Praying with Results
by James M
I’m talking tonight about praying with results! Praying when you can expect results, prayers when you know you will get an answer, prayer that is effective and powerful!
I’m sure that when people saw this verse, they wondered why they didn’t get what they wanted. I know that when get we into the deeper meaning of this verse, we will find out why and how we can change our prayer effectiveness.
If God knows everything going on in this world, then why do we need to pray? Why can’t he just give us whatever is on our mind? Only because he wants us to seek Him and His Kingdom; prayer is a chosen awareness of God. To pray is to begin to hear God’s voice and see as God sees.
Prayer is a focused intent that fixes and centres our whole heart on God. As we pray, we become aware of need, of failure. We feel as God feels. Prayer times are growth times; you cannot afford to skip them otherwise it will stunt your spiritual growth.
Prayer puts us in a place where we can understand and work with God. It is awareness, not distance that separates us from God. Prayer is not a tool to get him in touch with us but to put us in touch with him.
Prayer connects a circuit of power and God himself is the source of energy; we are the transmission wires and we need to be energized to get the power flowing. Prayer is the way to go! Prayer is as mighty as God is!
Before the world is changed, we need to be changed. Prayer teaches, transforms and delivers; it develops a picture of Jesus in our ‘negative’ lives. Only by awareness of him will we grow to be like him.
When Jesus prayed on the mountain with Peter, James and John, He changed, he actually shone like light. The simple lesson in the supernatural taught the disciples what prayer really does. It transforms those who use it and makes them the ‘light of the world!’
I. Prayer Types.
When we pray, we are developing awareness of God.
II. Key Principles.
- Supplication – When we pray with our needs on our minds, it creates a dependant awareness of God.
- Intercession – Is the awareness of God with another’s need on our hearts.
- Praise – Is a joyful, worshipful awareness of the One who loves us.
It is easy to be self-centred in prayer. There is no limit to what God can do with you as long as you don’t try to steal his Glory. Many seekers miss God’s answer because they want to be the stars of the show. God shares anything with his children, except his Glory. (Isaiah 42:8).
As your prayer life deepens, you will discover some of the key principles that lead to powerful prayer. Here are a few to help you make your prayer life more effective for God and his Kingdom.
III. Prayer Unanswered.
It is important that we really believe God for what we are asking. If we are sure it is in His will, by His Word, and by His Spirit, then we should be bold about praying in faith. God will answer no matter how difficult or even impossible it may seem to us as humans. Jesus said it in Mark 11:22-24.
- God’s Spirit.
We need to ask for the help of the Holy Spirit for direction in prayer. Often we do not know how we should pray or what we should ask for, and it is His gracious ministry to lead us into what we should ask from God. (Romans 8:26).
- God’s Word.
One of the best ways to ask for the help of the Holy Spirit is to fulfil the conditions of a Biblical promise and "remind" the Lord about it. God has promised to honour and back up His Word – you can pray with confidence! (1John 5:14-15).
Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t seem to answer some prayers? ...Or even all your prayers...Check your prayer life for any of these answer blockers:
- The Wicked Prayer.
Prayer for something God has forbidden will not be answered. To pray, we must stay within God’s promises and laws. If we pray for something outside of these, God will not regard our requests. (James 4:3).
- The Unforgiving Prayer.
If you try to pray with bitterness in your heart, God cannot answer until you are willing to repent. The only time we can expect answers from God to prayer is when we have forgiven all the wrongs others have done to us and have been forgiven all our own wrongs. (Mark 11:25-26).
- The Selfish Prayer.
Selfish prayer has only our personal small interests in mind, not God’s honour and glory. We are to pray "in the name of Jesus," not in our name. This means that we are to come to the Father as Jesus himself would come.
To come to the Father and pray in Jesus’ name is to come with the best interests of God at heart and to come representing the Lord Jesus. And Jesus did not pray just for himself so that He could be happier but that His Father and the whole of heaven could be pleased. (Matthew 6:33).
- The Clueless Prayer.
Sometimes we do not understand what we are praying for, and we do not know enough of the Word of God to pray wisely. Paul asked God three times to take away his ‘thorn in the flesh,’ but God left it there as a safeguard to protect His apostle from becoming too proud of what God had in his life. (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
- The Self-Righteous Prayer.
Self-righteous prayer secretly compares us to others in a way that is more favourable to ourselves. This kind of prayer only bounces off heaven’s ceiling.
We can never come to God on the basis of "How far" we have advanced in the Christian life. We can come only on the basis of the cross and blood of Christ, as people whom He has brought back from sin and death by His grace. (Luke 18:9-11).
- The Shamed Prayer.
Shame is one of the greatest of all hindrances to prayer. When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he gave them the story of the man who went to his friend, asking for bread. Unfortunely, the friend had already closed up shop. How did the man get his request?
He made a terrible racket outside in the street and did not take no for an answer. He was embarrassing in his persistence; to put it simply, he had no shame. After telling this story, Jesus said – (Luke 11:9).
Jesus did not only take our sin, but our shame. When we let God lift shame off our lives and get to know Him in His awesome greatness, we will get real answers to prayer
- The Doubting Prayer and the Wordy Prayer.
They are the prayers that won’t receive answers. To pray and get answers, don’t pray unless you really believe God can and will answer. (James 1:6-7).
Then pray until you can see with spiritual assurance you have been heard. And strip your prayer life of all wordy, foolish talk just for the sake of hearing yourself speak. If all you do is speak, that’s all you will hear. (Matthew 6:7).
There are also simple key factors of your Christian life that will certainly boost your prayer life and spiritual life, and they are:
1. Living in daily unity with Christ.
I’m not saying like read the Bible for one hour everyday! I’m just saying simply acknowledge God and invite him into your everyday life, let him guide you; let him open up your eyes!
2. Total obedience.
Having total obedience to God, His word and His law certainly helps. (1 John 3:21-22).
3. Unwavering Faith.
This is standing on solid ground that cannot be shaken, because we are centred around God and he won’t let us fall. We should stand in truthfulness and faithfulness in God. (James 1:6-7).
An insatiable appetite for God is a rare jewel not often found in the life of modern-day Christians. To seek God is our core quest, and prayer is the central way we can do that. The true measure of any Christian can be found in the passionate depth of his or her prayer life.
A Scottish evangelist, Robert Murray McCheyne once said "A holy man is an awesome weapon in the hands of a Holy God." The tragedy of our generation is that we want power without prayer, solutions without seeking him, and to rule without relationship.
God has more in store for us than that: His very will is escorted to earth through our hunger and thirst for His righteous, and if we ask, God will give us His power so that we can honour him, so we can glorify him, so we can make His Name famous!
Note from Mark: WOW! And that's with capital letters! This is a great message on prayer. It reminds me of the writings of E.M. Bounds, one of my favorite authors. Thanks James.