Prayers of Command
Different Kinds of Prayer
Prayers of Confession are when we tell the Father our sin and our weakness and ask for forgiveness.
Prayers of Adoration declare the goodness of God and the many amazing truths about His character.
Prayers of Thanksgiving give thanks and gratitude for all the many things God has done for us.
Prayers of Petition ask the Father to act in a situation (which we also use quite a bit on the Prayer Team when praying for people).
One style of prayer that some may not be used to is called Prayers of Command. A Prayer of Command is when we step into the authority given to us by Jesus and, as His ambassadors, we speak to the issue itself (a demon, a part of the body that is sick, a curse hanging over a person, etc.) and *command it to leave or to be healed.
*Note: We never command God to do anything. This style of prayer speaks to the issue or problem and commands it to be made right.
Biblical Basis for Prayer of Command
When we use Prayers of Command, we are stepping into the authority that is given to us by Jesus, the same authority given to his disciples in Matthew 10:1,“Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”
When Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer) the phrase “your Kingdom come” in the Greek uses the aorist, imperative, active form of the word “come.” Imperative is a command. Aorist means a thing happens in a moment. Jesus is inviting us to say to God’s Kingdom, “Kingdom, come right now in this moment!” This is what we are doing when we pray Prayers of Command.
We see Jesus model Prayers of Command for us throughout the Gospels (see below for examples of this). In our context on the Prayer Team, we use Prayers of Command in almost every case of casting out demons and in many cases of praying for physical healing. It is used less often in prayers for inner healing except in cases of breaking vows and curses that may be attached to a person’s life.
As believers, not only do we get to operate in Jesus’s authority, but we’ve also been given power through the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; 1 Cor 2:4-5; Romans 15:18-19). Armed with His power and authority we set out to fulfill Jesus’s declaration about us in John 14:12:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Scriptural & Practical Examples
Below are examples of Jesus using command to usher in God’s Kingdom in various ways.There are also examples of Peter & Paul following Jesus’s model by using command to heal. We get the honor and privilege of doing the same. There is also a practical example of what it looks like for us to use Prayers of Command in settings like the prayer room, link group or in public.
“Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.
All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.
Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue.
He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.
Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
Matthew 8:8-10, 13
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed*. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
*This fulfills Psalm 107:19-21
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them;
he rescued them from the grave.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Acts 3:1-8, 11-12, 16 (Peter uses command to heal)
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
Acts 14:8-10 (Paul uses command to heal)
In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
Prayer Team Example:
Judy: (interviews Sally about her prayer need)
Sally: The discs in my upper spine and neck have been causing me trouble.
Judy: Father, thank you that you love and cherish Sally. Holy Spirit come and bring your healing power and presence into Sally’s body, especially her neck and spine. (waits for about 30 seconds listening for direction from the Lord and for the presence of the Holy Spirit to increase on Sally)
In Jesus’ name I command all discs in Sally’s neck and upper back to be made whole. I command every nerve irritation to be silenced and I command pain to leave in Jesus’ name. Vertebrae, I command you to straighten and to align one on top of the other. Discs, I command you to fill out and be restored. Inflammation, I command you to leave in Jesus’ name. (waits to hear more from the Lord) Sally, do you feel or sense anything in your neck or spine?
Sally: I feel heat. My neck is really hot.
Judy: That’s great! Heat or tingling sensations are often signs that the Holy Spirit is healing that area. Let’s bless what God’s doing.
(The principle here is to see what the Father is doing and join him in what he is doing. This comes from how Jesus did ministry. According to John 5:19, Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.)
Judy: Father, we bless what you are doing in Sally’s neck and upper back. We thank you for your healing presence and power. We ask for more Lord! Increase your healing in Sally’s neck in Jesus name! (continues in this way until Sally feels completely healed or until she senses that the Lord is done what He was doing)
Judy: Let’s thank the Lord for what He’s done today. (Prays Prayers of Thanksgiving and invites Sally to do the same if she’s comfortable doing so)