Principles of Prayer by Stephen Nielsen: Table of Contents and a Short Excerpt

   Principles of Prayer Image            

CONTENTS

 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  vii

 1   Prayer in the Holy Spirit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

 2   Prayer with Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

3   Prayer with Authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  47

4   Jesus’ Teachings on Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60

5   Failure in Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

6   Specific Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

7   Desire in Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96

 8   Burden in Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

9   Earnestness in Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

10   Importunity in Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131

11   Travail in Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167

 

Here is a short excerpt from chapter 9:

 

 CHAPTER 9

 EARNESTNESS IN PRAYER

 

It is vitally important that all our prayers be with earnestness.  This study will tell you why this is true and how we can develop earnest prayer.

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PRAY WITH EARNESTNESS?

Generally speaking, when one prays with earnestness, he prays showing deep sincerity or seriousness; it is fervent and intense prayer, which is stirred up by a great desire to meet a need that is believed only God can satisfy.

 Now let me back up. When you have a longing, a craving, and a yearning to see God meet a need, this is the desire of prayer (which we talked about in a previous chapter). It is something that God puts in you by design—as his prayer warrior.  But if you want that desire to be fulfilled you must follow it up by praying with earnestness.  When you do that, you are in effect putting that desire to work—you are keeping the fire of desire burning.  With every desire God gives you, you must, therefore, pray and seek God earnestly, because desire without earnestness will lie on the ground as a lukewarm ember, and your prayers will be ineffective. 

 But desire with earnestness will keep the desire of prayer hot, and eventually, in God’s time, will bring the answer to your prayers.

 We will turn now to the scriptures to make sure that our understanding of earnestness is correct.  Here are five Greek and Hebrew words, with some examples, that will help us to understand this topic of earnestness in prayer.

 

Ektenos.  According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, this Greek word “[comes] from a verb which means to ‘stretch out the hand,’ thus it means to be stretched out.”  In prayer, it conveys the idea of praying fervently, without ceasing and not relaxing in effort.  This kind of prayer is a continuous prayer of straining and stretching to gain the answer.

 Ektenos is found only twice in the New Testament.  In Acts 12:5, it is used to describe the kind of prayer the church prayed for Peter, who was kept in prison.  In this verse ektenos has been translated at least four different ways.  The NIV and the RSV translate it as “earnestly praying” and “earnest prayer for him was made.”  The KJV translates ektenos as prayer “without ceasing,” the NKJV as “constant prayer,” and the NASB as prayer being made “fervently.”  I’m not sure which one of the translations is the most correct, but I would guess that they are all good translations.  Therefore, if we put them all together, we may conclude that earnest prayer is constant, without ceasing, and fervent. 

Particularly, in this case, we see that earnest prayer was made for Peter by the church.  Certainly there is more power in corporate prayer, especially when it is united in earnestness.  And such was the case here, for, as it happened, Peter was miraculously delivered (Read this amazing story in Acts 12: 5-17).

In the second occurrence, in 1 Peter 1:22, ektenos is used of how we are to love one another:  “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” (NKJV). 

Most translations, as it is here in the NKJV, render ektenos, as “fervently,” but the RSV translates it as “earnestly” and the NIV as “deeply.”  So, putting it together, we are to love one another deeply, earnestly and fervently. 

This love then is a love that is stretched out to the limits for others.  It is a special kind of pure, heart-felt love given by the Holy Spirit that only believers possess.  Moreover, I believe that there is a connection of this kind of love to earnest prayer.  For it seems reasonable that when our prayers are earnest they are prayers of love from the heart of God.

This is what Duewel has said about fervency in prayer as it relates to love:

Fervency is born of love…Love is the very nature of God.  His heart is aflame with love for us and for His world.  The flame that burns in the heart of God will set your heart aflame if you will draw close enough to Him.  His love radiates to your heart.  As you pray, His love places on your heart deep concerns for the needs he sees and wants you to see.  His love, as it imbues you, makes your prayer a sweet perfume before Him (Ps. 141:2).  God’s love is dynamic.  It adds love, desire, and zeal to your praying.  

 

Eklenesteron.  This word has basically the same meaning as ektenos, except with this word the intensity of earnestness is greater.  The word appears in the New Testament only in Luke 22:44, where it describes the way Jesus prayed just before …

 

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About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
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3 Responses to Principles of Prayer by Stephen Nielsen: Table of Contents and a Short Excerpt

  1. Heidi Viars says:

    Thank you so much for sharing from your extensive studies about prayers. I really appreciated what you share! I personally have learned so much about prayer in this last year… from spending extended times in prayer … Thanks so much for these posts and for teaching us!! Blessings

  2. Yes we can learn alot about prayer just by praying, but we need teaching too. The disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray.” And He did!
    Thanks for being such an example in prayer. It’s rare to find people like you. How did your revival meeting go?

    • Heidi Viars says:

      The call for revival, which I posted on my blog, was hosted by Moody Radio, out of Chicago. It was a live broadcast and a concert of prayer. It was wonderful. I think there are now over 5,000 people who have pledged to pray, asking God for an awakening.
      I personally meet with two women most weeks to pray for revival.
      Like you said before, this is a work of the Holy Spirit. We pray and ask God to do the work in our own hearts first.
      Thanks so much for your continued work in and for the kingdom … Blessings to you!

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