Effective Prayer

Written by John Baerg

Editor’s Note: In 1999 John Baerg was diagnosed with cancer. It remained contained for a little over three years and then began to spread. He went to be with Jesus on Sunday, November 24, 2002.  John served with Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada (now Power to Change Ministries) for 30 years.  Shortly before his passing, the prayer room in the Campus Crusade for Christ national headquarters was renamed in John’s honor.  His legacy of prayer lives on.

“…but the people who know their God will display strength and take action” (Daniel 11:32).

effectiveprayerOne of the greatest needs in the Christian community is for Christians to discover and experience the privilege and power of effective prayer. Dr. Bill Bright writes, “History records no significant movement of the Spirit of God that has not been preceded by a very strong prayer emphasis.  And understandably so, because the omnipotent God has chosen to communicate with individuals through prayer as well as through His inspired Word.”  He goes on to say, “Our Savior Himself, to whom all authority in heaven and earth was given, spent much time praying while here on earth.  Now seated at the right hand of God the Father, He intercedes on our behalf.  Since He is our example, we can rightly conclude that the ministry of prayer is the highest calling a Christian can have.  A vast reservoir of power, wisdom and grace becomes available to us through prayer.”

I invite you to join me in praying that God will continue to use the fasting and prayer gatherings as a spark to help set ablaze the Body of Christ and send revival in this critical moment of history for our beloved nation and for the Church.  I urge you to join others who have committed themselves to fasting and prayer and to teaching these disciplines to other Christians, inspiring believers to trust our sovereign God to send revival to our needy nation and world.

A great force of God’s power will be released as we commit ourselves to effective prayer. In Acts 4 we read how the Christians prayed together with one heart, mind and spirit. Then all the believers were united as they lifted their voices in prayer (Acts 4:24).  The result was a great boldness in sharing God’s message.

It is our earnest prayer that you will be directed and enabled by the Holy Spirit to become personally involved in praying for a worldwide revival and spiritual awakening.  Also, that you will be actively involved in boldly sharing God’s good news with people in your sphere of influence.

  • The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:16b NASB).
  • The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results (James 5:16b NLT).
  • The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective (James 5:16b NIV).
  • The prayer of a righteous man has a powerful effect (James 5:16b Good News).

“And the word of the Lord came to him, saying…so he went and did according to the word of the Lord”  (I Kings 17:2,5).

In order for us to be effective in our prayers, we must have these two qualities that were a part of Elijah’s lifestyle.  We must be open to God’s will and direction for our lives as is revealed through His Word.

As we read and study the scripture, we will learn what the will of God the Father is and as we know His will, we can pray and ask according to His will.  For example, I Peter 3:9 tells me that it is not the will of the Lord that any perish, but His will is for all to come to repentance.  Therefore, when I pray for those around me who do not know Christ, I can be sure that I am praying according to God’s will.

The Word of God also tells me that I am the Lord’s witness.  ” ‘You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord”  (Isaiah 43:10).  This means that I do not only pray for the lost, but I also go and tell them what I have seen, heard and experienced of the Lord.  I go and share the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness with them.  When the Word of the Lord came to Elijah, he went and did according to the Word of the Lord.

Hearing and knowing God’s Word and then going and doing according to His Word will result in many answers to our prayers.

“”I love the Lord because He hears my prayers and answers them. Because He bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!”” Psalm 116:1, 2 (Living Bible).

Spending time developing our own personal relationship with the Lord is a valuable investment of our time. God has made it possible for us to communicate with Him through our prayers. He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. Therefore, the more we pray and read His Word, the deeper our relationship with Him will be.

A simple guide to help us be more effective in our communication with God can be remembered by the word ACTS.

  • Adoration – This means I worship God for Who He is rather than for what He does. In adoration we verbalize our worship, praise, honor, and exaltation of God. Many of the Psalms help us focus on the attributes of God, such as His loving kindness, His mercy, His majesty and others. Adoration is expressing our love for Him through our words.
  • Confession – As we begin our prayer with a worshipful adoration of God, the Holy Spirit will often reveal any sin in our life that needs to be confessed. To confess means to “”agree with””. In other words, I agree with God concerning my sin – that it is sin. I also agree with God that the blood of Jesus Christ has paid for that sin. This leads me to thank Him for His forgiveness.
  • Thanksgiving – Giving thanks expresses faith, and faith pleases God. In giving thanks we are expressing verbally our gratefulness and appreciation for what God does. Thanksgiving is also saying, “”God I trust You.”” It is the opposite of whining and becoming bitter.
  • Supplication – Supplication with thanksgiving is letting our requests be made known to God. We are praying for everything that concerns us, as well as for the needs of others. Supplication includes intercession and petition. ACTS helps us to be “”on the alert”” in our prayers.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6.

I am exhorted to make my requests known to God, but how can I pray with confidence? Four key words answer this question.

  • 1) Abide
    Abiding is the key to successful praying. In John 15:7, Jesus states, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you.” Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you.”
  • 2) Ask
    Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7, 8, Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened.”

    Someone has said, when we get to heaven we’ll find a lot of unopened packages with our name on them because we did not claim them through prayer.

  • 3) Believe
    In Matthew 21:22 we read, “Everything you ask in prayer, believing you shall receive.” Faith, which is an attitude of believing, pleases God.
  • 4) Receive
    If you are abiding in Christ, and if you have asked, believing, get ready to receive the answer. In other words, when you pray for rain, carry an umbrella. John 16:24 says, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.”

Remember four words to pray with confidence: abide, ask, believe and receive.

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122 Responses to “Effective Prayer”

  • Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Hi Rudo, I see Aldo has prayed for you but I too would like to add something to encourage you. I have recently been reading about King David in the Old Testament. He was a man loved and chosen by God and he did do great things. However, he also did a lot of bad things and also foolish one, especially in regard to his children. BUT the thing was, he knew how to repent and his repentance was sincere so our loving, gracious God forgave him. See Psalm 32 and 51.Your situation does seem difficult but it is in the past and if you have accepted Christ as your Saviour and Lord, the past is the past. He has graciously wiped away all our sins. He can do that because He is sinless yet still payed the price of our salvation on the cross. That does NOT mean that life becomes easy.What it does mean is that we recognize God is in control, He is sovereign and we can trust Him, even with our difficult and wayward children. I trust that you belong to a good Bible teaching church and also a small home group where you get support and encouragement. You could also ask for a personal mentor on this site by clicking on the button at the top of the page where it says, “talk to a mentor”. I know these three important steps will help you cope better because they are ways to draw us closer to God in obedience and faith.Lastly, we all suffer from those negative, self destructive thoughts but in the book of 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 8 it reminds us that satan goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. We have the power of the Holy Spirit to tell satan to get lost and refuse to listen to the lies he tries to tell us. Blessings, Kathryn

  • Aldo says:

    Rudo, allow me to pray for you.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love for Rudo. A love so great it is unfathomable. Help her to grasp the magnitude of that love. Help her to comprehend the sacrifice You made for her in sending Your Son Jesus Christ to suffer and die for her sins, and the sins of all mankind. Lord, draw Rudo closer to You and to Your Son Jesus Christ. Help her to experience Your genuine love for her. Grant her the knowledge of that love shown in what Jesus Christ did for her at Calvary. Bring her to Christ, in whose Name I pray, amen.

  • Rudo says:

    I feel so empty and heart broken I know God has blessed me in so many ways but keep getting attacks from the devil. People are constantly talking bad about me. I have 3 children with different fathers. One who has decided to live a wayward life. Nothing we say or do gets through to her.I seem to face rejection from both males and female. Sometimes I feel suicidal I have no parents and have been betrayed by people close to me. I know I have wronged people too knowingly and unknowingly and for that I ask for forgiveness. I don’t know what to do please help me. Am a mess emotionally financially spiritually and physical everything seems to be wrong

  • Sharon says:

    to Okodel George William prayer–father God I do pray for a closer walk with you God for this year draw him closer and give him prayer guidelines to pray for this year I pray all of this in JESUS name amen I am praying for you– Sharon to Mushu prayer–father God I pray for this person for a husband lead this person to a Godly person to love and be loved I pray all of this in JESUS name amen I am praying for you– sharon

  • Sharon says:

    to Okombia I am sorry you are feeling empty are you going through a rough part of your life prayer–father God I pray for you shine your light on this person right now let this person feel your loving arms around this person right now I pray for Christians to come along this persons path to encourage them I hope you don’t die I am sure there people who love you I am praying for you– sharon

  • Okombia says:

    I feel so empty, so frustrated that life seems not worth living

  • Aldo says:

    Mushu, it is a good thing to be married if that is what the Lord has for you. Let’s pray:

    Father God, I pray that if it is Your will for Mushu, that You would send a good Christian man into her life. Above all, allow her to realize the awesome price that You paid for her in sending Your Son Jesus Christ to pay the tremendous debt for her sins, and the sins of all mankind on the cross of Calvary, amen.

  • Aldo says:

    Chukwuemeka, what you want is commendable. How you get it is in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

    The word “delight” here means enjoy serving the Lord wholeheartedly.

    Also, a lawyer asked Jesus in Matthew 22:36 what was the great commandment. Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”

    What it boils down to is being a “man after God’s own heart.”

    Father God I lift Chukwuemeka up to You and ask that You would grant him the desires of his heart, to live a holy life and to experience the mighty touch of God’s hand in his life. Also, to get to the highest level in his spiritual life, that the world would see Jesus Christ through him, in Jesus Name we pray and agree, amen.

  • Chukwuemeka Ugwu says:

    i want to live a holy life and i want to experience the mighty touch of God’s hand in my life.. I want to get to the highest level in my spiritual life, i want the world to see Jesus Christ through me.. Amen..

  • mushu says:

    i pray to God for a husband..

  • Aldo says:

    Janaki, please be sure that this person is the one who God has for you. And, be careful what you say. You said that you cannot live without him. That should not be true of a human being. If you said that about the Lord, I can understand it, but not about another human being. Remember, your first loyalty is to the Lord. When that is in right order, everything else will fall into place.

    God is all-wise and He wants the very best for you. Allow Him to give it to you.

    Father God, bless Janaki with more of a love for You. Help her to trust You to bring about the very best for her, in Jesus Name we pray and agree, amen.

  • Janaki Alex says:

    I pray my relationship will back to normal. Our love is true we don’t want to lose it. We pray for our love will be stay stronger than before. Alex will accept me’ I cry to you. please help me or kill me. I Can’t move on. we love each other truly. you gift us to each other. we promise to take care until we live in this earth. please show us the way. we seek for your mercy and blessing that you may allow us to be husband and wife. make us to be great couple and good example to our family, children, grandchildren. I love him more than my live. I cant live without him. I cry to you god… Please help me make us to back. he will love me more than I do, care about me more than I do, Love more than I do. I pray in Jesus Holy name Amen

  • Sharon says:

    to shakeel bhatti– I pray agreement with you in JESUS name amen I am praying for you– sharon

  • Dear Lord help me shakeel Bhatti and family and my brother Shahzad Bhatti and family save job and save family and all different issues and problem solve and this month and today and tomorrow new change situation and save all different issues solve me amen shakeel Bhatti , you are the source of all my sustenance. I pray that you hear my prayer and guide me in your infinite wisdom. My spirit is full, but my wallet is empty! I need your help. My finances are in crisis, and are causing me great pain.
    Please uplift my heart so that I may appreciate all that I do have so that I may also be blessed with more prosperity. Money issues bring me down, and I forget to thank You for all that I do have thanks to Your blessings. Please remind me of Your abundance, so that my money will Once again flow in to me, and sustain me as much as Your loving care.
    Dear Lord of Mercy and Father of Comfort, You are the One I turn to for help in moments of weakness and times of need. I ask you to be with your servant in this illness. Psalm 107:20 says that you send out your Word and heal. So then, please send your healing Word to your servant. In the name of Jesus, drive out all infirmity and sickness from his body.
    Dear Lord, I ask you to turn this weakness into strength, suffering into compassion, sorrow into joy, and pain into comfort for others. May your servant trust in your goodness and hope in your faithfulness, even in the middle of this suffering. Let him be filled with patience and joy in your presence as he waits for your healing touch.
    Please restore your servant to full health, dear Father. Remove all fear and doubt from his heart by the power of your Holy Spirit, and may you, Lord, be glorified through his life.
    As you heal and renew your servant, Lord, may he bless and praise you.
    All of this I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.
    Please help me in this time of loss and overwhelming grief. I don’t understand why my life is filled with this pain and heartache. But I turn my eyes to you as I seek to find the strength to trust in your faithfulness. I will wait on you and not despair; I will quietly wait for your salvation. My heart is crushed, but I know that you will not abandon me forever. Please show me your compassion, Lord. Help me through the pain so that I will hope in you again. I believe this promise in your Word to send me fresh mercy each day. Though I can’t see past today, I trust your great love will never fail me.
    ear Lord, I offer you this prayer, to help me with my current relationship situation. Please take away all the pain and hurt in my heart. Fill it with love, joy, patience, and understanding.
    Bless me and my partner, so that we may never surrender to whatever challenges that come our way. Fill our hearts with love for each other, and may you make each one of us realize each other’s worth. Please touch the heart of my partner,fill it with much love for me.
    Make our complicated relationship become uncomplicated. I seek for your mercy and blessing that you may allow us to spend the rest of our lives with each other. Please make this feeling mutual for both of us. Lead us not into temptations. Guide us wherever we go. Always put us in each other’s heart and mind. Thank you Lord for hearing my prayer. dear lord help me and save me job and save me brother Shahzad Bhatti job and family and next year good year and all year save me job and save me family and save me my brother Shahzad Bhatti job and save family all different issues and different problem solve me and change siltation and change and change life new situation change today and morrow this month save me job and save me family and all different issues and problem and save me brother Shahzad Bhatti job and save family and different issues and result me amen shakeel Bhatti and family today save me situation and problem and all different problem solve me amen urgently prayer and change sudation I amen lord praise the lord shakeel Bhatti my wife sheeba shaker and son romail shakeel and son suleman shakeel and me save me all different issues amen

  • Okodel George William says:

    spiritual growth prayer guidelines request as we enter new year

  • Chris says:

    eraina…sorry to hear of your spiritual struggles!…being able to act like jesus in every situation and not react to peoples unkindness is probably going to be one of the biggest challenges any Christian will face in life. injustice is something against our nature and against Gods nature also so a balance needs to be kept between what is acceptable and non-acceptable behavior towards our person. you see its not wrong to feel angry when another person says or does something against us. anger in itself is not a sin. its how we channel that anger is whats important to God. remember how even jesus was angry in the temple in John 2. also, distancing yourself from people when you can whom you discern have not been sent by God to you is also important and your right to do so. Nehemiah 6.12. read the book of proverbs for wisdom on how to deal with different situation and people in life. by doing so you will be able to handle a situation correctly with wisdom and spiritual principles even when others around you are in the flesh, you can yield to the holy spirit and manifest his fruit of galatians 5.22 to 23. praying jesus lead you in this issue and teach you his ways with having a good balance too. blessings!

  • Susana says:

    The man I love moved to another country though I prayed everyday he was still here he still left. I continue to have faith that he will one day come back and marry me. I have not received a confirmation from God as to if this man is in his will for me. I ask for prayer that God gives me a confirmation soon.

  • Eraina says:

    How do I change? I consider myself a kind, giving and compassionate person, but am I really? I seem to become explosive when I feel wronged in any way. On occasion I have dismissed negative treatment I may re’v from others, but some things just takes me over the edge causing me to react. I’m tired of reacting badly, disgracefully. I always end up coming back to God asking forgiveness. How can I learn to be consistently reasonable, displaying always a Christ like attitude even when I feel I’m being mistreated or wronged. I constantly pray about this, sometimes but not often enough I see growth . How can I be effective in leading ppl to Christ when I cannot control my reaction to mistreatment or being wronged and misunderstood?

  • joseph Nwoye says:

    the power of prayer

  • Aldo says:

    Raymond, to answer your question, if you truly believe that God is speaking to you about your ex-girlfriend, then so be it. You need to hang on to that, but you must also move on while waiting for the Lord to bring that to pass. The fact that even the love of your life is discouraging you is no match for God working in her heart. But, you must also understand that if you are wrong about it being God, then the fault is entirely yours.

    I pray that the Lord would grant you wisdom to know the one from the other.

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