Effective Prayer

The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t—not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again. James 5:16b-18 (The Message)

Prayer is the most effective tool used to communicate with God. Our prayers can be powerful if we are in line with or living right with God. Many people in the Bible prayed and God heard their prayers and answered them. In Psalm 34:6, David was in trouble and he called out to God, David said, “When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot.” One of the most powerful resources we have as Christians is our ability to commune with God through prayer.

It is important to have an effective prayer life. The results of prayer are far greater than anything we could ever think of. Prayer should be the Christian’s first defense and never the last resort. We should put on the armor of God before we pray and then pray without ceasing. Our prayers should include prayers of adoration. We should approach God with a spirit of adoring praise because the Lord delights in our praise. Additionally, we should pray prayers of confession, confessing our weakness and our sins; including the sins of our families and our nation. The act of confession is an agreement with God about what He already knows about us. Nothing we do is a secret to God.

Effective prayer also includes a time of thanksgiving. It should be a time of thanks to God for all the blessings that we have received from Him including, but not limited to, our salvation, our families, our jobs, our homes, etc. Thanking God for these things is easy, but James chapter 1 tells us that we should count it all joy when you encounter various trials. We easily thank God when things are going well, but can we honestly say that we count it joy when things begin to go wrong and trials are coming at us from every side? What James is really saying is that because we are operating in an attitude of gratitude and faith, we can still thank God knowing that He will use these trials for our benefit and the benefit of others to see Him through how we deal with the struggles we go through.

Finally, effective prayer should include prayers of supplication or petition. It is easy for us to petition God because we always have need of something. Our petitions to God should be based on the promises of God. Our prayers should include the Lord’s Prayer, specifically including that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In Colossians 4:2, Paul says that we should devote ourselves to prayer and we should be alert in prayer. When we pray consistently and steadily, we are exhibiting our faith and belief that God will answer our prayer according to His promises. The answers may not always come as quickly as we may desire, nor are they always the answer we want, but God always gives the answer that He knows is best for us. A life of obedience, faith, and trust will help us to pray effectively and expect God’s best for us.

Excerpt from: ”Water for the Thirsty Soul” by B. F. Gilder (Copyright 2012)

The Above Image Courtesy of:  www.freedigitalphotos.net

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