[Exclusive] Building a House of Prayer, Free-Style Prayer

Building a House of Prayer

Eighteen Prayer Models for Approaching God’s Throne

Author | Dr. Joshua Young-Gi Hong

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“Wherever we are, we can meet the Lord Jesus if we pray.”—Daily Bread

A prayer comes as naturally to a spiritual person as crying to a baby. A Free-Style Prayer is a cry to God, a conversation with God, and communion with God. Free-Style Prayer is given freely in the literal sense. This prayer does not have a set pattern to follow because there is no formality and pattern; it does not require a special method. Repentance, praise, thanksgiving, and request are freely used. This prayer tells anything that comes to our mind to God.

The Holy Place of Prayer

In order to do the Free-Style Prayer well, it is important to have an honest, simple, and humble heart.

The Holy Place of Prayer 1

A Prayer to Spill Out Our Heart

The first thing we have to know before learning how to offer a Free-Style Prayer is how to pray with a sincere heart. We need to honestly report everything that we feel to God as it is. If we are weary, then we will pray with a weary mind. If we are in joy, then we pray in joy. We need to pray to God to let Him know how we feel. Share your joy and sadness with God. Go forward to God as you are. We do not need to use a difficult, eloquent vocabulary to adorn our prayer to God.

Whenever I drive a car or converse with other people, I often offer my heart to God. “I love you, my Lord. Please be with me at this time.” Also, whenever I feel like crying and feel blue, I tell the Lord exactly what I feel: “Lord, my heart is very sad and bothered. Lord, you know my heart. Lord, please have mercy on me. Please help me. You must help me!” Whenever I offer this prayer, I feel that the Holy Spirit is governing my heart and is in me.

The Holy Place of Prayer 2

A Prayer of a Child

We need to have the simple mind of a child in order to offer an honest Free-Style Prayer. Because there is sincerity in a prayer of a simple heart, it is powerful.

A pastor attended a meeting of Christian leaders. The conversation was very sincere and difficult to comprehend. The pastor felt that he was not prepared adequately to follow the theological and philosophical topics that were being discussed. At lunch time, several attendants and the pastor gathered at a nearby restaurant.

One theology professor led a prayer for the meal. The pastor bowed and prayed while worrying that his prayer would sound like a theological lecture. Then, amazingly, the professor prayed like this: “God our Father, I am happy to be alive today. How blessed I am to have lunch together with my brothers and talk about God’s kingdom! I am glad to be with you at this table.” The prayer of this theologian was a simple prayer. The prayer did not come from his head but came from his heart.

South Koreans have a tendency to use old Chinese expressions or eloquent words. We try to impress God with rhetorical extravagance. However, God knows who we are. Our wisdom or knowledge cannot touch God in His heart. On the contrary, He wants to touch our hearts with His amazing grace.

Rousseau said, “To write a great love letter, we should lift our pen without pondering what to write. And at the end, we should not remember what we wrote.” Free-Style Prayer is the same. Praying with God and with the heart to have fellowship and conversation with Him is more important than any pattern or style of prayer. Thus, Free-Style Prayer does not have a pattern or style but it is a prayer that revives the true nature of prayer. For this prayer, we need to have a heart to rely on God completely like a child.

The Holy Place of Prayer 3

Eidos and Ginosko

It is easy to think that we are Christians because we go to church every Sunday and attend church meetings. However, knowing about God and knowing God personally are different matters. Although I may say I know a little about former South Korean President Dae-Jung Kim, it does not mean he knows me. We can say we know somebody only when we meet the person and have fellowship to build a relationship. Thus, the Bible uses the Greek word γινώσκω (ginosko, to know), which has the meaning of “knowing God.” This has a different meaning from the word, ειδέναι (ay-DEH-nigh, or eidos, to know by sight), which has the meaning of “knowing God indirectly.” Ginosko means a personal and direct knowledge of a person, while eidos is only knowing about a person. The only way to know and meet God is through prayer. Free-Style Prayer is a good model of prayer for a personal fellowship with God. It is a sincere and loving act of giving our spirit to God.

We have to learn how to talk to God before trying to offer an eloquent prayer. In other words, we have to learn how to offer our heart. C. S. Lewis advises us “to give not what we should have inside but give what we have in us as it is, no matter what.” A sincere fellowship with God makes us experience the presence of God in our life. God is with us much closer than we think. It is the greatest blessing to continue a personal meeting with the Lord.

Andrew Murray once said, “There is no greater blessing than having spiritual fellowship with God on this earth and in Heaven. We have to participate in spiritual fellowship with God wherever we are and whatever the circumstances we are in.”

If our spirit is pointing toward God entirely, then our life can be a prayer. That’s right. There is no greater blessing than having a conversation with the Lord. Many people have attended the church for a long time but have been weakened spiritually because they do not converse with God. This is like having a marriage in which the couple does not converse with each other. There is no development of a spousal relationship if there is no conversation between the couple. “Give all your heart to the Lord in order to grow spiritually” is one of the Christian proverbs. Be a person of prayer, who converses with the Lord freely and comfortably. Let it be the biggest joy in your life to have a personal meeting with the Lord.

The Holy Place of Prayer 4

Cascade of the Holy Spirit and a Cable Car of Prayer

It is not necessarily true that Free-Style Prayer is easy because it does not have a set pattern or style. Because of our sinful nature, coming to God through prayer is difficult. Often, There are times when we cannot pray easily. Nevertheless, when we cannot pray in our own will, we have to learn to ask for the help of the Holy Spirit.

A Free-Style Prayer can be a lively prayer only through help from the Holy Spirit. It is absolutely necessary to have a humble heart when you ask for the help of the Holy Spirit. In other words, we have to confess that we cannot do anything including even a prayer on our own. O. Hallesby speaks of the following in his classic book, Prayer: “We cannot separate our inability from a prayer. Only a person in a dire situation can pray earnestly. Thus, a prayer is telling our hardships to God every day. We pray when the Spirit of our prayer, the Holy Spirit, makes us realize our weakness. Then, we come to the heart to pray when we realize that we cannot believe, love, hope, serve, sacrifice, suffer, read the Word, pray, and fight our sinful nature on our own.”

The Bible speaks clearly that the Holy Spirit helps our prayer. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Romans 8:26).

In Switzerland, a man reached the summit of Mount Pilatus by a hydraulic-powered cable car. He was amazed by the modern technology. About half way to the summit, he saw a beautiful waterfall that was pouring down to the valley below. “What a wonderful contrast!” In one glance, he compared the power of modern science that lifts up and the power of nature that moves such a huge fall. Then, it came to his mind. “The fall is not making a contrast with the cable car. On the contrary, the fall is complementing the cable car.” He realized that the source of the hydraulic power was the fall and that it was the waterfall that moved the cable car up toward the sky.

A prayer is like a cable car that is lifted up to God. The power to send out this prayer comes from God himself. God gives us the strength to pray through the Holy Spirit and helps our prayer. When we pray by the power of the Holy Spirit, God helps us from the above to pray and then answers our prayer on the earth below. Free-Style Prayer can exert its power when it is rendered with a sincere heart and with a simple and humble heart of a child.

Checkpoint of Prayer

Free-Style Prayer can be given freely, but it should not be a nagging prayer to ask God to grant our requests unconditionally. Praise and thanksgiving should also be appropriately added. It requires training to converse with God in appreciation. A Free-Style Prayer may not be easy for beginning Christians or those who are not trained in prayer. Because this prayer can become vague and can lose its focus easily, it is not so effective in praying with one specifically-set topic. However, if you keep getting trained in carrying out conversation with God, it is a very effective prayer model for making praying a habit.

Sweet Rain of Prayer

Because Free-Style Prayer is a prayer model that is not constrained by time and place, it is a very effective and efficient prayer model in our life that can be given when we do not have a specific prayer topic and lack time.

A Free-Style Prayer can develop our intimacy with God and is very effective in learning how to pray unceasingly. A Free-Style Prayer is like depositing our money in a bank of God’s kingdom. A Free-Style Prayer that is given continually with a sincere heart can be our spiritual strength whenever it is needed.

Praying Time

Because Free-Style Prayer is a model that we can use all day in practice, there is no specifically set praying time. We can pray whenever we want to. Thus, it is a twenty-four-hour prayer model. A prayer is like spiritual breathing to a Christian. Our body cannot survive without air. Likewise, Christians cannot sustain their spiritual life without prayer. That is the reason why the Bible commands us to pray continually (without ceasing, 1 Thessalonians 5:17). We need this type of training for Free-Style Prayer to give our life to prayer as Christians.

Closed Prayer Room

  • Free-Style Prayer is a prayer that is given freely without any formality or specifically set pattern.
  • Examples of Free-Style Prayer
    >> Lord, I love you. Please be with me at this time
    >> Lord, I am anxious. Please hold me and console me.
  • My Free-Style Prayer:
  • The Order of Free-Style Prayer
    >> Praise (Hymn or Chorus).
    >> Confession of thanks
    >> Reading my Free-Style Prayer
    >> Carrying out my Free-Style Prayer
  • Self-illumination
    >> Did I offer a prayer of petition without regard for His will?
    >> Am I giving the worship service of both praise and thanksgiving together?
    >> Did I pray like I was talking to God?
    >> Am I giving a Free-Style Prayer in my everyday life?

One Last Word on Free-Style Prayer

A sincere fellowship with God makes us experience God’s presence in our lives.

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