This is an informational Bible study relating to how to make one’s prayer much more effective. It is my hope and prayer that you will be informed and thoroughly blessed.
The meaning of prayer: In its simplest explanation, prayer is communication with God – the slender thread of power that connects our human condition to God’s divine grace. Prayer is both a privilege and an obligation of the true child of God. Prayer has power over everyrhing. God can intelligently act in any part of the universe or human history. Although some people think prayer is a waste of time, the Bible declares that “the effective, fervent prayer of the righteous avails much” (James 5:16).
Prayer meets inner needs. One who prays can receive freedom from fear, strength (Ps.138:3), guidance and satisfaction, wisdom and understanding, deliverance from harm (Joel 2:32), reward (Matthew 6:6), gifts (Luke 11:13), fullness of joy (John 16:23, 24), and freedom from distress and stress. A prayer may consist of a single petition (request), or it may be extemporaneous (without advance preparation), written or printed. One may pray standing, kneeling, sitting or lying down.The goal of all praying is summed up in the expression, “Hallowed be thy name.” Hallowed is a New Testament expression used only in reference to the name of God.
The most meaningful prayer comes from a heart that places its trust in God who has acted and spoken in the Jesus of history and teachings of the Bible. God speaks to us through His inspired Word (the Bible), and we in turn speak to Him in trustful, believing prayer. Assured by scripture that God is personal, living, active, all-knowing, all-wise,and all powerful, we know that God can hear and help us. A confident and consistent prayer life is built on the cornerstone of Christ’s work and words as demonstrated by the prophets, apostles, and other great men of faith in the Bible.
Reqirements of Effective Prayer
1. A pure heart
2. Pray according to God’s will (1 John 5;13)
3. Be a worshipper of God (John 3:23, 24)
Is prayer effective only in the lives of those who pray? No, prayer can make a difference in the lives of others, through intercession. Biblical writers believed prayer for others could result in greater wisdom and power for others (Ephesians 1:16-20).
Prayer cannot be replaced by good works
Prayer need not be thought of as a mystical experience in which people lose their identity. Effective prayer must be a scripturally informed response of persons saved by grace, to the living God who can hear and answer on the basis of Christ’s payment of the penalty that the sinner deserved.
How to Spend an Hour in Effective Prayer
(60 minutes on each part of your prayer)
1. Praise (Ps. 50:23) – The Act of divine adoration -Praise is more than a single act of prayer. Praise is a way of life. Praise is placed first because only praise puts God in His rightful position at the very outset of prayer.
2. Waiting ( Ps. 46:10) – Silently waiting in the presence of God. All who would be used of God must learn this secret of silence – silently waiting in the presence of God. To be complete, prayer needs an early, significant does of spiritual silence. Waiting on the Lord is the silent surrendering of oneself to God. Waiting upon God requires our entire being. It is not drifting away into daydreaming, but is rather an exercise that demands our kneenest attention, our most alert frame of mind, and all of our soul’s attention to the heavenly voice. Waiting is not praise, though it is closely related to praise, and flows directly from it.
3. Confession (Ps. 139:23; 1John 1:9) – To verbalize our spiritual shortcomings and admit we have sinned. This is temple cleansing time. Confessing means admitting our guilt. When we confess we are agreeing with God concerning the sin in our lives. Confession is a heartfelt recognition of what we are. This act of confession gives God access into the heart of the believer. It could well be described as a spiritual work of surgery. There can be no healing within until there is first confession without. Confession is conditional to cleansing. Until known sin is fully dealt with, we are not ready to pray.
4. Scripture Praying (Jeremiah 23:39) – Pleading God’s promises. We can never expect to grow in spiritual confidence if we spend little or time getting to know God through His Word.Thus, God’s Word must become an actual part of our devotional life, “reminding” God of His promises.
5. Watching (Colossians 4:21) – Mentally alert and spiritually vigilant. This is the purpose of developing spiritual alertness. Jesus commanded us: “Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation…” (Matthew 26:41). During the watching phase of prayer we make ourselves aware of the various ways Satan seeks to hinder the effectiveness of our prayer. From the earliest moments of prayer he comes on the attack. To watch in prayer is to become aware of these attacks and stand firmly against them.The believer should guard against prayer that lacks prayer (divine focus). Only as we develop a spirit of watchfulness can we recognize Satan’s plan of attack and block his efforts.
6. Intercession (1 Timothy 2:1, 2) – The act of earnest appeal. Intercession has been labeled “the heart of prayer.” Intercession is God’s method of involving His followers more completely in the totality of His plan. Intercession is prayer offered on behalf of another. When a prayer warror intercedes he forgets his own personal needs and focuses all his faith, prayer and attention on others. The ministry of intercession is that of earnestly appealing on behalf of another. In intercessory prayer we find the key to freedom for those in bondage (Genesis 20:7).
7. Thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 5:18) – The act of expressing appreciation. This is the phase of prayer that focus on what God has done for you; what He is doing for you, and by faith, what He will do for you. This is not worship. It is your personal expression of appreciation to the heavenly Father for His grace and mercy that He has shown toward you.There are so many things that we have to be thankful for, such as life itself, our families, children, jobs, health, etc.
8. Petition (1Thessalonians 5:18) – The act of personal supplication. This is the time that you verbally place your needs before God in faith. The Word of God says, “If you delight yourself in the Lord He will give you the desires of your heart.” Many people find themselves feeling somewhat guilty asking God to supply a certain personal need. But you should never feel guilty about asking God to meet your needs. After all, He is your Father who delights in meeting the needs of His children.
9. Singing (Ps.100:2) – Singing unto the Lord. Probably the best known singer to the Lord was King David, “a man after God’s own heart.” David loved nothing more than praising God. One does not have to be a professional singer, or possess a beautiful voice to give glory to God in songs and hymns. All that is required is a pure heart and complete devotion to God.
10. Meditation (Ps. 19:14) – The act of spiritual evaluation. This is the act of spiritually reflecting and contemplating on the things of God. The child of God must meditate on God’s law day and night. Joshua was instructed to meditate on the Book of the Law. During our time of prayer we are to meditate on the goodness of God, His works and wonders, the essence of God, the awesomeness of God. When one meditates he sits silently and evaluates many things concerning God and His divine attributes.
11. Listening (Ps. 19:1-4) – The act of mentally absorbing divine instruction from God. This involves bringing our thoughts and spirit man into subjection to the divine of God.This must happen if we are to receive instructions from the heavenly Father.
12. Worship (John 4:23) – The act of vocally magnifying the nature of God. This is the phases of reverent devotion and allegiance pledged to God. It is the time of giving God special honor.This can be the closing portion of your hour in prayer. It is the period of time that you magnify the name of God for what it represents and what it means to you personally.
True children of God recognize and freely admit their dependence upon their creator. They have every reason to express gratitude for God’s blessings. But they have far more reasons to respond to God than this.They respond to the love of God for them. God’s love is revealed through the incarnation and life of Christ, His atoning provision on the cross, His resurrection, and His continuing presence through the Holy Spirit.These facts provide just a few reasons why we should pray withiout ceasing, and desire an even closer relationship with the Creator God who controls and sustains the universe with the sheer Word of His power.
May God bless you all, and thank you for visiting and viewing my blog.