1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
When you pray are your prayers uttered in faith or is your mind occupied with doubt? So often when we pray we aren’t doing so in unshakable faith. James 5:15 says the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (NASB0. But the prayer has to be effective.
What is a prayer without faith except a wish? Many Christians unfortunately do more wishing than praying in faith. When we enter into prayer there should a confidence that the Lord has heard our prayers. So what is the key to knowing the Lord has heard the voice of His servant?
Know how to approach the King- It is wonderful to be able to approach the throne of grace at any time. But I believe in our liberty we can sometimes take for granted who we are speaking to. In Matthew 6, the Lord provides the disciples with an example of how to enter into prayer by showing reverence. “Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed (sacred and separate) be Thy name...” We must always be mindful that we spiritually enter the holy place. While we are blessed to know God as a Father-He never ceases to be king.
Clear the air- Always have a repentant heart. The Lord wants to bless His people. While he loves us He isn’t please with sin. When we invite Him into a situation (especially when it concerns others God will deal with it as the Righteous God that He is. This means that He must deal with everyone involved, even you! Make sure your heart is right.
Know what to pray for- James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures (NASB).” Effective prayer begins with understand the will of the Lord. Often times our prayers can be filled with selfish requests and have little to do with what the Lord desires in our lives. We pray for promotion and financial blessing, yet we struggle with budgeting. The Lord knows what we have need of (see Matthew 6:8).
Approach the throne in honesty- The Lord was there when it happened-keep that in mind.
Leave out all of the fluff! - Sometimes when we pray (especially aloud) we can break out our finest King James English. We insert a few “Thus” and Thou’s and add special endings to our words like –eth. “Lord Thou Knoweth that I liketh to follow Thine…” This adds no power to your prayer. Jesus even speaks about such things in Matthew 6:7, “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.” One of the most effective prayers I can give as an example is one spoken by Peter in Matthew 14:30 which said, “Lord, save me.” Just talk to the Lord.
Pray in expectation- Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Leave it at the alter. If you rise from on your knees and there is still worry, you have not relieved yourself to the issue. We know the saying, “Pray changes things.. and it does. But sometimes the situation may still appear to be the same after you’ve ceased from prayer but what should immediately change is our perspective. The same worry should not remain if we’ve touched the throne of grace. Remember the woman with the issue of blood? “For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole (Matthew 9:21).” She had an expectation of healing and literally pulled it out of Jesus!
Prayer is a gift given to the people of God. Yet at times we avoid it because we are tired, to busy, or too ashamed. And when we do pray we can do so improperly by focusing on selfish requests and uttering vain clichés. Pray is precious and should not be taken lightly. It is a privilege and when done correctly it is more powerful than any earthly weapon. When you pray do you know that the Lord hears you? Though the thing you have prayed for may not have manifested right know, remember the petition is before the Lord and right now He knows your needs and even the desires of your heart. Expect something.