Updated: Aug 27, 2018
WHAT PRAYER IS NOT Christian prayer is not merely “talking to God” – although talking is involved. Neither is prayer a means to an end, much like a vending machine. Jesus said He will do whatever we ask in His Name, but do you dare attach the name of the Lord to every selfish whim or fancy? Line up your desire with His. We do not pray to convince God of our viewpoint or to curry His favor. The aim is not to persuade Him to bless our plans but to surrender to His. To accomplish what the Bible describes as effectual prayer, i.e. prayer that moves God’s hand and therefore moves mountains, you must understand God’s requirements.
INGREDIENTS FOR EFFECTIVE PRAYER: Prayer is communion with the Godhead. I use the word Godhead because the Trinity is fully involved in prayer.
Prayer is asking in the name of Jesus Christ. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. i.e. every man born is separated from God because of Adam’s sin and his/her own sin. You can only approach a Holy God because you have redemption through the blood of Jesus. He laid down His life as the perfect substitute for my sins and yours. When you accept Him as your Savior, you now have access to God through the blood of Jesus Christ. If you ask Jesus into your heart to be Lord and Savior of your life, you are born-again and therefore have a covenant relationship with God. That personal relationship (a.k.a. being born-again) gives you the confidence to ask for God's help. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Only then can you have any true fellowship with God.
Prayer must be based upon the Word of God. Jesus is the Living Word, and as you meditate on God’s Word and apply it in prayer to the circumstances/and or request, it creates a living force. God’s Word will not return to Him void, but it will accomplish that for which it is sent forth. Hallelujah! Instead of presenting your own ideas to God for approval, find out what He has spoken and revealed concerning your situation and present His own Word to Him. He will honor His word, for He has exalted His Word above His name. Praying according to God’s Word is literally decreeing the will of God. You shall have whatsoever you say! "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." 1 John 5:14 Let the Word of God dwell in you richly with all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Amen
Praying must be done in the Spirit, with the Holy Spirit speaking through you and giving utterance. No man knows the mind of God like His Spirit does. The Holy Ghost will birth the mysteries of God and reveal them to you as you groan in the Spirit in prayer. Remember, the spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord. Even those who believe tend to downplay the role of the Holy Spirit. However, the person of the Holy Spirit is really our direct contact with God in this dispensation. Besides being our Comforter, He is also our Teacher. The Holy Spirit will teach you all things, even as Jesus prophesied in John 14:16. 2 Corinthians 2:7-16, Romans 8:26,27. Cultivate the friendship of the Holy Spirit and have an intimate, trusting relationship with Him. This is done through:
Taking time to worship God
Confessing and repenting of any known sin.
Listening to Him in your quiet time
Reading the word, for this helps you recognize the voice of the Spirit
Fellowship with people who love and seek God actively
Put yourself in the place and position to hear from God
Complete obedience to the gentle nudging of the Spirit in your heart
Keep your heart free from clutter such as the build up from too much TV or computer time, dwelling on fears and anxieties etc.
Sharing with others about Jesus
Praying must be done in faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. You must believe that God will do what He says He will do. This is not the same as desire or presumption. It is not merely believing for something you cannot see/do, it is trusting God for what He said He will do. Hebrews 11:1-6, Mark 9:23. It is not a mere expectation that He will do what you want, how you want it, when you want it. It is an expectancy that God is involved, He will intervene and whatever He does, it will be good!
HOW TO PRAY: When you combine these ingredients, your prayer life will be transformed. It will be the communion of friend to friend. You come to God - With a heart full of love . - Free from any un-confessed sin and condemnation. - Grateful and thankful for what He has already done through the finished work of Jesus Christ. - Expectant, believing for an answer - Yielding your desires to God -Committed to knowing and obey His will - Submitted (not resigned) to whatever His will is - Believing in His wisdom, and convinced of His love for you. -Persuaded that God is able and willing to work all things together for His glory and your ultimate good. Prayer then, becomes a poignant, intense outpouring of your heart in full expression to God of your whole being - the laying down of your life, its circumstances and dreams, on the altar of absolute surrender to an Omnipotent and loving God, and leaving it there. Every impression from the Holy Spirit that flows into your heart and mind from thereon, is the revealed will of God. Your thoughts become like His thoughts with increasing accuracy. And the Spirit of God breathes “yes” and “amen” to your words! You lose focus of yourself and your needs, and your deep desire becomes the fulfillment of God’s will; for you, for others and even for the world. You want His kingdom to come, and that is a prayer that will never go unanswered.