Everyone is always praying to God concerning something. It is therefore important to learn and understand how to pray effectively. Prayer is a two-way communication between man and God. It is not just throwing requests or words into the air; it must be done in the presence of Jesus, in his name, according to his will and in faith. You must also listen to him as you pray.
Obey God’s words. Only the doers of God’s words shall be blessed. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1: 25).
If you don’t obey his words, your prayers cannot be answered. For example, if you don’t walk in love, your prayers will be hindered. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment (1 John 3:22&23)
Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.(Isaiah 59:1&2)
Cultivate Jesus’ presence before you start praying. Thanksgiving, praise and worship are important to enter into his presence. God is everywhere but not with everybody. Make sure you thank, praise and worship God until you are conscious of his presence before you start making requests.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (Ps 95:2)
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Ps 100:4)
Discover his will concerning the situation: The word of God is his will.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (1John 5:14).
As long as what you are asking God for is His will, he hears you; and as long as God hears you, you can consider your request granted. (1 John 5:15) Thereafter, you can wait for him confidently for its physical manifestation.
There are many promises that are expressly written in the scripture as the will of God. All Christians can go ahead and pray for them any time they wish. Examples include divine healing and health, good success, divine prosperity and every good thing in life. The promises in the word are anchors for your prayers. The promise of God is the basis of prayers.
Plant God’s words deeply in your heart: His words concerning the situation are very important; you must meditate on them and plant them deeply so that they can abide in your heart. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15: 7)
You can reverse this verse to mean that if you don’t abide in him and his words don’t abide you, you may not ask what you desire and even if you ask, it shall not be done for you. Someone might have heard in church that by His stripes, we are healed but the words may not dwell in him continuously; therefore, he may pray for healing but doesn’t really have faith in being healed at that moment. What matters in prayers is not the amount of your words uttered but the amount of the word of God stored in your heart
Get the specific spoken word for that situation: Some good things may have several alternatives ways and methods of being fulfilled. In such situations, you need to ascertain the specific will of God. You should move beyond just gathering scriptures that deal with the general issue and discover the specific will of God for you. In the process of searching the scriptures and praying to know his will on the matter, the Holy Spirit will give you a special anchor scripture for the specific will of God. For example, it is God’s will to make you prosper but there is no promise that says you must get a job in a bank in order to prosper. Therefore, it is not wise to be exercising faith for a banking job unless God has communicated that with you.
Prayer is like agreeing with what God has determined to do for you. If you are not sure something is God’s will, don’t bother praying about it. Your prayer should first be to know his will. When I was praying to confirm the will of God in marriage about twenty- six years ago, the Holy Spirit gave me a scripture in Ruth 3: 18 …“Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.” From the day I got that scripture; even though the brother (now my husband) was far away in Taraba State (no GSM phone), and my friends were wondering if I was deceiving myself, I knew he would come and renew his proposal. In fact, I later discovered that the letter I received from him thereafter was written on that particular day I got the message through that scripture.
Pray fervent prayers. Concentrate, be determined, focused and serous minded about the matter. Be specific about the particular thing you want (after ascertaining the will of God) and don’t allow any distractions in your heart while praying. …The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16b)
Wait for God actively
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40: 31)
I have been hearing ‘waiting’ on God for thirty-four years. I understood it for the first time this year. It means actively expecting, hoping and looking for God’s goodness or the result of what you have prayed for. Waiting for God is not passive. It does not mean that you should do nothing. After praying for a specific need, believe you have received it; then look up and watch out for the manifestation. Don’t look down on your ability or look around at circumstances; look up to God. David said in Psalm 5:3, My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.
When the season for the manifestation is due, expect it every day (not in the future) until you receive the physical manifestation. If you are waiting correctly, there must be an anticipation in your spirit. You would talk as if it’s going to happen now. Heb 11: 1 says Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If you have prayed in faith and you are actively expecting, that thing is real in your heart as if it has happened.
Beloved, start expecting God’s favour. The expectancy is your faith being released. If you believe you have received and expect the manifestation, you will rejoice. However, if you don’t expect the good thing you desire, you may be sorrowful, develop ill-health and limit what God can do because; ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life’(Prov. 13:12)
Wait for God like a farmer
When a farmer has planted a seed, he waters it, removes the weeds and waits expectantly for the harvest. He is not afraid whether there will be fruit in the harvest. He is very sure that his expectation will come to pass. He focuses on preparing for the harvest time. He prepares the barn where he will store the crops, makes arrangements with transporters and marketers.
The integrity of the word of God is the basis of your faith. God’s word is alive, powerful and sure to come to pass. Whatever he tells you will happen. It can never return to him void.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb 4:12)
Don’t ever stop expecting the miracle you have been praying for. It doesn’t matter how long you have been praying concerning that matter, start expecting actively now and suddenly God will show up. You cannot give up, doubt the result and think that God will answer your prayers. If you doubt, you cannot receive anything from God.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubt, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8)
Keep saying what God has told you
The word of God is alive and it has the power to become a reality. Locate other scriptures that are related to the anchor scripture that you received concerning the prayer point. Make sure you keep saying all these scriptures many times in a day until you see the physical manifestation of your desire.
The words of God concerning the situation are compared to rain that waters the seed to bring forth what you desire. If you plant a seed and it is not watered, it will not grow properly. But if it is watered, there is an assurance of harvest. In the same way, if you pray concerning a promise in the scripture and do not continue to confess it and wait for it, you may not receive it. But if you confess the word of God continuously over it, there is an assurance that you will receive the harvest of your desire.
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10&11).
Prove your faith by your actions.
I heard the story of a lady whose husband divorced her some years ago. She prayed and believed in her heart that the man would return home. Thereafter, she began to prepare his dinner every night. She did this for six years to prove that she expected her husband to come back home. Then one day, she heard a knock and it was her husband. She just told him to come in and quickly take his dinner because it was getting cold.
The lady added action to her expectation, God saw it as faith and worked on her behalf. In the same way, Jesus saw the faith of the men who brought the paralysed man in Mark chapter 2 and healed him.
Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you (Mark 2:1-5)
I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” (Mark 2: 11&12)
Can your faith be seen? Is there any action that proves your conviction about what you have prayed for? Per adventure you don’t know the specific action needed for your prayer; start rejoicing like someone who has received the physical manifestation of what you are praying for. When God sees you rejoicing, he sees your faith.