Prayer takes a moment to learn & a lifetime to master. That is why we are told to “pray without ceasing”.
“Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favour] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].”
Hebrews 4:16 AMP
Foremost, we must understand that the main purpose of prayer is for the furtherance of the kingdom of God and glorifying His name. It is evident in the prayers of apostle Paul who constantly prayed that we understand the ways of the Father and never fall off the path of righteousness. The ultimate will of God is for us to get to know Him and be conformed to His image.
We should desire God before another thing Matthew 6:33. The deeper knowledge we have of God, the more we realize that most of our prayer points are shallow and unnecessary.
That being said, Our heavenly Father is also interested in our material and physical needs and He is very attentive to us when we call on Him.
Prayer is the channel of communication between every believer and the Father but when we pray wrongly, we risk not getting an answer to our prayers. A prayer is a place of humility, lifted hope and laying down our supplication.
Every time we have a need, it has the potential to lead us into a more deeper and intimate relationship with Christ Jesus and this is achieved through prayer. We must learn to pray in a manner that would bear fruits and yield results.
How can you pray effectively?
1. Pray according to the will of God
Before we can know the will of God, we have to know Him as a person, understand Hs nature, desires and what He wants for us and we do this by the study of the word of God.
a. Pray for the things for which the Bible commands prayer.
We are told to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44);
Pray to know God better (Colossians 1:10);
God wants us to have joy and be happy (John 15:11);
Pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13; Ephesians 3:19)
God is interested in our security and protection ( Heb 13:6);
God desires us to have perfect health (Jeremiah 33:6, Psalm41:3);
Pray for souls (Romans 10:1);
for God to send missionaries (Luke 10:2);
that we do not enter temptation (Matthew 26:41);
Pray for wisdom ( James 1:5);
To have relief from affliction (James 5:13);
As Christians, when we take our need to God, we have to be humble enough to allow it to be tailored to His desires. We don’t go to God with a kind of, it is either this or nothing, but Lord, this is what I desire but let your will be done. what is God’s will for us?
b. Pray with the right motivation.
Conceited motives will not be honoured by God. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
c. Pray with a spirit of forgiveness toward others (Mark 11:25).
Hatred, bitterness, anger or revenge toward others pollute our hearts and prevents us from praying in total submission to God.
2. Pray with the knowledge of the supply we have in Christ.
“He who did not spare [even] His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?”
Romans 8:32 AMP
We live by His grace as a result of the finished work of Christ at the cross. So we don’t pray from a mentality of subjugation but of believers who know their place in Christ and the good thing available to us. We don’t pray for God to provide as He has provided all we need, we pray to receive His supply available for every child of God. So we go before God with thanksgiving and a readiness to withdraw from our heavenly account.
3. Be specific in your requests
Now we have established praying according to His will, we have to boldly assert our requests and expect God to move on our behalf. What do you need? A child? A life partner with fundamental qualities? A healthy relationship with your spouse? Whatever it is, name your needs and present it to God. Ask for the supply we have already receive as born again Christians come into manifestation.
It is good to journal every request tailored to a specific need so when God answers, you can actually know. I keep a notebook in which I write specific prayer points and over the years, I have seen God answer it all either by saying yes, No or not yet. Just as Jesus asked the blind Bartimaeus, ’What do you want?’ Search your heart, know your innermost longings and tell Him what you want.
4. Ask for signs
“So today when I came to the spring, I prayed this prayer: ‘O Lord, God of my master, Abraham, please give me success on this mission. See, I am standing here beside this spring.
This is my request. When a young woman comes to draw water, I will say to her, “Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.” If she says, “Yes, have a drink, and I will draw water for your camels, too,” let her be the one you have selected to be the wife of my master’s son.’”
Genesis 24:42-44 NLT
Signs serve as confirmation to show if God is saying Yes, No or not yet.
For example, if you desire to move to a new location and you have prayed about and still unsure, you can ask God to give you certain deals in a way that would align with the plans you have already made. There are several other ways we can seek for signs as it applies to you.
Point to note that we don’t become lazy and absolve ourselves of responsibilities while hiding under the guise of waiting for a sign.
4. When you pray, don’t doubt.
“And whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Matthew 21:22 AMP
I have a firm belief in my heart that any prayer I make according to the will of God would be heard. How do I know this?
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:”
1 John 5:14 KJV
Prayer and doubt don’t mix. It becomes a hindrance to receiving our answer as we focus on our weaknesses, mistakes and prevailing circumstances. We try to reason how God would answer us and the manner it would come. Doubting God is the same as being double-minded and this negates the boldness we have received from God.
It doesn’t mean doubt wouldn’t come but we are to stand firm in the assurances from the word of God. This is why it is necessary to study God’s word, meditate on it and let it be rooted in our heart as it would strengthen us against the wind of doubt.
Doubt is likened to planting a seed and keep digging it up every minute to inspect it. it would never germinate to produce fruits. Pray and trust.
5. Pray in the name of Jesus Christ.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
John 14:13-14 KJV
Praying in the name of Jesus is very effective as we stand on His authority, acknowledging His person and glorifying Him. We become His voice and stand in His place in the presence of the Father. In the name of Jesus, every knee bows and mountains are moved. There is no better prayer than that prayed according to the will of God in the name of Jesus.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
John 15:16 NIV
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
John 16:24 NIV
6. Pray the word of God
“If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”
John 15:7 AMP
We read the scripture, understand it and meditate on it. In times of need, we locate specific scriptures that apply to us and affirm them. It enforces the authority you have as a believer and your belief in the power of the word of God and eventually inspires our thoughts to fall in line with God’s desires which makes for a better prayer life.
6. Pray persistently
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Luke 11:9-10 NLT
Persistence is for us, not God as He is ever willing to answer us. Persistent changes us as in the process of carrying in God’s presence, our motives are examined and our hearts changed. It works patience in us.
We know God is good and has the best intentions for us. We continually should seek Him and make our petitions known to Him. But in persistence, we must submit to His will. We don’t keep praying over an issue when God has said no neither should we pray out of fear and lack of faith.
“Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving.”
Colossians 4:2 AMP
Finally, Friends, we do not always get exactly what we want but we are promised something better that would fulfil the longing of our soul as God perceives our prayers through the lens of purpose. We are to rely on the Holy Spirit when we pray so we can be sensitive to know when our answers come. Remember, there is no unanswered prayer. God is either saying Yes, No or not yet.
“So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer.”
Ezra 8:23 NLT
You are Loved