A key to praying effectively is praying God’s word back to Him. You can never go wrong with that. God’s words can never fall to the ground, Matthew 24:35 makes us understand this. The promises in God’s word are not there for fancy or only for some set of people. Using the Scriptures to pray, structures our prayer and we tend to make less vain repetitions. The more we pray this way, the more our prayer format gets influenced by the word. This implies that we would pray outside of God’s will less and we would say prayers that contradict God’s word less. This would give weight to our prayers. Praying this way ensures that we are not just saying like the pagans do with vain repetitions, neither would we pray as though we aren’t confident that God would answer. There is this sort of confidence that you exude when you know that what you are praying is already settled in God’s word and faith as we’ve already established, fuels our prayers to effectiveness.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.“(1 John 5:14-15)
A key phrase in the above Scripture is “according to His will”. When we are praying outside of God’s will, we risk having ineffective prayers. However, God’s word is His will and His word is His bond.
Praying in tongues and praying the will of God go hand in hand. When you pray in tongues, you align your worded prayers to what God wants you to pray about. Sometimes, we pray fleshy prayers and such prayers cannot be effected. 2 Corinthians 10:3 has made it clear that though we might walk in flesh (as mortals), we do not war according to the flesh. Some battles we try to fight spiritually through prayer are simply flesh-accorded wars. We are not meant to use our weapons of warfare for carnal things for they are mighty through God for the breaking down of strongholds (vs.4). That is why saying prayers like “Lord destroy all my enemies” or “XX embarrassed me at work today, Lord avenge me” cannot receive effect, at least not from God because they are flesh based prayers. Your prayer room is not a place to battle flesh and blood from a bitter or vengeful point of view. We repay good with good and evil with good as well…even while Jesus was hanging on the cross, He still prayed for us (Luke 23:34). This sets the stage for the next point.
Having the right intentions could determine whether or not a prayer would be effected by God or not. Quite a few times, we have all asked for something that was not exactly a bad thing to ask for but the intention behind it was laced with malicious intent. God sees beyond the surface level, He looks into the heart and He can tell who is being sincere or not. A prayer rendered with wrong intent, just as we established last week under hypocrisy, would not bring results. God would never partake in what would not bring Him glory. So before you begin to complain about your prayers carrying no “power” ask if you had the right intent while praying. (Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 44:21; Proverbs 6:16-19)
There’s a special effect to our prayers when we offer thanks and praises to God. Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand (and more) had something to do with this. That miracle He performed revealed to us how thanksgiving can give effect even our unsaid prayers. When He had the bread and fish in His hands, He did not start praying in many words or for several hours, all He did was give thanks. And just like that, God understood His unsaid words and multiplied the little He had (Matthew 14:13-21). Effective praying may not just be about how you ask but also how you thank.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” Philippians 4:6