Considerations in Prayer.
All prayer, regardless of whether it is verbally articulated or spoken within the confines of one’s heart, must be sincere. Methods and formulas of prayer are not necessarily right or wrong in and of themselves, but the condition of one’s heart that precedes the actions are what is important – things such as integrity, authenticity, genuineness, truthfulness, and transparency. The Lord delights in the uprightness of heart – so whether we are speaking out loud or in the quietness of our hearts, lying down or on our knees, the posture of a sincere heart is the position in which we should remain. Prayer changes the way God acts in that when we ask in belief and with faith, we receive. When we ask for forgiveness, we are forgiven. With the mediation of Jesus Christ, prayer is possible; because of the sacrifice of the Son, our prayers are heard and attended to. Although this is true, it is not always necessary to tack onto our prayers, “in Jesus’ name,” as this can breed a ‘religious’ or legalistic mentality (i.e., speaking words without meaning or authenticity). We can pray to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, but the focus of our prayers should remain with God the Father. This is indicated as much Scripture related to praying is directed towards God the Father (Luke 3:21; John 17:1-26; Hebrews 5:7). We are free to speak our minds in prayer, but it would behoove us to acknowledge that we seek His will to be done over any requests, cries, or petitions of our own.
There is much mystery shrouded around our understanding of angels and the spiritual realm. What we do know is that which can be found in Scripture, while the rest is mostly speculation and conjecture. Angels are discerning, righteous/moralistic spiritual beings without physical form (as we understand it) that were created by God. They were created for many reasons, to glorify the Creator and show the greatness of His love. They are protectors, warriors, and worshippers. Angels can be observed to be examples to us in how we are to praise and worship the Father. They accomplish some of the Lord’s purposes in executing judgments and conveying messages to humans.
Considerations in the evil realm.
Satan and demons compose what we know of the evil spirits ‘realm’. They are believed to have once been angels who have fallen due to their sins against God through pride and rebellion. Desiring to exalt themselves above the Creator, they fell from grace; yet they do not possess the ability to have these sins atoned for – this plan of atonement and salvation was specific to human beings, who, in the form of the Messiah – Jesus Christ, have the ability to have their sins forgiven. Satan, which means “adversary”, is the chief demon. Satan and demons seek to destroy the work of the Creator, and human beings in particular. Their desire is to separate man eternally from the love that can only be experienced through a relationship with God. Satan originated sin and continues to incite humans to sin, though this does not relieve us of our responsibility in it. Despite all of this, God is sovereign, thus the power and control that demons have are under the discretion and control of the Creator.