HOW TO MAKE YOUR PRAYER EFFECTIVE
- The first and foremost thing to consider in prayer is the will of God as revealed in Scripture. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 1 John 5:14. Sometimes it happens that God shows us mercy probably because of how desperate and immediate our situation is, and despite our immaturity in Christ, He answers anyway. Other times, even though we may not be intentional about the will of God in prayer, our prayers and petitions seem to coincidentally match and align with scripture and God answers. Notwithstanding, ideally, our knowledge of God’s will is paramount to praying effectively and for that matter we must be intentional about it. Note also that, God only answers prayers through Christ Jesus. And for that matter prayer must be made in the name of Jesus alone, not mentioning the name jesus at the end of a prayer but knowing and acknowledging the supremacy and lord of Jesus the Christ over all things. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
… Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. John 16:23
- Second to the will of God is the genuine, sincerity and purity of our heart. The effectiveness of our prayers is first and foremost determined within before without. By way of emphasis, the effectiveness of our prayers is not first measured in its loudness or lowness, duration or even the posture we assume, but rather the genuine, sincerity and purity of our hearts. There shouldn’t be any pretence nor filth in our hearts as we pray. That’s why we always ask God to cleanse us by his word and spirit.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. [Matthew 15:8] These people draw near unto me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Psalm 24:3-4.
- It is also however sometimes important to note that the magnitude of the sound of our voices matters in praying effectively. Personally, I have come to know that the loudness of prayer varies in the course of prayer. It’s not really about making it a doctrine for people to pray loudly or lowly. Sometimes you may start your prayers in lowness but it changes to become loud in the course of praying and vice versa. It’s the variation of experiences we have in the course of pray. Consider these Scriptures Acts 16:25, 1 Kings 8:55-59, Psalms 55:17, 1 Samuel 1:12.
- The duration or longevity of our prayers also weighs much in praying effectively. Certain individuals who hold the view and conception of only praying shortly, limits their prayer life to asking and requesting things from God. They have purge their spiritual life to that extent and can’t go any further. They only see prayer as an avenue for receiving from God, which is biblical, but more so, prayer is an avenue for pressing more into God and the exploration into the depth of mysteries and dimensions in God. That is what makes prayer interesting, enjoyable, powerful and worth pursuing. Short prayers are sometimes good and effective but there is not so much it can do. It’s very vital we engage in long Prayers as led by the spirit and as situation demands. Long prayers are also dynamic in birthing spiritual realities into the earth realm. Also, as we move on in life as Christians, we get to a stage in life where we have to make very critical decisions. In those moments of life, it requires that we wait on the Lord till we hear from Him. In Luke 6:12-16, Jesus Christ had to pray alight long on the mountain before choosing his disciples who were to start the church age. In 1 kings 18, Elijah had to pray seven dimensions of prayers continually to bring the promise of God to pass. Short prayers are a times declarative in nature and are very powerful. Some situations may need instant solution, and within the time frame we can’t make long prayers and for that matter we can engage the Lord in short prayers. An example is when Jesus prayed for the feeding of the five thousand and the raising of Lazarus from the dead in Mark 6 and John 11.
IS PRAYER RELEVANT AT ALL TIMES?
Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
Paul reveals to us the necessity and the indispensability of prayer. The key phrase here is “in everything by prayer”, which means, never will it happen on earth in our lives as Christians where you are confronted with a situation which won’t require prayer as either the only solution or part of its solution. Respectfully, Some Preachers hold the view and assumption that, not everything require prayer but rather “practical wisdom”. I personally in reference to the above scripture beg to differ. Prayer is needed in everything at all times. The balance is, prayer knows no limit nor boundaries, however, not every situation require only prayer as its solution. Many a times it’s a collaborative effort of prayer and a constructive and timely application of the wisdom and direction received in prayer.