Effective Prayer: It Starts With You
It’s our right as children of God to have an effective prayer life. It’s our right to have a powerful and passionate prayer life that not only brings us to such a closeness and unity with God and His heart, but also allows us to act out the authority that was given to us from Him.
The problem is that most people never reach their full potential with their prayer life because of a misunderstanding of what prayer is and the purpose it serves. Most of us feel like prayer is an obligation or repetitive lip service that we do because the Bible tells us to do it. When we don’t understand the true purpose of prayer we get frustrated, and that frustration can tend to be directed towards God. A reason most people feel that prayer is ineffective is because they feel their prayers haven’t been answered.
I struggled with prayer in my own life for a while. Many times I found myself approaching God in my prayers with a ‘ME’ attitude, “What can I get out of it”, or “God, do this in my life”. I completely misunderstood the purpose of prayer, and in turn came out of my prayer time feeling empty and that I just wasted time. It’s not that God doesn’t want to answer my prayers or give me the abundant life along with all of the promises He made to me in His Word, but because my heart and spirit weren’t in the right place with Him, I continued to feel empty.
Matthew 6:33 - But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Prayer was given to man to communicate with God and to develop a relationship of intimacy with Him. God desires that we have this individual closeness with Him so our hearts will be in line with His will. It’s important to realize that before we present our requests before God that we are righteous before Him and are seeking out His will and His desires for our lives.
1 John 5:14,15 - This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
So many times we’ve heard the words, “If it’s in God’s will”. I am telling you today that we not only have the ability, but also have the right to know God’s will. It is through prayer, seeking out His heart and asking Him to reveal Himself to us that we begin to clearly understand His will. Once we come to this point, a change will occur in our lives where we’ll begin to see a change in our prayer life. Our prayer life will be more effective, we will know exactly what to pray for and because we know His will we will be able to pray accordingly.
John 15:7 - "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
It is important that we apply the Word of God to our prayers when we approach Him with our requests. This action demonstrates that we are praying according to His Word. For example, if we are seeking blessings in our finances, we need to go through the Word and find versus that apply to finances, and when we pray, repeat them back to God. This sets God’s Word as the foundation for our prayers and requests, and as long as we have faith, God is a consistent God and He will come through with His promises.
Mark 11:22-24 - And Jesus answered saying to them, "Have faith in God. “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him."
"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
When we conclude our prayer time, we need to remember two things, to give thanks to God and to believe in the promises that He gave to us in His Word. Faith is such an important part to our prayers that we must constantly be acting it out in our lives. The best way to act out our faith is by confessing the Word of God daily. We must make it a lifestyle, we need to get in God’s face and constantly remind Him of the promises He gave us. Confessing will water the seeds of our prayers and will build and strengthen our faith. Remember to stay open and attentive to God, and expect to see Him move in your life.
I challenge you today to take charge and ownership of your prayer life. Decide today that you are not going to continue the empty, self centered, prayers that have become too much of a routine in your life, and become the effective and powerful prayer that God has called you to be. Exercise your right to know God’s will, and pray according to His Word. Keep your heart and mind open to hearing His voice and look for Him moving in your life.
I encourage you if you want to seek out more about prayer and its purpose and power, read the book “UNDERSTANDING THE PURPOSE AND POWER OF PRAYER” by Dr. Myles Munroe.
David DiCicco - One Cubed International Staff