The bible references prayer A LOT!!!! So, it must be important, right? 🙂 As life gets in the way, we sometimes forget just how important prayer is. We also forget that prayer is powerful. Last year, my bible study class read Praying to Change Your Life (pictured below) by Suzette T. Caldwell. The author encourages readers to look up verses of scripture that relate to their situations/prayer requests, to adapt the model prayer (a/k/a The Lord’s Prayer) by including the verses in the prayer and then to pray that prayer over their lives. I highly recommend this book! Since reading it and working my way through the practice examples in the book, I feel much more confident about the strength and effectiveness of my prayers. Prayer is powerful; but, it is even more powerful when we use God’s word.
After some thought about prayer, I have come to the conclusion that that are some common characteristics of powerful prayer. Powerful prayers are:
(1) Based on Pure Motives – When we go before God, we should have pure hearts. Unwillingness to forgive, resentment, bitterness and jealousy block our prayers.
(2) Full of Faith – We must be confident when we pray. We must believe and not doubt (James 1:6). When we do this, we will receive whatever we ask in prayer (Matthew 21:22).
(3) In Jesus’ Name – We must make our requests to God through Jesus’ power and authority. We often hear prayers ended “In Jesus’ Name.” The reason is that the bible tells us that whatever we as for in Jesus’ name will be given to us. (John 14:13, 14 and John 16:23, 24)
(4) Offered with Thanksgiving – We should always give thanks for what God has already done (Philippians 4:6,7). There is always something for which to be thankful, and we are instructed to be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). After all, things could always be worse.
(5) Specific and Bold – The bible tells us that we shall have what we decree (Job 22:27, 28) and that we are privileged to be able to come to God and boldly request anything according to his will (1 John 5:14). God knows our hearts, our needs and our deepest desires. Yet, he still wants us to ask him for what we want. We have not because we ask not.
(6) Unceasing – We must pray continually and earnestly. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 and James 5:16).
Prayers don’t consist of just words; they don’t have to be said while we are on our knees; they don’t even have to be said aloud. A prayer can be as few or as many words or groans (Romans 8:26) as we feel it takes to get our point across to God. Prayer still works! Continually make specific, bold prayer requests of faith in Jesus’ Name.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6,7 (NLT)
Peace and blessings!