What does it mean to Pray Effectively?
To pray effectively is to pray and see results. It is one thing to pray, it is another to see the effects of the prayer. Many Christians are unaware of it but there is something called effective praying. James 5:16 makes us understand that“…the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” This means that prayer is beyond words, there must be some things put in place to achieve its effectiveness.
There are quite a few things to note when aiming to pray effectively. But the first thing to note is that prayer is first a function of who you are and knowing who you are. When the sons of Sceva tried to cast out a demon by rebuking it, the demon asked them “who are you?” (Acts 19:15) Their identity was questioned but they could not give answers to it and so they were utterly embarrassed. Though they prayed, there was no effect to it. When you are dealing with matters of the spirit such as prayer, you cannot have just any identity, your identity must be hid in Christ. The demon acknowledged that it knew Paul because Paul was at the point where his identity was already hid in Jesus Christ. So, Paul was not praying that the demon be cast out because his name was Paul or because he was an Apostle and that’s what Apostles do…He was able to cast out demons because of His identity in Jesus Christ. You cannot command the wind and seas with a random identity, you need to be identified with the Prince of Peace!
God knows everyone of us because He created us but what differentiates a believer from an unbeliever is that he is in right-standing with God. If you are not in right-standing with God, your prayers would definitely lack effect; because to pray and see results requires the use of the name of Jesus and those who are not saved cannot use (and effect) the name. John 9:31 tells us that “we know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him”. Again in 1 Peter 3:12 the Scripture tells us “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” There is no regard given to the prayer of the unrighteous (those who lack a right-standing with God) how then could their prayers have any effect?
Remember the healing at the beautiful gate, Peter told the man he did not have silver or gold-that is, no wealth status (this does not glorify poverty) but he had with him an even greater card, The name of Jesus Christ. Peter’s knowledge of his inheritance in Christ (by the reason of his right-standing with God) rightly applied caused him to see immediate effects of his prayer.
“The name of Jesus is an active card (that God has given us through right-standing with Him) that we can use to give effect to our prayers, no matter how small or big.”FaithplusBlog
Jesus Christ also gave us some “tips and tricks” concerning prayer. He said that when we pray, we should not do so as the hypocrites do, aiming for the praise of people. Jesus said some people have already received their reward (Matthew 5:6-8). This implies that you may have your identity hidden in Christ but as soon as you render that prayer with just a hint of hypocrisy, you make the prayer lose effect. We can only receive rewards or answers (as the case may be) to prayers when we have the pure intention of just speaking with the Father- not so men can say “oh, that sister/brother can prayyyy”. That is why some people say that they spend hours in the place of prayer but have nothing to show for it.
Of what use is having a car without having fuel for it or a pencil without lead?: pointless (pun intended). Prayer without faith is nothing but a hearty, soulful and emotional arrangement of words…calling it ineffective may even be an overstatement. You can never begin to pray and see results until you fuel the prayer with faith. James 1:6 makes us to understand that if we are to ask God for something, we should do so with a belief that God is able to do that which we ask. There is no point asking someone for something when you have a belief at the back of your mind that the person would not or is not able to do that thing. We limit God by faithlessness and in turn, cause our prayers to be null and void. When Jesus was on earth, nothing motivated (and marveled) Him like faith did and if He remains the same then certainly, faith is still a huge motivation for Him.(Matthew 8:5-13)
So many people know the basics of prayer: the meaning, dos and don’ts. But today you have been presented with not just how to pray but how to pray and see results. Prayer is a powerful weapon and it requires a great deal of knowledge concerning it to be able to wield it properly. There are still other key things to note on praying effectively but for this week, I think this would do.