Keys to an Effective Prayer Life - Part 2
The book of Daniel is one of my all time favorite books of the Bible. Not only is it full of prophesy, but it is also a book filled with ordinary men doing extraordinary things with God. Standing in a fiery furnace and not bowing to an idol is just one of these amazing stories. But what really amazes me in Daniel himself.
Much like Moses that I wrote about in my previous blog post, Daniel was a man who fully understood who God made him to be, and the authority he had in his prayer life. He was not only a man who prayed and changed the heart of a tyrant trying to conquer the nations, but he was also a man who never gave up and prayed for 21 days for an answer from God.
What was it that made men like Moses and Daniel so powerful in their prayers? Over the last several months, I have taken the time to study the prayer lives of some of our Biblical heroes and in the process found some important keys to having an effective prayer life.
In part one, I wrote about the first two keys, ‘Abiding in Him, and ‘Getting into the Word.’ Today, I want to continue with the remainder of the keys to having an effective prayer life.
Key #3 Ask According to His Will
1 John 5:14-15 says “This is the confidence which we have before 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 which we have asked from Him.” Just as the second key tied with the first key, this key also ties in with previous two keys. If we know Him intimately and know His word, then we will naturally ask according to His will.
Church, if it is written in His word, we know that it is His will! This includes our salvation, healing, provision, health, miracles, signs, wonders, joy, victory, being the head and not the tail, living an abundant life…. and that is just a few of His promises!
Remember again what 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.”
On the contrary, if we are asking for something that is not in His word or is not in alignment with His character and promises, then we know that it is not His will! This is why it is so important that we get into His word and know Him! Find a biblical precedence and stand on His word as you come to the Father with your requests!
Key #4 Ask the Father in Jesus Name
This is a revelation I recently received that has completely changed my prayer life. At no point in scripture do we see Jesus instructing us to ask Him for anything. In fact, all we see throughout scripture is Him pointing us to the Father. Yet too often, this is how we normally hear believers praying!
John 16:23 says “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.”
When Jesus teaches the disciples to prayer, He begins with “Our Father…”.
John 15:16 says “…whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you”.
I believe the reason many of us struggle to see results in our prayer life is because we are not asking the right person!
There is nothing wrong with talking with Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our quiet times. In fact, I encourage it! But when it comes to our prayers of petition, we need to be approaching the Father in the name of Jesus!
Key #5 Believe
Matthew 21:22 says “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive”. If we go to the Father with doubt, we will likely not see any results from our prayer life. We must believe! This is why it is important to know Him intimately, to know His ways, and to know His Word! When we do, we will have His word and promises to stand on!
Believing also requires an action that follows in accordance with the belief. Mark 11:24 says “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you”. Just because we do not see or feel anything happening at the moment does not mean it isn’t happening. Do not let your flesh, emotions, or feelings determine whether or not you have received what you are asking for!
Live each moment as if you have received it! This is will be the key to many breakthroughs in our life!
There is a story in John 6 that has always perplexed me. It is the story when Jesus is at the Pool of Bethesda, a place where an angel would stir the waters and people would get healed. He approaches a man who had been sick a long time and asks him, “Do you want to be healed?”. Isn’t that a rather interesting thing to ask someone who is laying there, seemingly awaiting his healing? It seems that it is obvious that he is wanting to be healed, otherwise, why would he be there. So what did Jesus ask him? The key is in what the man said next.
The man responds to Jesus explaining that he is just waiting for someone to push him in (ie, he made excuses). I think this is where many believers today are in their prayer life. They are waiting for someone else to do it for them. They begin making excuses that it isn’t the will of the Father. They come up with reason as to why nothing is happening.
Jesus then responds to the man, “Get up! Pick up your bed and walk.” Church, this man was requesting something, but not taking action to his prayers. He was lying in disbelief and making excuses for why he did not receive the very thing he was desiring from God. What he needed to do was get up (take action), and the healing was his. I believe that the reason Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed is because He saw that the man already was healed! The man just needed to get up for him to fully receive it!
Church, I believe without a doubt that we are in a season where prayer is going to be our most important weapon against the forces of darkness that are overtaking our nations. Just as he did during the days of Moses and Daniel, I believe that the enemy has worked hard to limit our effectiveness and diminish the prayer lives of God’s people. But it does not have to be that way! Just as men like Moses and Daniel rose up and pushed the enemy back in their times, so can we! Remember, they were ordinary men who understood who they were, whose they were, what they were capable of, and took action.
My prayer for you is that as you read this blog and my previous blog, that you will also understand who you are, whose you are, and what you are capable of so that you may take action and experience success in your own prayer lives! Don’t just sit on the sideline waiting to be pushed in! Get up and move in what God has called you to!
“All things are possible for those who believe” (Mark 9:23)