Principles for Effective Prayer

Praying Hands (Image credit: firstchurchhighland.com)

Prayer is the oldest but the most powerful weapon a Christian has. It is the key to a victorious life like a key to open the morning and a lock to close the night. Yet among the Christian tools, it is the most neglected and abused. It seems like the most boring subject matter to discuss.

According to a famous Filipino evangelist, Mike Lacanilao, prayer is the simplest cry. It is talking to God with a deeper meaning. Prayer is an outpouring of spirit and emotion, which is beyond the words that we can say. It is moving the God of the universe to act on our behalf.

An effective prayer is one that touches the heart of God to move.

 

Why do we need to pray?

  1. The Word of God commands us to pray.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up”. –Luke 18:1

“pray continually…” -1Thessalonians 5:17

  1. We have a contest to win.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”-Matthew 26:41

“And 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 Lord’s people”. –Ephesians 6:18

  1. We have a position to occupy.

“…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” -James 5:16b

 

The Principles for Effective Prayer

P-ersonal relationship with Christ. John 15:1; John 1:12; Romans 8

We need to have a personal relationship with Christ for Him to hear our prayers. Not all people are children of God, only those who have received Him as Lord and personal Savior.

R-epentance and Righteousness. Psalm 66:18

The Lord will not hear our prayer if we have hidden sins in our hearts.

A-doration, Respect and Awe. Psalm 27:4

When we come to the Lord in prayer, we must come with an attitude of adoration, respect and awe.

Y-ielding to the Will of God. John 15:7

When we come to the Lord, we must be ready to submit to the will of God. We must be ready and willing to obey.

E-xpectant Heart. Mark 11:24; 1 Peter 5:7

When we come to God in prayer, we must come expecting to receive the answer.

R-ejoice in the Lord. Philippians 4:4

We must come with a joyful heart in the presence of God.

 

What does Intercessory Prayer do?

  1. Unity in the church
  1. Healing in the church
  1. Causes revival, growth and maturity
  1. Empowers the workers and lay leaders of the church

 

Pastor Allan Asuncion

I have condensed this post from the message of Rev Allan Asuncion, Administrative Pastor of Tatay United Methodist Church, Rizal Philippines at our Seminar on the Principles for Effective Prayer and Praying for One Another, which has been held in our church, the Lagro United Methodist Church last July 15, 2012 at 2:00PM.

I hope by sharing this priceless knowledge, those who would be able to read this may find a new encouragement or inspiration to pray. Prayer is the strength of a Christian just as the poster in our church bulletin board says, “Seven days without prayer makes one Weak”. Indeed, we can draw strength from talking with God and immersing into His glorious presence. There is no other way of nurturing our personal relationship with our Lord Jesus than by soaking ourselves in His presence where we can express our love and devotion for Him.

Life on earth is full of complexities that at times, we begin to hate the world. There is hope in Christ and we can experience the fullness of life that He has promised if we continue without exhaustion to abide in Him: in His word and in His presence. Then we can triumph over each day’s temptations and pass each test that comes our way, which would bring us to the fullness of Christ-likeness even while we are still here on this earth.

Sheep Are Meek and Obedient

One great characteristic of sheep is that they are meek and obedient. In a radio sermon, I have heard an illustration about two shepherds taking refuge inside a cave. “Two shepherds with their flocks entered in a cave. Their flocks mingled together that you can no longer distinguish which sheep belong to which shepherd. When the time has come for one of the shepherds to leave, he simply stood up and called out his sheep. Immediately, his sheep stood up from among the multitude of sheep lying down and followed his voice.”  It is surely an awesome sight. In verses 3-4, we can see the image of the Good Shepherd calling His own sheep by name and leads them out. When He has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. Do you know the Shepherd’s voice? Do you hear His voice? Do you follow His voice?

Hands in Prayer

The Lord’s sheep knows His voice because they spend time in prayer. Sometimes, in our busy schedules we forget to spend quality time with God in prayer and meditation. Yet, we know that there is no way we can recognize the voice of our Shepherd unless we spend time to listen to Him in prayer. Of course, it is not an audible voice but a spiritual voice that we discern through our fervent prayer and study of His word.

In the book, the Lord is my Shepherd, A. W. Tozer, an American Pastor who preaches about the value of prayer writes, “Stay in that sacred place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart, till a sense of God’s presence has enveloped you. Listen for His inward voice till you learn to recognize it”. Solitude in God is a healing place where God can repair the damage by the noise and pressure of the world. Prayer is always our safe place.

Image: http://www.taneyparish.ie