What is prayer? And what makes our prayers effective?
Prayer is connecting or communing with our heavenly Father, so that His will can be accomplished on the earth. What makes our prayers effective is fervently crying out to our Father for His will to be done. We are told to seek the Lord early in the morning. “O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; In the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch" (Psalm 5:3). We should find a place of solitude where we won’t be interrupted and where our focus can be on the Lord.
When beginning to pray, one of the keys is to “enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name” (Psalm 100:4). When we are thankful for what the Lord has done and for the day that He has created and allowed us to be part of, our heart is placed in proper position to receive. When we pour out our thankfulness to the Lord, acknowledge His authority, mercy, grace etc, it opens up our spirit to connect with Him. Recognizing His eternal sovereignty and kingship is key.
We have Jesus as our example of how we should pray. The disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus responded by giving them the Lords Prayer. In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus tells the disciples the fundamentals of effective prayer:
Vs. 9 "Our Father in Heaven hallowed be your name" -reciting what He is to us, is very effective. My Creator, my Redeemer, my Friend, my Everything, etc. Vs.10 “Your kingdom come” -Lord let Your kingdom come in me and through me today. “Your will be done” -Father, I want only Your will to be done today in my life. Please work in me to accomplish this goal. “On earth as it is in heaven” -Father bring your kingdom of heaven to earth through me, by helping me to walk in the ‘Spirit’ and not in the flesh by Your mercy today. Vs. 11 “Give us this day our daily bread” -Father, place in me your will and the tasks that You want me to accomplish today. Don’t allow me to worry about tomorrow, but to focus and be aware of every opportunity to share Your love today. Vs. 12 “Forgive us our debts” -Father forgive me and cleanse me, and convict me of every thought, word, action that is not of You. Shine the convicting spotlight on me and cause these things to be brought to my mind, Father I repent of each one of these sins individually as You bring them to mind. “As we forgive those, who have trespassed against me.” -Lord I forgive each and every person that may have wronged me intentionally or unintentionally and I release them to receive Your best in their lives. Vs. 13 “And lead us not into temptation” -Father guard my spirit man today by placing Your armor upon me. Help me to walk with You today on the straight and narrow path and to not veer to the right or left. “But deliver us from evil.” -Father please cause deliverance to take place in my heart today, deliver me from every attack of the enemy, station your warring angels around me and my family. Let me not be influenced negatively by evil but let me see what I’m fighting against.
These prayers are spoken, however sometimes we don’t know exactly how to pray. Romans 8:26 says “likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities/ For we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” As we pray in tongues the Lord’s perfect will is being prayed for through us. Again in Ephesians 6:18-19 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplicaiton for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.”
As we continue in fervent prayer in the Spirit, it is good to press in until we feel a breakthrough. Sometimes spiritual warfare prayers can last a long time until the enemy is defeated or there is a breakthrough. We are told “Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
In conclusion, spoken prayers daily keep us in right standing with the Lord if we are repentant and honest. Praying for needs with fervency is essential. Praying in the Spirit is key when we are praying for situations in which details and spiritual enemies are unknown. Prayer must be approached with faith and we must believe that what we are asking for is given despite the physical manifestation being given immediately. Mark 11:24, Matthew 21:22 Much more can be spoken about prayer, seeking the Lord for guidance and instruction is the key. “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36