Keys to An Effective Prayer Life - Part 1
Updated: Jan 28
As many of you know, I have taught for many years in the Youth With A Mission Discipleship Training Schools on the topic of Intercessory Prayer. Throughout the journey, I have had the pleasure of studying the lives on many of today’s Bible heroes and how they were able to make a profound impact on their communities, their nation, and the world.
Each of these Bible heroes were very unique in their ministry and their giftings. But all of them carried one thing in common. They knew how to use prayer as a tool to bring transformation.
Moses was one of these Bible heroes. One of the stories that just blows my mind was in Numbers 14 when God had expressed to him that He was done with the people of Israel due to their constant complaining and rebellion and was ready to start over with Moses. What an honor for Moses that he would be considered worthy for God to choose him to start over with!
But as the story reads on, we find that Moses did not agree with the idea and prayed for his nation and for God to not move forward with the plan. He begins to remind God of His promises, of His character, and what the world will say about Him if He moves forward with the plan. Then, when we get to verse 20, we find an incredible statement. “The Lord replied ‘I have forgiven them as you asked.’”
What! Did Moses just move God to back away from His plan to erase Israel and start over with Moses?
The story does not stop here. Long before Numbers 14, we find in the book of Exodus the plagues that God was bringing on Egypt. In chapter 8, we find a conversation between Moses and Pharoah when he Pharoah pleads with Moses to pray for Egypt that God would remove the plague of the frogs. Moses agrees, prays, and God removes the frogs. The same thing happened on multiple other occasions where the Pharoah begs Moses to pray for him, and God listens.
What is it about Moses that he can have this kind of impact in his prayer life?
I recently did a study on the prayer life of Jesus, Moses, Daniel, as well as the apostles / early church and found some interesting keys and characteristics to prayer that might unlock the question that many of us today have, How can I be more effective in my prayer life?
Key #1 – Abiding in Him
If we read in John 15:4-7, we will read that Jesus told His disciples “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Church, we cannot bear fruit unless we are abiding in Him. It is impossible. Thus, our relationship with God is far more important than anything else. This is definitely something that distinguished Moses from the average person. He was known as a friend of God and had the lifestyle and pleasure of speaking to Him face to face.
Fruit and life is always a result of intimacy. This is a scientific fact. This is also a spiritual truth. The amount of time you spend with God has a direct correlation with the effectiveness of your prayer life.
I am not just talking about taking 15 minutes in the morning to read the Bible either. I am talking about a lifestyle of connection with Him. This includes….. …taking extended amounts of time daily to just worship Him and tell Him IN YOUR OWN WORDS how much you love Him and appreciate Him …taking extended amounts of time reading and meditating on the Word …taking extended amounts of time just sitting in His presence, enjoying Him and listening to Him
Church, if you want to become more effective in your prayer life, deepening that relationship with Him and abiding in Him is am important key to unlocking success.
Key #2 Getting into the Word
This key ties in with the first key. I cannot overstate how crucial this is! Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Church, His words should be guiding our prayers! The more we read and meditate on His word, the more we know His heart, His character, and His desires for the nations.
I do want to throw in a word of caution here as well. Spending time watching Bible based teachings or listening to Bible based podcasts does not count. In fact, they will often just lead to more confusion than anything else. I have seen time and time again how differing teachers can take the same scripture, put their own spin on it, and cause division amongst the body. In fact, we can see that exact thing happening to the Corinthian church! The church had become divided between followers of Paul and Apollos! Paul begins to reason with them that Jesus is the only foundation and no one else. Jesus is the one on whom we are to seek and truth for guidance.
Psalm 1:2-3 says “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
What a powerful expression of what happens when a believer takes the time to truly read and meditate on the Word of God! Fruit in every season, and success in everything he/she does. These are the results of someone who is delights in Him and His word!
As I conclude this blog, I want to encourage you to take time this week to seek Him more than last week. I also want to encourage you to take time to evaluate how your time spent on social media and spiritual junk food, and how much time you send meditating & contemplating on the Word of God.
To read part 2 of this blog post, click here