The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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     As a young teenager, I attended Mississippi Baptist Youth Night at the Mississippi Coliseum on an occasion when Ken Medema was the guest musician. Medema is a blind pianist and songwriter whose influence on Christian music cannot be overstated!          
     In addition to his song “Moses,” perhaps “Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying” is the most well-known of Medema’s musical compositions. This tune is presented in numerous hymnals and has been recorded by
Larnell Harris and other notable Christian singers. With this song, Medema emphasizes the power of prayer and God’s faithfulness to His people when they “get down to pray.”

Something’s gonna happen, like the world has never known.

When the people of the Lord get down to pray.

A door’s gonna swing open, and the walls come a’tumblin’ down.

When the people of the Lord get down to pray.


And He’s gonna take over, And He’s gonna take control,

When the people of the Lord get down to pray.
He’s gonna move the mountains, Make the waters roll,

When the people of the Lord get down to pray.
        As you practice faithful, faith-filled praying and “get down to pray,” consider the:
  •   Power of your prayer. “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective“(James 5:16). E.M. Bounds issued the challenge “Men and women are needed whose prayers will give to the world the utmost power of God; who will make His promises to blossom with rich and full results. God is waiting to hear us and challenges us to bring Him to do this thing by our praying. He is asking us, today, as He did His ancient Israel, to prove Him now herewith” (The Weapon of Prayer).
    Ivah Bates was a righteous woman whose prayers were powerful and effective. Henry Blackaby considered Ivah “…one of the greatest prayers I have ever known. Our church was the body of Christ and we call Ivah a knee. God put her in the body as a powerful pray-er” (Experiencing God).
  • Purpose for your prayer. Acronyms such as ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) highlight several purposes of prayer. Other purposes or types of prayer include intercession (Col.1:9-12), blessing (Phil. 1:9-11), healing and help in time of need (Jer. 17:14; James 5).
  • Pattern of your prayer. The Model Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) offers a pattern or framework for praying through which the pray-er, (1) Affirms the holiness of God, (2) Accepts and commits to God’s purpose and will, (3) Appeals to God regarding personal needs both (a) physical needs and (b) the need for forgiveness and the capacity to forgive others, and (4) Acknowledges the reality of temptation but lives by faith in God to overcome evil [(see also The Magnificat (Luke 1:47-55)], John 17 and Ephesians 6:18.
  • Petitions in your prayer. Paul admonished Christians in Ephesus and around Asia Minor to “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Eph. 6:18). In the high priestly prayer of Jesus (John 17), Jesus petitioned the Father (1) for Himself (vv. 1-5), (2) for his disciples (vv. 6-19), and (3) for every believer (vv. 20-26).  Paul instructed “that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority…” (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
     What are some matters/issues for which the pray-er might petition God? Petitions are often offered for family, friends, governing authorities, enemies, missions/missionaries, church leaders, and the sick/infirmed
/bereaved, etc. What about praying for the lost? What if you prayed daily for every lost person around the entire world who had a birthday on that particular day? In the course of a year, you would have prayed for every lost person in the world.
  • Position, Place, and Posture during your prayer. Do you pray from a position of gratitude and a spirit of humility? Do you have a regular quiet time with God and pray in a solitary place (prayer closet)? Do you kneel or fall prostrate before God in your personal prayer life? Regarding posture for prayer, the apostle Paul asserted, “For this reason I kneel before the Father…” (Eph. 3:14) and “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer…” (1 Tim. 2:8). Also, “When Solomon had finished praying this entire prayer and supplication to the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread toward heaven” (1 Kgs 8:54).
     Perhaps you have seen the church sign: “God answers knee-mail” or “It is hard to stumble when you are down on your knees” or “You stand tall when you fall on your knees.” Abraham Lincoln reportedly declared, “When life knocks you to your knees, you are in position to pray” and “I have been driven many times to my
knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” Billy Graham was quoted as saying, “If America is to ever get on its feet, we are going to have to get on our knees.” D. L. Moody asserted that “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”
  • Presentation of your prayer. When you get down to pray with purpose and offer petitions heavenward, have you ever considered including names of God such as El Shaddai (God Almighty, the all sufficient One), Jehovah Jireh (LORD who sees/provides), Adonai (master/ruler), El Olam (everlasting God), or Jehovah Rapha (LORD who heals) in your prayers of praise, confession, thanksgiving, intercession, and supplication? Do you claim the promises of God found in scripture when praying? What about including scripture in your prayers (such as Psalm 9:2, 29:2, 34:3, 119:11, 51:10; Matthew 6:33; 2 Peter 3;18) or hymn texts/songs? (See “Breathe on Me,” “How Great Thou Art,” “I Stand Amazed in the Presence,” “I Love You Lord,” “Sanctuary,” “Spirit of the Living God,” “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow,” and “Holy, Holy, Holy” as examples.)
   With an allusion to Paul’s farewell benediction to the church at Corinth (2 Cor. 13:14), the refrain of Medema’s song offers a petition for the Lord to hear and help His children as only He can. As you “get down to pray,” may God hear from heaven and provide you and your family with His love, power, and grace!


    “Lord, listen to your children praying. Lord send your Spirit in this place.

Lord, listen to your children praying. Give us love, give us power, give us grace.”