How to Pray Effectively
WHAT IS PRAYER?
Prayer is communion and fellowship with God. Communion is conversing together, interchanging thoughts or feelings, exchanging ideas or sentiments, and intimate communication. The level of communication determines the depth of the relationship.
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6
A secret place is where a treasured relationship and intimacy take place. Intimacy is a shared experience with one you love. Prayer is about creating a deeper relationship. The Bible shares that Jesus had constant communication with the Father. The early church disciples (followers of Jesus) made prayer a part of their daily lives. Therefore, we should have a prayer life and follow Jesus’ example.
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42
“Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:” Ephesians 1:21
1. Effective Prayer Is Based on a Relationship with God.
2. Pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus.
All power in heaven and earth is in the name of Jesus.
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.” Philippians 2:9-10
“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” John 16:23
“Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16
God wants us to bear much fruit in prayer, which is having effective, productive prayer.
3. Effective Prayer is Based on a Relationship with God and His Word.
If we have received Jesus as our Lord, He abides in us. Abide means to take up a permanent residence. We become conscious that we belong to God and endeavor to do things His way. God’s way is in accordance with His design and produces positive results. Our confidence should not be in our ability to pray, but rather in our Father, in whom we trust with our prayers.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:5-7
4. Effective Prayer is Based on Asking and Praying According to God’s Will.
God’s Word is God’s will. We cannot know God’s will if we do not know what He has said regarding the thing we are praying about. We must spend time in His Word. You cannot have confidence you will receive, unless you know that God is offering what you desire.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15
We have the ability to know God’s will. He not only wants us to know His will, but He made a way for us to know it. When we come to God with His Word, we know His will because He has spoken it and made it known. We need to take time and get to know God through His word so we will know Him and have confidence in Him and His Word. There is no short cut, it requires time. Just like any relationship, if we invest the time, we will better know and understand that individual. If not, it will be superficial at best. God will not- and should not have to- settle for being second best.
5. Effective Prayer Believes that it Receives what it asks for When it is Prayed.
The world says, “I will not believe it until I see it.” God’s Word says, “We will not see it until we believe it.” There is an unseen realm, so we believe we receive it when we pray and continue to believe and thank God for it (as long as we know that God has promised it in His Word). Once we pray to God in accordance with His Word, we must continue to thank Him for our answer while we wait for our request to make its way from the unseen realm to the seen realm. Know God’s will, then ask and receive.
“Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24
Effective Prayer begins with a relationship with God and that is obtained through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is not enough just to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He paid the price for our sins on a cross; it is a matter of believing and receiving.
HAVE YOU RECEIVED?
“But as many as receive Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12
“That is you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in you heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10
BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART AND PRAY WITH YOUR MOUTH.
Sample prayer to receive Jesus:
Heavenly Father, I receive your Son Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I believe He died for me and rose again and paid the price for my sin. Forgive me of my sin and help me to walk with you all the days of my life. Because I believe in my heart and confess Jesus as my Lord, I belong to You now and for eternity. Thank you for saving me and making me Your child. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
See Praying God’s Word.