"Can you to point to some recent incident in your life, in which you know your prayers were effective?" That is a challenge for us all and the point of the blog post. Scripture says in James 5:16b "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. I don't know about you, but that is my desire in my prayer life - to be powerful and effective! In order to be effective in our praying I believe Scripture shares with us several things we need to do:
1. Pray Biblically.
We must pray in accordance with the "will of God" and with the "doctrines of God." There is one major principle we must understand about our praying, and it is this, "God will never lead you, give you, or answer any of your prayers that are contrary to His written Word." Therefore, our praying must be biblical.
2. Pray Specifically.
As you study the prayers of the Apostle Paul you will notice that he prayed specifically. There were prayers for courage, loneliness, finances, purity, health, colleagues, converts, wisdom, discouragement, pressures, opportunities, love, direction, spiritual growth, and faithfulness. The point is, he prayed specifically!
3. Pray Intelligently.
This type of praying is informative praying. This is knowing exactly what is needed, therefore, research the needs of the people or situation you are praying for.
Paul had a desire for others to pray intelligently. Listen to what he said:
2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 "Finally brothers, pray for us, that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked an devil men."
Ephesians 6:19-20 "Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel."
4. Pray Spiritually.
To be effective we must pray in the Spirit, that is the Holy Spirit. We are commanded to do that in Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20.
Only the Spirit of God, which dwells within every believer, can present our prayers at the Throne of grace, interceding in accordance with God's will. When we pray, we have a prayer partner and our partner is the Holy Spirit. He intercedes on our behalf to the Father; read Romans 8:26-27.
5. Pray Earnestly.
The greatest need for ministry is not money, equipment, or new methods...the greatest need is earnest prayer.
6. Pray Continually.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says that we are to "Pray without ceasing." What that means is that we are to be in a spirit of prayer everyday, all day, therefore, look for opportunities to pray throughout your day.
Personally, I find time to pray throughout my day. For instance, I pray for individuals when I am responding to emails, writing letters, reading follow-up reports, answering the phone, and numerous other ways. There are pockets of time and numerous opportunities in which we can pray continually, if we are aware and sensitive to this great command. Listen to Ephesians 5:16 "Make the most of every opportunity..."
Therefore, in order to pray effectively we must pray biblically, specifically, intelligently, spiritually, earnestly, and continually. (Oh yea, one last thought, I have whispered a prayer for everyone who has read this blog...the Lord knows WHO you are!!)
Above picture was taken at the River of Life in Dora, MO. Settings for image were: 135mm, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/1250 sec.