By Brad Andres
How do you pray effectively? We get this question a lot.
There is no way to guarantee that your prayers will be answered. Though God does answer prayers. However, the scriptures do teach us how to pray the way God wants us to. So, here are some tips.
1. Understand Jesus opened the way for effective prayer.
In the early days, direct access to God was limited. There were sacrificial rites which needed to be observed, and even then, only a select few had access to speak with God one on one.
Today, we have direct access to God based on the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. His sacrifice enables us to gain a direct audience with The Holy One. God has given the gift of His special presence to all who accept the works of Jesus Christ in their lives.
Entering Gods special presence is the starting point of effective prayer.
2. Pray each word with purpose.
Some prayers are written out, such as the prayers we have here on Prayers-For-Special-Help. We have provided many prayers to help you articulate the thoughts and feelings you have inside of you.
A word of caution: You can recite a prosed prayer as long as you mean what you are saying. The words of prayer must come from your heart. Whether or not the prayers are spontaneous or premeditated does not matter. An authentic heart and posture before God is what counts in prayer.
Sincerity in His special presence helps keep prayer effective.
3. Continually communicate with God.
The True God knows each of us intimately. He knows our thoughts, our hearts, and He loves to help us. He desires we come to know him as intimately as He knows us. A close relationship with the Father is our basis for prayer, not a business-like partnership. We must talk with him as a friend, and not only seek His voice in times of need.
Continual friendship with God leads to effective prayer.
4. Live in line with Gods teachings.
In his writing, James teaches his audience that with an authentic and righteous lifestyle comes an effective prayer life. He encourages his hearers by saying they can achieve the same results in prayer as Elijah. Elijah was a prayer model, he achieved many things by prayer throughout his ministry. For instance, he called down fire from heaven to devour a sacrifice. We too, can achieve these great results through prayer.
Living life as God directs results in an effective prayer life.
5. Remember that effective prayer comes through an authoritative position.
It is fairly common practice to end a prayer by saying, in your name, or in Jesus name. We have been given authority to use His name, but the name isnt the power. The power is in the position of being a child of God and a representative of Jesus Christ on earth.
Thus, our prayers become powerful because of the position we are in. The power comes from living in Gods salvation and following His direction. Power does not come from simply adding a tagline to our prayers. However, a heartfelt understanding of being granted power through Jesus Christ is what drives powerful prayer. Reminding ourselves that we are praying in His name, otherwise stated as with His authority, is a great practice when it flows from sincerity and not from rote repetition.
Exercising Gods given authority results in effective prayer.
6. Have confidence in Gods ability and willingness to answer.
We trust God and His character. God loves to give generously, and delights to answer the prayers of His people. However, when His people ask, they must have complete trust in Gods character, and the fact that He does enjoy giving. If we are unsure of Gods character, and unsure if He will answer our prayers, then we should not expect for Him to respond.
Complete confidence in Gods character makes prayer effective.
7. Let Gods Spirit lead your prayers.
While we have been given Gods authority, we can not just run around and command things to happen. If we do not let God lead our lives, inspire our words, and direct our prayers, then we will not see the things we are asking for.
Sensitivity to Gods leading helps prayer become effective.
8. Pray within Gods will.
Hand in hand with being led by Gods spirit is the idea of praying within His will. Our confidence we must have arrives from knowing we are acting within Gods will. Being sensitive to Gods spirit is one way of knowing we are living within His will. In addition, being familiar with Gods written word is another guide to knowing His will in various situations.
The hard part is that sometimes our inner motives are amiss. Our actions, what we are asking for, may seem on track with God and His will. Nonetheless, our inner motives may not be authentically in line with Gods desires.
Praying in line with Gods will lends to effective prayer.
9. Pray persistently.
God will not give in and give us what we want just because we will not give up. We must ask in agreement with God and His desires. However, our prayers will eventually be answered according to what God deems best if we continue to keep praying.
Knowing that we need God and repeatedly asking things of Him shows our dependence upon Him. Being unashamed to keep approaching God in prayer shows trust and confidence in His character.
Persistence within Gods will powers effective prayer.
10. Practice small prayers.
A way to gain confidence is to ask God for things that may seem small to us. We are the ones with the issue of the size. A task is a task to God. All prayer requests are the same to him. It is our disbelief and our limitation of size that gets in the way of his power in our prayers. As our true confidence grows in Gods abilities, we will be able to have God answer prayers more effectively. And practicing small prayers helps you gain confidence for those seemingly larger prayers.
True confidence in God from personal experience results in an effective prayer life.