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Towards An Effective Prayer Life
Stats: 5,096 words / Reading Time: 25.48 mins

Published: Wednesday 25th March 2020

Towards An Effective Prayer Life is read 369 times on CentreNDL.org 369

Towards An Effective Prayer Life

5 Essential Keys To Praying Through

I believe it is the desire of everyone that prays to pray through. It is one thing to pray, it is another thing to have answers to the things we pray for. Many people pray, but very few people get results. Why? Because many people don't have that staying power in the place of Prayer until something happens. Praying through actually means praying until one gets the answers to his or her prayers. Another word for this in the Bible is asking until one's joy is full. That is what it means actually to pray through. Jesus Himself said it in John 16:24 "Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as presenting all that I Am]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete." Even though Jesus said "ask and keep on asking", I believe we know He was not talking about vain and repetitive prayers.

 

Listen to Podcast: 5 ESSENTIAL KEYS TO PRAYING THROUGH

 

Because in Matthew 6:7, Jesus Himself said "And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking." Now, one may be tempted to think here, why was Jesus contradicting Himself? But the truth is, Jesus was not contradicting Himself for whatever reason. Now, there is a way the Gentiles pray that is not acceptable in the kingdom. Many Gentiles have several gods that they serve and most times they may need to scream, and shout and use words repeatedly for these gods to be able to hear them when they are praying to them. An example of such practice is found in 1 Kings 18:25-29!

 

So Jesus was saying, when you are praying to God, don't pray like you are praying to some lesser gods who does not hear you the very first time that you call. That means, you can ask your request using different styles and different manners, not using exact the same words that you have used before and yet, you are still conveying  the same request. So, to pray through simply means to keep on asking God for whatever it is we are praying for until we see the results visibly manifested in our lives.

 

One of the very first thing we must understand about praying is that our prayers, no matter how short or long they may appear; does not align God to us. There is no amount of Prayer that we will ever pray that will make God to do what He does not want to do. And it is important that we understand this from the very beginning before we set our minds to praying. And do I know this? The Bible recorded in 2 Samuel 12 how David desperately wanted the child he got from adultery to live.

 

"Then Nathan departed to his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. 16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!” 19 When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, "He is dead."

2 Samuel 12:15-19

 

Now notice something from that verse 16. The Bible says "David therefore pleaded with God for the child", talking about a Prayer of supplication. One of the things we must understand about PRAYER OF SUPPLICATION is that God rarely turns His eyes away from anyone praying this kind of Prayer. To supplicate means "to make a humble entreaty." Which means even though you don't deserve what you are asking, you believe and know that God is able to do it for you. And if you read the Scriptures, God rarely turns away a Prayer of supplication. Why? Because it is written in Psalms 51:17: "The Sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart; these O God, you will not despise." But irrespective of the type of Prayer we offer to God, our prayers does not ultimately align God to us. So, what Prayer does is that it align us with God so that we can know what He is doing or what He is set to do per time in our lives.

 

KEYS TO PRAYING THROUGH

1. Pray According to God's Will

I know people have this belief that Prayer is a way of forcing the hand of God to do certain things in our affairs. Well, while this may be true in certain instances, it is not always true in some other instances. In Acts 12:5, the church prayed for Peter and he was freed from prison. Why? Because it was not God's will for Peter to die the way James had died because Peter was the rock upon which the church was built. So, he cannot just die like that and not complete his assignment. The kind of prayer that would force the hand of God to act on your behalf is that type that is prayed according to God's will.

 

Jesus taught His disciples this very important principle of praying. He said when you pray, don't forget the will of the Father. Whatever prayer we offer to God should be about making sure that His will is enforced, and this is the kind of prayer that forces the hand of God to act really. Let me show us an example of this again in the book of Daniel. Daniel 9 from verse 1. The Bible says:

 

"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— 2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the Lord through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 3 Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. 4 And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, 5 we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments."

Daniel 9:1-5

 

Daniel said "he understood by the books." And it is important here we clarify the kind of books Daniel was talking about lest we assume he was talking about some random books that we read. He was talking about the sacred writings of the word of God given and written through the hands of the prophets. Now, these sacred writings are actually the will of God concerning the people and what must happen in the course of time. Daniel was not probably in the picture when these prophecies were given. It is either that he was not born at the time or he was still a very young man. But we saw that Daniel understood the will of God through the books of the sacred writings and then he prayed according to that which has been written - The will of God.

 

Apostle Paul said something in 2 Corinthians 4:13 that "And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak." What has been written in that context, is the word of God, His will. GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS IN THE DIRECTION OF HIS WILL AND NOT IN THE DIRECTION OF OUR OWN GREED. James 4:3 tells us "You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures." Many people pray and never receives answers to their prayers because of this thing that apostle James wrote here. No amount of Prayer you pray to service your own greed that God would respond to. This is why it is of uttermost importance that we know and understand the will of God when we are praying because His will always guide us to pray appropriately.

 

2. Pray Intentionally

"Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” 10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested."

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

 

Intentional prayers are purposeful prayers. The scripture we read above said "Jabez called on the God of Israel saying." That means Jabez understood the place of prayer and he was intentional about his prayer and he approached God based on that. Now, that tells you it is not everyone that understands the importance of prayer and those who do understand it don't know how to pray through yet. There is a parable of Jesus in Luke 18 that I want to share with us as regarding praying intentionally and why some get results to their prayers almost instantly and others don't get answers.

 

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18:10-14

 

“Two men went up to the temple to pray meaning these two individuals understood the place of Prayer and there is a God in heaven in whom people pray to. The Bible says the Pharisee stood before God and presented his CV, and gave God all the reasons why he should be the one to get answers to his prayers like right there and then. And this is how many people pray today and don't get answers to their prayer because they believe God owes them. God does not owe any man anything, as a matter of fact, we owe God everything and so, we cannot appear before Him and be bragging.

 

But the Prayer of the tax collector was intentional and purposeful, and no wonder he got answers. He said ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’. The man simply knew it was mercy that he needs and that was the direction of his prayer to God. He did not have so much time like the Pharisee to embellish his prayer points and sweet mouth God into giving him what he does not deserve. He needed mercy, and then he went straight ahead to pray about it. It takes praying intentionally to be able to articulately and effectively pray through. And I want us to really examine the things that Jabez prayed to God about. The following were highlights of his prayers as seen in the Scripture above:

 

a) Bless me oh God

b) Enlarge my territory

c) Your hand being with me

d) keep me from evil

 

Jabez knew that it is the blessings of the Lord that makes rich and adds no sorrow and so, there was no reason to seek this blessing elsewhere other than the God who would give it liberally to as many people that would ask. Another thing in the Prayer is about expansion. "Enlarge my territory" there simply means expand my capacity. Then he prayed for protection and that the Lord should keep him from evil. Now in all of these, we can see how intentional and purposeful Jabez was in his prayer, and no wonder God answered him.

 

 

3. Pray Always

"There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” 4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God."

Acts 10:1-4

 

Now, I want us to examine who the Bible says Cornelius was and there is a reason we want to do so because we want to link it to what praying always does. The first thing is that Cornelius was an officer in the Roman Army. If

Visitors who read this article also read:
Towards An Effective Prayer Life: 5 Essential Keys To Praying Through
you read that version in the Amplified version, it showed us that Cornelius was actually a captain in the Roman Army at the time and by virtue of this, he was supposed to be an enemy of an average Jewish person because the Jews don't like the Romans. The Romans at the time were oppressors to the people of Israel and because of the fact that Cornelius was working for the Roman government, this automatically makes him an enemy of Israel.

 

Secondly, the Bible says he was "a devout man and one who feared God with all his household." The question here is this: How did Cornelius come about the God of Israel because the Romans do not believe in Judaism. The Romans have their own gods that they worship: Mars, Jupiter, Augustus, Venus et cetera. But yet, this was one man who have come in contact with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and have devoted himself and his household to that God. Thirdly, Cornelius gave arms generously to the people and then fourthly, he prayed always. You see, there is something about praying always that usually draws God attention towards you, and this is exactly what happened to Cornelius that God needed to raise Peter up and send to his household.

 

Prayer is not something we do once in a while, prayer should be offered always. Ephesians 6:18 tells us "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." One of the greatest secrets to praying through is by praying always. In Luke 18:1, Jesus said "that men always ought to pray and not lose heart." Anyone that will pray through is that person who will not lose heart in the place of Prayer, who would continue until the result is made available.

 

4. Praying Through The Help Of The Holy Spirit

"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weakness. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God."

Romans 8:26-27

 

There is something I need to clarify here so that we will not confuse the two. There is such a thing as praying in the Spirit and there is such a thing as praying through the help of the Holy Spirit. Praying in the Spirit is you praying in other tongues each time you pray and it is an evidence that the Holy Spirit has come upon you. 1 Corinthians 14:14 says "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful." So, even though you know how to pray in tongues, there is the place of total surrendering when one is praying in tongues in order to give room for the Holy Spirit to help us out.

 

Sometime we may assume we know what we want and how to channel it to God through prayers. But if we assume we know this, how come it appears that we don't receive answers to our prayers? This is why we should allow the Holy Spirit to take charge of our prayers really. By this, we won't but pray through. Why? Because the Holy Spirit knows the will of God for our lives and so, He prays according to that will.

 

5. Be Dogged in Your Faith

"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, 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 the petitions that we have asked of Him."

1 John 5:14-15

 

If we are ever going to pray through, then our confidence in God that He is going to grant us our request must never diminish. And what is this confidence? It is faith in God! It is not "bold face" that gets our requests attended to by God, it is because He sees our faith. If you like, do strong head or bold face in the place of Prayer from now till when Jesus would return again, if God cannot relate with your faith, you are on your own. Hebrews 11:6 tells that he who come to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

 

Absolute confidence in God is non-negotiable if we are ever going to pray through. And I pray that the Lord will by Himself give us the strength to be able to pray through in the Might name of Jesus.

 

Amen!


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Obayomi Abiola Benjamin!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony with me in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.



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