Love and faith are keys to effective prayers.
Love means our motives will be right. Faith means our prayers will be answered.
How do we know God’s will?
God answers prayers prayed that are in His will those prayers would be the most effective.
- We read the Bible. We get to know the nature of God and what he is like. He is holy, just, kind, compassionate and yet let’s us choose our own way. He gives us freedom to be close or far, yet he pursues us. He wants all to be saved.
- We ask God questions. “How should I pray? Show me the needs?”
- We listen. God may answer you by speaking in some way, or by leading you to a scripture.
- We are patient. If we don’t hear anything, ask God what question we SHOULD be asking! Maybe he has other plans.
How do we know God will answer our prayers?
- Relationship is KEY: The effective prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Jesus was fully righteous. Our faith in him, is our righteousness. His blood cleanses us from sin. As long as we honor Jesus with our life and we have fruit that testifies to who we are, we are his family and he listens to his children’s prayers. Of course, Jesus also warns that many will call him Lord, Lord and will NOT enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father, who is in heaven.. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:21-23) Seek to know God and his heart. Allow him to shape your will. Submit your will and you will find “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” comes through your prayers.
- Confession, Repentance and Forgiveness matter: This puts us in right standing with God. We want to ask with a clean heart. Jesus’s blood covers our sin so we can approach God with boldness, but we read in James “confess your sins to one another and pray for each other, so that you may be healed.” Confession is part of the healing, redeeming process. It is being humble and honest with ourselves and with God. This should not be hard, because God is merciful and forgives us when we come with a humble, teachable, heart. This is a defense against the enemies work in our life. God wants us free of any snare the enemy could use to entangle us. Forgiveness is key because we bring ourselves into bondage through retaining the sin of others, even ourselves. Jesus expects us to forgive in like manner as He forgave us. You were not unforgivable, nor are others.
- A Confirming Witness of the Holy Spirit – As we pray or hear a prayer that is in agreement with God, we may feel a witness in our spirit. It could be a physical confirmation from Holy Spirit when we say a prayer that is His will, like the chills or the power of God moving over us. We could feel faith rise up in us that leads to bold prayer, or sense faith on certain words we proclaim. Faith is like a YES in our spirit. Sometimes we just KNOW it’s done. Other times we have to ask and trust. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
- Agreement – We want to agree with God. If praying in a group of two or more, we may hear someone pray what we were thinking before we say it! That is God leading us in prayer in agreement. The Bible says that is two of you agree upon anything I will do it. (If we pray with right motives and in God’s will he promises to answer.)
- Compassion: Asking for compassion for a person or situation allows us to feel the heart of God. Jesus was often moved to compassion and then prayed with power. This is why he wept with Mary when Lazarus died. He felt compassion, he felt the sadness and injustice and the love of God. Let compassion overtake you. Allow yourself to feel what God feels. This leads to intolerance for the injustice in the world and bold faith in prayer. God responds to compassion and faith. We release HIS compassion in healing when we have compassion for others. After Jesus wept, indicating he understood Mary and Martha’s pain, he acted on their behalf and stood up in faith, raising Lazarus from the dead. Ask for compassion.
What happens when we pray?
- The prayers ascend to heaven that are in God’s will. In Revelation it says that there is a bowl containing the prayers of the saints. It fills up!
- Revelation 5:8 “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.”
- 1 Samuel 3:19 “The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.” Look at Samuel’s life. He was a young person of great holiness, humility and honor. All of his words were heard by God. Sometimes our words go up, but some fall down because they are “amiss”.
- He sends angels to begin the work.
- He’s sets plans in motion. They may be way more complicated than we think! So, be patient. It could be like building a house. He may need to get the property, set a plan in motion, get the materials, get people in place to do the work, etc. This can happen with healing too. God always answers, but he may have work to do inside before things can happen on the outside.
- We have to be prepared for change. Often then things we are going through are part of the answer to our prayers. Submitting our will includes watching for God’s work and being willing to surrender our agenda so God CAN make the changes we’ve asked for. Are we willing to trust and take what seems to be a risk? Think about it. What’s more “risky”, acting in faith or showing none? If we err, let it be on the side of faith. It worked for Abraham.
How do we know what to pray?
Have faith and expect to hear God.
Ask God what he wants you to believe about a situation.
Then declare it and stand firm in that belief.
Learn the word and pray scripture for yourself and others.
- Begin by listening instead of speaking. Learn to be still
- Let thanks and adoration flow from your lips, as in the Lord’s prayer. Use this format as a model. Each section is a lesson on how to pray. It can be prayed just as is as well.
- Our Father, who art in heaven. Holy is your name. Recognize God in humility.
- Your kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We are praying for the kingdom to come into earthly situations. What is the situation in heaven? What is in heaven that God wants to bring to earth?
- Give us this day, our daily bread – Satisfy us with what we need. What do we need? Jesus is the bread of life. Ask God more about this…
- Forgive us our trespasses (where we have crossed the line of sin) as we forgive the trespasses of others. (We have to forgive or we are not forgiven.)
- Lead us not into temptation – God never leads us temptation, but it is all around us. Keep our hearts and minds pure.
- Deliver us from evil. Pray it just as is. Believe God will show you what really troubles you. When you see it. CONFESS it aloud. REPENT of it aloud. BREAK the power of it verbally. Let the truth set you free. Invite Holy Spirit to fill you with the opposite good thing and reclaim back everything that was taken by the enemy through your sin or this ungodly power in your life.
Let’s try it out!
Adopt a heart of thankfulness. Offer thanks and praise, if only for a few moments. This sets our heart in a right position to talk to God. It’s like an offering.
You may know who you want to pray for or you may ask God what he needs you to pray for. (Where do we want to see Kingdom business happen?” )
What does God what to do? We may have ideas, but often we can get God’s heart and pray with more faith and direction.
Agree with God. Say what you hear.
We can pray silent prayers, and God can read our minds, but there is power in what we confess with our mouths. That comes from faith. The enemy hears our declarations as well as the angels. God SPOKE and the world was created, so we follow his example to bring creative things to being – like miracles or healing.