is left with the task of trying to figure out how to apply what they have learned. In this article, we will examine four practical and spiritual exercises that can be used to boost our faith and help us to manifest the promises of God.
The “Hour of Power” is the first exercise that we will discuss. This is a set period of time that can be used to address a particular need or a mountain that we face. A mountain simply means any obstacle or problem that we are facing. During this hour we focus on God’s word concerning a specific issue or concern. The Hour of Power is divided into five parts: prayer, scripture, personalizing scripture, confession, and an ending prayer. The first and last part should be about 15 minutes, but the other three parts should be about 10 minutes. However, you can adjust the times according to how you are led. Try to pick a time that you can be with God undisturbed.
We start by praying to our Father concerning the issue. We ask God for wisdom concerning the situation, and we also ask God to guide and empower our efforts. We then began to confess a scripture or scriptures that relate to the prayer need.
The second part will be confession of scripture. It is best to limit this section to no more than three scriptures. These scriptures should relate to our prayer need. We use this time to simply repeat the scriptures, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak his word back to us. This part builds up spiritual force that we will use when we address the “mountain” that we are facing. After we confess God’s word, as written, we are then ready to personalize his word.
The third section involves the personalizing of God’s word. At this time we will take God’s word and make it our own. To personalize scripture is simply to slightly reword it so that it speaks directly to you. Take for example Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” If you personalize this scripture, you could say something like, “My God will supply all of my needs, from his provisions, through my Lord Jesus.” We do this for 10 minutes, or until we are led to move on. At that time we are ready to make a confession, according to God’s word, which directly address our mountain or situation.
The fourth section of the Hour of Power is a personalized confession. This confession is based on God’s word, but it directly addresses the situation. For example, if you are praying concerning a financial need, and you have been using Philippians 4:19, a personalized confession could be, “Student loan, you are paid in Jesus’ name. My Father has provided the financial means, and I hereby declare that this loan is paid.” Notice that we speak according to the spiritual reality. In the natural, we still may have payments to make, but the spiritual reality has authority over the natural realm. Mark 11: 24 says, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” This verse is actually saying that we believe that we “already” have the answer to the petition. The word receive could be written as received, past tense. We do not believe that it will happen, we believe that it has happened. And once we have a sense of peace, we proceed to the final section of the Hour of Power.
The fifth and last component of the Hour of Power is prayer. We thank God for answered prayer, and we then ask for guidance on how to proceed. We also ask God to help us to stay persistent with our confession.
You can use the Hour of Power, for the same situation, as many times as you feel led. It does not have to be a one time exercise. The next spiritual exercise uses a cheap but very effective tool, prayer beads.
Now, many pagan religions use prayer beads. But we are using them simply as a tool for counting. There is nothing magical or mystical about the beads.
The number of the prayer beads is not important. If you do a search on the internet, you will find that 108 is a common number. This number has significance in some religions, but for us it is just a number. The main thing is that there should be one bead that is larger than the rest. This will be your starting and stopping point. During this exercise, you will be too focused to try to keep count, so when you reach the large bead you will know that you have finished the exercise.
This is a very simple but powerful exercise. You select a time and place where you will not be disturbed. You will select a scripture or short passage that relates to your need. It is best to memorize your selected scripture, or you can write it down and keep it close enough to read it. Hold the prayer beads in one hand, and place the largest bead between your thumb and index finger. Recite the scripture, or short passage, and then use your thumb to slide the largest bead to the rear. The bead next to the largest bead should now be between your thumb and index finger. Recite the scripture, or passage, again and proceed to the next bead. You continue this pattern until you reach the larges bead. If your prayer bead contains 100 beads, you will have recited your chosen scripture 100 times.
This is a meditative exercise. As you are speaking God’s word, you are sowing it into your inner being. You can perform this exercise with your eyes closed. But the main concern is to stay focused on God’s word.
The third exercise can be done throughout the day. It requires a cell phone or a watch with an alarm or timer. Simply pick a scripture and commit it to memory. Then, set your cell phone or watch to chime or alarm every hour. When you hear the chime, recite the scripture three or four times. You can set your alarm to go off at any interval that you are comfortable with. If you are around others, it is best to keep the alarm to a single tone. A loud alarm can irritate your coworkers.
“Praying the scriptures” is the last exercise. During your devotional time, select a passage to pray. The Psalms are excellent for this. Read one verse of your selected passage and then personalize it. You then read the next verse and then personalize it. You continue until you have prayed the entire passage. For example, if you are praying Psalm 23, you would read the first verse, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” You would then pray according to what you have read, “Father, I thank you that you watch over me as a shepherd watches over his flock. I thank you that I will have no wants because you, my Shepherd, will provide for me the things that I need.” You would then continue in this way until you have prayed Psalm 23 in its entirety. This is a great way to pray if you do not know what to pray; allow God’s word to guide you.
Spiritual exercises should be a part of your daily life. If you sow to your spirit, you will reap power, abundance and a close relationship with your Father. Learn to live a life that is focused on God’s word, and the windows of heaven will open up for you.