How to Pray Effectively
I have been reading through some websites, books, and pamphlets and have learned some important fundamentals for effective prayer. I have also learned that although we are to be on one accord when we pray (faith and belief that God is God alone and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins), we posses different God-given characteristics that make us up as individuals. Which means it is only natural for us to develop our own style of prayer.
With that stated, here are a few things I have learned:
What is your personal relationship like with your Lord and Savior? How do you reverence Him in your daily lives? Is He your center of balance? Are there any obstacles standing in the way of you growing your relationship with Christ? Are those obstacles self-inflicted by your own unwillingness to submit to Christ? Are they human obstacles and if so is your unwillingness to submit to Christ the reason they are in turmoil? Is God your head?
When I took the time to reflect on those questions regarding my personal relationship with Christ, I found that in many instances I was not being an obedient Christian. I was not fully submitted to Christ who died on the cross for my sins, bruised for my iniquities, and wounded for my transgressions. I was not showing Christ the love he deserved and therefore was not showing others the love they deserved. So, I learned to be bluntly honest with myself so that I can be bluntly honest to God in my confessions (Romans 12:2). Asking for His forgiveness, seeking His will, and knocking on every door He still has open for me. (Mathew 7:7; Luke 11:9-10)
I have also discovered that our personal relationship with Christ is important because it is a matter of connecting, communicating, and coming into the mighty presence of our heavenly Father in order to be in alignment with His will. Having a right relationship with Christ is a direct reflection of how we deal with others in our life. So, if we are in right relationship we will then know how to deal with sister and brother Jones or even Minister Jones when they approach us crossingly.
What is in our hearts is a reflection of our relationship with Christ, and wrong relationship may temporarily hault Christ from moving in our lives and situations . Therefore, we must actively seek a right relationship with Christ. (James 1:22-23)
Purpose & Doctrine:
To pray effectively we must also discover what is our purpose for praying? Our motive and expectations. Our motive for requests, praise, and thanksgiving should always come from a honest, humble and clean spirit. (Mathew 12:34)
Theolosians tell/show us that prayer was not administered by man, but by God. God sanctioned prayer as a means of communication with Him. On the day of Pentacost, He increased our communication with Him by giving us all the gift of tongues. Allowing us to reach Him directly without having our prayers intercepted by the enemy.
Passion Brings Forth Power:
What is the definition of Passion? Miriam Webster defines passion as:
- the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and His death
- the state or capacity of being acted on by external agents or forces
- ardent affection: love (of Christ)
- a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept
Miriam Webster also defines passion as an emotion or strong desire. However, when we speak of passion in the Biblical reference we speak of the passion that is bulleted above. We must be careful not to involve our feelings and emotions into our prayers.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” ~Jeremiah 17:9 KJV
Not to say we should not feel. Acknowledgement of our feelings is all that is required for God to be able to search our hearts to find what is true of us. Our passion allows us to stay devoted, attentive, presistent, spirited, faith driven, and purposeful.
Power is what comes forth from our passion. It is what allows us to pray in the authority given to us by Christ, in His name. Our passion pushes out the boldness/power to approach the thrown of grace. Given thanks and praise unto God, seeking His forgiveness of our sins so that we may be heard clearly and not as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals (1 Corinthians 13:1).
Power coming forth from passion gives us the ability to speak life over dying situations. (Proverbs 18:21) God gave His only begotten son out of passion for us His children. In turn for Jesus’ obedience, on the third day He rose with “ALL POWER” in His hands. And as we are heir and joint heirs with Christ, we have access to that power by way of the Holy Ghost.
Preparation Are you prepared to receive what you have prayed? How are you going to handle the responsibility of your blessings? What will you do with your blessings? Will you be a good steward? Have you showed that you are a good steward with what you currently have?
Reflecting on those things for myself, I can not say I am prepared or that I have a plan for everything I have prayed. I can not even say that I am a good steward with ALL that I have. We all fall short from time to time. I can say that I have prepared plans for some things and have committed them unto God. (Proverbs 16:3; Proverbs 27:1; James 4:13-15)
We may not all pray the same, go through the same trials and tribulations, come out of some situations the same time as someone else did, or etc… But we should all know that our prayers are being received and heard by our heavenly father. There is no garauntee that these fundamentals will get your prayer answered. That is between you, your situation, and God, but I am a witness that these fundamentals; Relationship, Purpose & Doctrine, Passion to Power, and Preparation; will build a closer relationship with Christ.