Principles of Effective Prayer

PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE PRAYER

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)     INTRODUCTION – JESUS was a man of prayer. HE TAUGHT “…that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1) In 1Th 5:16-19 THE APOSTLE PAUL SAYS “Rejoice evermore. 17 PRAY WITHOUT ceasing. 18 IN every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 QUENCH not the Spirit.  JAMES said “…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much… (James 5:16).   HUNDREDS OF BOOKS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN ON PRAYER.  IT IS MUCH EASIER TO STUDY ABOUT PRAYER, TEACH ABOUT PRAYER AND PREACH ON PRAYER THAN IT IS TO PRAY.  PRAYER IS AS VITAL TO OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE AS BREATHING IS TO OUR NATURAL LIFE.   THE BIBLE HAS MUCH TO SAY ABOUT PRAYER AND PROVIDES MANY EXAMPLES OF PRAYER THAT MOVE THE HEART OF GOD.  Ephesians 6:18 TELLS US AFTER PUTTING ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD WE SHOULD  “…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” NOTICE ON ALL OCCASIONS  WITH ALL KINDS OF PRAYERS AND REQUESTS. JESUS SET THE EXAMPLE OFTEN DRAWING APART TO PRAY.  Luke 6:12-13: One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.   what is prayer?   What is prayer not?  HOW CAN WE BE MORE EFFECTIVE IN PRAYER?  HOW IS EFFECTIVENESS IN PRAYER MEASURED?   READING:  MATTHEW 6:5-14

II)    GET ALONE WITH GOD WHEN YOU PRAY  (MATT. 6:5 & 6)

A)      Matt 6:5-7: 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. NIV

B)      SAME PRINCIPLE APPLIES WITH FASTING (SEE MATT. 6:15 – 18)

C)      DON’T PRAY TO BE SEEN OR HEARD BY MEN, BUT GO INTO THE SECRET PLACE WHERE YOU CAN BE ALONE WITH GOD AND SHUT OUT THE WORLD.  DON’T PRAY REPETITIOUSLY, BABBLING ON LIKE THE PAGANS DO.  (PRAYERS BASED UPON WORKS RATHER THAN GOD’S GRACE.)

II) PRAY IN SINCERITY AND HUMILITY – ACKNOWLEDGE HIS DIVINE PERSON; ENTER INTO HIS PRESENCE REVERENCE & HUMILITY

A)      RELATE HOW ESTER AND NEHEMIAH TREMBLED TO ENTER BEFORE THE KING.  (SHOULD WE BE CARELESS WITH OUR WORDS BEFORE THE KING OF KINGS?

B)      RECOGNIZE THAT GOD IS ALWAYS NEAR – Psalm 139:7 – 10 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there]. 9 [If] I take the wings of the morning, [and] dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

C)      JESUS TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES TO PRAY: Matthew 6:9 BEGINS: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.   ENDS:  FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER AND THE GLORY, AMEN.

D)      “A broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17

E)       WE ARE ABLE TO ENTER INTO THE HOLY OF HOLLIES  THE THRONE OF GRACE.  INTO THE VERY PRESENCE OF GOD BECAUSE THE VEIL WAS TORN IN TWO WHEN CHRIST DIED SYMBOLIZING THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US DIRECT ACCESS TO HIS THRONE, THROUGH CHRIST’S DEATH IN OUR BEHALF.

III)           PRAY IN CONFESSION – CONFESS YOUR SINS WHEN YOU PRAY (ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SIN AND THE SINS OF YOUR FAMILY, YOUR CHURCH, YOUR SOCIETY, ETC.)

A)      Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear:

B)      Isa 59:2 BUT your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

C)      1John 3:21 – 22: Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

D)      1 John 1:8-10: 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. NIV

E)       JamES 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed…

F)       ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO SEARCH YOUR HEART: Ps 139:23-24: 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting. NKJV

G)      DANIEL PRAYED TO GOD ACKNOWLEDGING HIS SIN AND THE SINS OF ISRAEL THAT BROUGHT THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD AND DID NOT ACCUSE GOD. (DANIEL 9:4 – 17)

H)      dAN 9:5, 6 WE have sinned and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Your commandments and from Your judgments. 6 NEITHER have we listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our rulers, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

I)         Heb 4:15 – 16 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 THEREFORE let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

J)       2Chronicles 7:14 – 16:14 if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

IV)   PRAY WITH FORGIVENESS – HOLDING NO OFFENSE

A)  OUR LORD’S PRAYER “FORGIVE US OF OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US…”

B)  Mat 5:23, 24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. (niv)

V)  PRAY WITH THANKSGIVING AND REJOICING

A)  Phi 1:3 – 4  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 ALWAYS in every prayer of mine making my request for you all with joy

B)  Philippians 4:6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

VI)  PRAY IN FAITH AND EXPECTANCY THANKSGIVING WITH JOY

A)     “UNBELIEF CANNOT PRAY; IT CAN ONLY UTTER WORDS” E.W. Kenyon

B)      James 4:2: “…ye have not, because ye ask not. KJV

C)      Hebrews 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

D)  Hebrews 10: 22 & 23 let us draw near with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience: and having our body washed with pure water, 23 let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised…

E)  Mat 21:22 AND all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

 VII)         PRAY WITH BOLDNESS

A)      Heb 4:15, 16  For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

B)      ABRAHAM’S BOLD INTERCESSION FOR SODOM (GEN 18:23-32)

VIII)       PRAY IN AGREEMENT WITH HIS WILL (THAT HIS WILL TO BE DONE)

A)       THE LORD’S PRAYER: Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.

B)      1Jo 5:14 – 15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.

C)      JESUS IN GETHSEMANE: Matthew 26:39 And he went forward a little, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.

IX)   PRAY IN LOVE and COMPASSION – LET the love of god and the world he died for BE THE PRIMARY MOTIVATION FOR YOUR PRAYER

1 Corinthians 13:1 & 2:  If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have [the gift of] prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

X)  PRAY IN THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS NAME

A)   John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do.

B)      Psalm 91:14 & 15 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble: I will deliver him, and honor him.

XI)          PRAY IN THE SPIRIT AND PRAY WITH UNDERSTANDING

A)      Romans 8:26 – 28 And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for [us] with groanings which cannot be uttered; 27 and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.28 And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, [even] to them that are called according to [his] purpose.

B)      1 Corinthians 14: 14 – 15 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

C)      Jud 1:20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

XII)         PRAY WITH PERSISTENCE – DON’T GIVE UP. (LUKE 11:5 – 10)

A)      Luke 11:8-10:  I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. 9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. NKJV

B)      BOLDNESS OF CANANITE WOMEN: Mat 15:27, 28 AND she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 THEN Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

C)      GEORGE MUELLER PRAYED FOR TWO MEN FOR SIXTY YEARS.  ONE GOT SAVED JUST BEFORE GEORGE’S DEATH, THE SECOND ONE GOT SAVED A FEW YEARS LATER.

XIII)       PRAY IN TRUTH – BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF AND WITH GOD

A)      Psa 145:18 – 19   The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.

B)       WHEN OUR PRAYERS ARE SEEMINGLY NOT BEING ANSWERED WE NEED TO EXAMINE OURSELVES:  ARE WE HARBORING SIN IN OUR HEARTS? ARE WE PRAYING WITH RIGHT MOTIVES? ARE WE PRAYING ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL?  ARE WE ASKING GOD TO DO SOMETHING EVEN HE CANNOT DO BECAUSE OF HIS SELF IMPOSED CONSTRAINTS?  ARE WILL PRAYING WITH A RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD?  ARE WE PRAYING IN FAITH AND THANKSGIVING?   has god already answered your prayer and you just don’t like the answer?

XIV)       PRAY WHILE ABIDING IN CHRIST

A)      IN JOHN 15 JESUS THE PARABLE OF THE VINE… Joh 15:7 IF ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

B)      TWO CONDITIONS 1) WE ABIDE IN HIM, 2) HIS WORDS ABIDE IN US, THEN WE CAN ASK WHAT WE WILL AND IT SHALL BE DONE!

C)      HE IS THE SOURCE OF OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE…WITHOUT HIM WE CAN DO NOTHING.

XV)        BEGIN AND END YOUR PRAYER WITH WORSHIP & PRAISE

A)      Hebrews 13:15 Through him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which make confession to his name.

B)      Ps100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. NIV

XVI)       SOME FAMOUS PRAYERS OF THE BIBLE

A)       ABRAHAM PRAYED & INTERCEDED FOR SODOM AND GOMORRAH. (GEN 18:23-33)

B)       MOSES COMMUNED WITH GOD ON THE MOUNTAIN AND CAME DOWN WITH IS FACE radiating GOD’S GLORY.

C)      SAMPSON PRAYED AND SLEW MORE PHILISTINES IN HIS DEATH THEN IN HIS LIFE.

D)      SOLOMON’S PRAYER FOR THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE (2 CHR. 6:14 – 42)

E)       DANIEL PRAYED FOR THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM (DANIEL 9:4 – 17)

F)       THE LORD TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES TO PRAY.  (MATTHEW 6:9 – 13)

G)      THE PUBLICAN PRAYED “GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER” AND WENT AWAY JUSTIFIED.

H)      THE LORD JESUS PRAYED FOR HIS DISCIPLES AND US. (JOHN 17:1 – 25)

I)         THE LORD’S PRAYER IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE (MATT. 26:39)

J)       THE THIEF ON THE CROSS PRAYED ONE OF THE SHORTEST PRAYERS ON RECORD: “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” (Luk 23:42)

K)       JESUS PRAYED, “FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.”

L)       STEVEN PRAYED AND HEAVEN WAS OPENED TO HIM AND HE SAW the glory of God, WITH Jesus standing at the right hand of God, READY TO WELCOME HIM INTO HOME.  (ACTS 7:55 – 56)

M)      PAUL AND SILAS IN PRISON – PRAYED AND PRAISED UNTIL THE PLACE SHOOK, THE PRISON DOORS WERE OPENED AND THE JAILER AND HIS FAMILY SAVED.

XVII)     CONCLUSION – FOR THE CHRISTIAN PRAYER SHOULD COME AS NATURAL AS BREATHING – WE HAVE NO SPIRITUAL LIFE WITHOUT PRAYER.  I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO SET ASIDE AN HOUR A DAY FOR PRAYER AND BIBLE STUDY –  IF YOU FIND THIS DIFFICULT START OUT WITH A HALF HOUR OF QUALITY TIME WITH THE LORD.    PRAYER AND BIBLE STUDY GO HAND IN HAND.   WHEN YOU READ GOD’S WORD HE SPEAKS TO YOU BY HIS HOLY SPIRIT. PRAYER IS NOT DICTATING OR MANIPULATING GOD TO DO SOMETHING THAT HE DOES NOT WANT TO DO.  WE DO NOT CHANGE GOD’S WILL OR PLAN OR PURPOSE THROUGH PRAYER.  WE ACCEPT GOD’S PLAN AND PURPOSE THROUGH PRAYER.  PRAYER WILL NOT ALWAYS CHANGE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES; MORE OFTEN IT CHANGES YOU AND GIVES YOU GRACE TO GO THROUGH YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES AND BRINGING YOU VICTORY IN YOUR TRIALS AND TESTS.

 

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