James 5:16, NASB“…The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”
One of the greatest privileges we have as believers’ is the ability to enter into the throne room of God with boldness to place requests for all our needs (Heb.4:16). Our prayers give us direct access to all of heaven’s resources. Despite the wealth of resources available to the New Testament saints, many still live their lives defeated, in lack and short of heaven’s best. A major reason why many people don’t possess all that is available to them in Christ is because they do not know how to pray effectively. James 4:2 says, “…You do not have because you do not ask”, implying that if you (effectively) ask, you will have.
For prayer to be effective, it must conform to the following guidelines:
- Prayer must be made for the right reasons:James 4:3 says that a wrong reason to ask is to ask for selfish reasons and satisfy lust.
- Prayer must be in the Name of Jesus:Praying “for Christ’s sake” is not the same as praying in His Name. The Name represents His authority (power and access). It is by the Name that we place a demand on heaven’s resources. Jesus in John 16:23 said, “whatever we ask the Father in my name, He will give you”
- Prayer must be made to the Father through the Name of Jesus, by the help of the Holy Spirit: John 16:23 spells that out clearly. We do not pray to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit, but to the Father.
- Prayer must be made in faith: Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb.11:6). Faith implies confidence before the Father. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have [received] what we asked of him.”1 John 5:14-15, NIV
- Prayer must be earnest:This means to have deep desire or seriousness concerning what you’re asking. Earnest prayer is detailed andspecific in its request. How wouldyou know you have received something if you don’t know specifically what you asked for?
Emphatically all through the New Testament you will find that prayer always follows an answer from God. Prayer is most effective when there is intimacy with God (John 15:7). The anchor to the above mentioned guidelines is to ask based on God’s will, which is to ask based on His word. Focus on building intimacy through fellowship in the Word and worship. As you understand the heart of God, His will is revealed to you, and then you can pray effectively.
Scriptures to Meditate: Matt.7:7, Joh.15:7, Jer.33:3, Mark 11:24, 1 Chron.4:10
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