Did you manage to listen to podcast #21 from AgeTurners.com? In this podcast we see that there are at least five main principles for effective prayer – our effective gospel preaching depends on our effective prayer. Our prayers must be effective in order for our gospel preaching to be effective. You can download this podcast “Five Principles of Effective Prayer” as an mp3 here.
James 5:16 says:
The petition of a righteous man avails much in its working.
The petition (or prayer) of a righteous man is very effective. Sometimes, our prayers can have no effect. If we want to our friends come to the Lord, we must have prayers that are effective. We must touch the principles of effective prayer. There are 2 categories of prayer:
- The Prayer of Fellowship.
The prayer of fellowship is prayer that causes us to be filled with God and for Him to flow out of us. We must use our spirit to absorb and contact God. He has the opportunity to infuse, flow and reveal Himself into us. Then our mind, emotion and will will be filled with god. He will open His heart’s desire to us, and apprehend his purpose. We have to spend time with Him, at a set time and place, and He will make His home in our hearts.
- The Prayer of Petition (or specific asking).
1 Timothy 2:4 says: “God desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth.” God desires everyone to be saved. Are we praying effective prayers? There might be a hindrance to our prayers. We must pray to remove them so that prayer and preaching are effective.
Here are the 5 main principles of effective prayer:
1. We have to pray specifically.
James 4:2 says: “You do not have, because you do not ask.” We have to ask specifically. We cannot be vague and say, “Lord, save my school.” Instead, we must pray for specific persons. To do this, we must make a list. We have to consider friends, classmates, and relatives, those whom we love and spend time with. If any are not saved, we have to make a list, and ask for them. In Matthew 7: 7-8 the Lord says:
Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it shall be opened.
We just have to ask for the salvation of our friends.
2. We have to ask but not in a self-centered way.
James 4:3 says: “Ask and do not receive because you ask evilly, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” When we are praying for the gospel, most of the prayer should not be amiss or self centered. This is a safe way of prayer.
3. We must pray to deal with our sins.
We have to confess all our sins in order to have effective prayer. If we are praying a specific prayer, but we still have sins in our heart, the Lord will not hear our prayer, and it will not be effective. We have to confess our sins so that we have the freedom to pray.
4. We have to believe.
Have you ever prayed for something and didn’t believe that the Lord will answer it? You then have to confess an evil heart of unbelief. We need to pray ourselves into the Lord and into a heart of faith. We have to pray a prayer of faith. We have to be so filled with faith, such that we praise the Lord for what He has done, even if we have not yet seen the result.
5. We have to ask steadfastly, with endurance.
Luke 18:1 says: “They aught always to pray and not lose heart.” We can pray even for months or years, and our friends may still not be saved. We should not give up. We have to pray steadfastly until one day God cannot but do it. He will have no choice but to do it.
Soon, we will start to see some effect in our prayers. “Lord, grant us the effective prayers to move and to save our friends.” May we have the grace to go to the Lord, and to change our prayers so that they are effective. “Lord, change me so that I may be one with You.” [guest post, sister Grace]