How to Pray Effectively
Do you believe there is power in prayer? Our prayers should control our lives, not the other way round. God loves it when we pray and prayer costs nothing. It is one of the few free things in the world and yet it has the highest returns.
In the post Conversations with God, we discussed how to have a Quiet Time (QT), of which prayer is one component. In this post, we look specifically at prayer in more detail.
Where can we pray?
We are certainly not limited to church and prayer meetings, or when the prayer warriors are around. Take Jonah, for example, he prayed from the belly of a whale!
When I travel away from home, as much as I enjoy traveling, I always feel a little unsettled that I am leaving my comforts, my support structure and all that is familiar to me. My heart and mind rest easy when I remember that God is with me and present no matter where I am in the world. I can’t ‘forget’ to take Him or go without my prayer times until I get back. I don’t have to fit Him into my luggage or my budget. He is there, unobtrusive, free and present…without compromise. How reassuring is that?
Although God is available to hear our prayers from anywhere, we need to ask ourselves if it is appropriate in some places. In Mathew 5 and 6, Jesus says don’t pray in a public place so people can see you, this is hypocritical. Go into a quiet place, pray to your Father and He will reward you. Jesus often withdrew to a quiet place and sought solitude when He wanted to pray to His Father. There are times when it is necessary to pray in groups and this is perfectly acceptable. But God knows your heart, so if it is a prayer between you and Him, keep it private. Guard your heart and search your motives, you can’t fool God.
Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness
Daily as well as before we pray, we should confess our sins and ask for forgiveness so that when we pray, we are in right standing with God. You never know when you might need to pray an urgent prayer or on the spur of the moment, so be prepared and live righteously.
James 5:16 says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 also says “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Who should we pray for?
Anybody and everybody. There are the obvious people we pray for: Family members; friends; the sick; those going through trials. Then there are the less obvious: Our leaders, good and bad; specific causes; our enemies. Leaders are particularly vulnerable to burn out and attacks from the enemy for the work they do, so pray for them regularly. The power of prayer is applicable and relevant to any situation. Have a prayer list you can refer to daily and tick off as prayers are answered.
Discernment of wrong behavior is God’s call to intercession, never to faultfinding. Instead of telling that person off, pray for them. Depending on the situation you may be able to give them Godly counsel, but intercession (praying on their behalf) is the most important thing.
What should we pray for?
Couldn’t resist this cute photo of a baby elephant ‘praying’ in the Kruger National Park : )
When we can’t pray
Do not babble when you pray
Prayer and Fasting
There is a miraculous story of a young girl who was critically injured in a car accident, on Christmas Eve 2018. Her parents, who lead a church, were told to prepare for the worst. Mom Jaci has blogged about their journey from Day 1 and you can read the story on her blog www.jacimungavin.com/blog. It is the most incredible evidence of The Power of Prayer and an inspirational read.
If you need prayer, somebody to chat to or advice, you are welcome to:
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