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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100 Responses to “Effective Prayer”

  • Daniel says:

    Ive been praying for sumtime now but i keep sinning now i believe that i dont want to be on this earth anymore i dont want to be here ive been asking forgivenes where i get huge chills i dont wish to commit suicide but asked him to take my life so another maybe spaired who deserves there life should stay and i shall go to him to be by his side

  • christine says:

    I have been dating my boyfriend 3years now. We want to get married but my boyfriend is without a job. I have started looking at other things as I have become uncertain whether we will ever get married or not. I have stopped hearing the voice of God on this matter. I need an instant miracle, I prayed at the beginning of the year for marriage but does not seem realistic anymore. Father please hear me I need this now.

  • Sharon says:

    to Deidre— prayer–father God I pray for Deidre right now for faith and peace that passes all understanding I pray for she will be able to pas her practice and you will give her great memory that she can pass and help her pass so she won’t get dropped from the program I pray that her nerves won’t get in the way this time let her know you are with her help he study and I pray your healing hand over her nerves that they won’t get in the way I pray all of this in JESUS name amen I am praying for you I feel for you nerves are no fun when they get in the way i was suppose to have eye surgery in July but my nerves got in the way so it got scheduled for September my nerves got in the way again so it took a bit longer than wanted i am ok now. may God be with you at this time.– sharon

  • Deidre says:

    I have been in school since 2013 working towards becoming a physical therapist assistant. I failed a practical today because I let my nerves get the best of me. I know I need to put everything in Gods hands and not let my nerves get to me but I don’t know how to change my nervousness. If I don’t pass the practical the 2nd or 3rd time, I will be completely dropped from the program. Prayers of any kind would be great, Faith, nerves, studying, memory, thought process, peace, kindness, etc. thanks in advance.

  • Sharon says:

    to Rob– thank you for your comment good one amen to your comment a powerless church is a prayer less church.– sharon

  • Rob Aquino says:

    Our christian life Depends on the degree of our prayer life. Prayer is our source of strength to battle the works of the enemy in our life. Prayer move the hands of God and bring victory in our walk with Him.
    When we pray we allow the fullness of heavens to work in he behalf of our nations, community, church, family – to manifest the miracle working power onGod in our life.
    Prayerless church is a powerless church!!!

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    Hi Todd,
    Glad to hear that you are continuing to grow in your walk with the Lord! I would love to pray those specific things that you asked for….

    Lord, thank you for Todd’s love for you. I pray that he would keep growing deeper in loving and knowing our precious Savior, growing deeper and more effective in prayer, being in the center of His will, and that His eyes will be open to Your will every day in every way. Continue to work Your good will in him. Amen

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    We have wonderful online mentors that would love to walk alongside of you on this journey. Just fill in the form on the http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/ page and someone will email you.

    In the meantime, I would love to pray for you:

    I bring Ruth and her family to you right now. You know the difficult situation she finds herself in and I ask that You would continue to give her grace and strength. I pray too for her husband who desperately needs help to deal with his addictions. Help him to see that he cannot do that without your help. Thank you that You are still the God of miracles and we can ask You to work those miracles in our lives today. Amen

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    Mary let me join you in prayer right now:

    Dear Heavenly Father,
    I lift up Mary to you today and ask that You would help her to study hard and to remember the things that she has studied in order to pass this exam that she has been trying to pass. Thank you that you hear our prayers. Amen.

  • mary says:

    i have been praying for years to pass one of my exam.i didnt got an answer dont know what to do.

  • Ruth says:

    I need pray please. Im a wife and mother I have been married for 15 years, for 9 of these years my husband has suffered with prescription drug abuse and I’ve have done all I know I could do. He has been to rehab no it didn’t help.Our 2 oldest children know whats going on. I took my vows serious hes sick but how much can one take.

  • Todd says:

    I’ve been a believer now for 39 years, and a passion for God’s word in my heart is just growing so intensely. I would like to continue to grow deeper in Christ and be in the very center of His will. As I read his word more and more, I also want my prayer life to deepen. Often, I pray His word back to Him, and thank Him for the meaning, or ask Him to open my heart to Him, and to clarify it to me.

    However, as I read His word and pray it back to Him, I’m learning to pray more in accordance with His will…because His word reveals His will.

    Please pray with me to keep growing deeper in loving and knowing my precious Savior, growing deeper and more effective in prayer, being in the center of His will, and that my eyes will be open to His will. Thanks.

  • prince mensah says:

    thanks a lot for your teachings. god blesss you.

  • Chris says:

    Samuel…sorry to hear you are struggling….please share what it is you are asking the lord for. we will then find a solution for your situation. thanks!

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    HI Samuel, that is great news about your new relationship with Jesus! How did that happen? Did you have a friend who told you about Jesus? Was there something in your life that helped you to understand your need for a Saviour?

    What are you talking to God about in your prayers? What makes you think that God is not answering your prayers?

    I want you to know, there is no pattern for your prayers that will make them more or less likely to be answered by God. Some people like to think that they can control God by saying certain things or following different rituals, but that does not put God in a position where He MUST do what they ask. Any habits or patterns in prayer are more about helping you to focus on God so that you can better hear from Him and focus on being honest with Him.

    There are teachings from the Bible that help us to learn how to pray. Jesus taught His disciples to pray by telling a parable about a religious elite and cultural outcast. The religious elite made a big show of his prayer making sure that many would see and be impressed. The cultural outcast was a broken man; his prayer was simple, humble, and sincere “O Lord forgive me.” Jesus said that is was the humble man who went home with his prayer answered rather than the religious elite (Luke 18:9-13) God is waiting to talk with you; come to Him simply, honestly and sincerely and you will be changed by Him.

    Let me pray for you: Dear Jesus, I pray that You would help Samuel to pray. Show Yourself to him and help him to follow You in every part of his life. Amen.

    Samuel, I look forward to hearing back from you soon!

  • samuel says:

    my name is Samuel,I recently gave my to God and accept Jesus as my personal saviour.Am constantly to God but am feeling God is not my preyers.please guide me on how to say effective preyers so that God could answer my preyers.
    Thank you

  • Chris says:

    yellphoenix…..the Christian life does not guarantee days without difficulties but to have ones soul saved forever cannot be compared with temporary human happiness. jesus did say he came to bring us an abundant life in John 10.10 however we shouldnt limit that to terms of earthly pleasure and properity. as jesus said, what would it gain a person to win the world but lose his own soul. i would encourage you today to log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com or click talk to a mentor above to begin your own personal saving relationship with jesus christ today. more than just making you happy, you will be eternally blessed as you do. praying you open your heart today and ask jesus in!

  • Yellphoenix says:

    Hi everyone.. I know i am a sinner and i don’t know if God is still giving me a chance to live happily.. I am trying to pray each day, whenever i pass by a church i stop listening to radio and say my prayers.. With this guidance of praying, i hope i can have a fruitful prayers and communications with God.. Thank you for such guidance.. God Bless Us All..

  • Anna says:

    Please Pray for me regarding working abroad that Mr. Kimura will be enlighten by the Holy Spirit that he will hire me. This is I ask thru Christ our Lord Amen . And I already claim it In Jesus name. Thank you

  • Ajetomobi Emmanuel says:

    pls help me pray to God to provide a good job for me.by this time of next month i should come to his presence to give testimony.

  • We need God divine intervention towards our here in Nigeria that God will give us the land, men, women and children. Also, finicial breakthrough to reach the lost souls

  • Elkay says:

    Nyiko, an important principle when it comes to prayer is that no prayer is answered that is not in accord with God’s will. And so, when we pray, we need to have God’s Word in our mind, His Spirit in our heart and a desire to please Him impressed on our will. If He answers as we pray, our faith is strengthened and we are better positioned to glorify Him. [God created us for His own purpose, that we glorify Him and we must keep this foremost in our mind . . . (Isa 43:7]

    And so when it comes to your request for prayers for your studies, faith and hope and either a life-partner or to be reconciled with your ex, our attitude has to match that of Jesus’ “Not My will but Yours be done.”

    “Abba Father, Nyiko has expressed a desire for prayers for his studies, faith and hope and either a life-partner or to be reconciled with his ex. Lord, we acknowledge that we do not know Your specific will in these matters but we know we are totally dependent upon You in Whom we live and move and have our being. So we do pray for a God-glorifying and character-building future for Nyiko’s in his studies, faith and hope and life-soul-mate. In all these matters, help Nyiko know that Your are working to mold him to be closer and closer to Your Son, Jesus Christ, and to accept whatever answer You bring. We bring this prayer to Your throne of grace in Christ’s glorious name. Amen.”

  • Nyiko says:

    please help me pray for my studies, and also help me regain my face and hope. pray for me to find a life partner, or pray for me to get my ex back if it is God will. thank you

  • Elkay says:

    Donna, I saw your post today, August 4, and wonder if you did pass your exam and how will that change your life? What happens if you did not pass, so that we can pray specifically for you?

    Jeni, you are right that God is living and loving and it is also true that nothing is too hard for Him to arrange. And your faith in prayer is also well-placed because when Jesus extended the privilege of calling God “Our Father”, He assured us that God will use His perfect knowledge, power and wisdom to guide and care for us.

    Prayers in accord with God’s will are answered so we pray, “Heavenly Father, Jeni has expressed her faith in You and in prayer. On this basis, we ask that it be Your will that her “ex’s heart” be changed into a loyal, true loving, caring heart for her so that they can be reunited in a relationship where both Jeni and her ex take the love You have for them and let it flow from You through them to each other. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

  • jeni says:

    Please pray for me, i am shattered, please God help me,such that God can work in my ex’s heart and change him into loyal,true loving ,caring heart for me, because no heart is too hard for Jesus to work.I ask God to bless me to get my ex back in my life. I believe in prayer, i believe in living God, i believe my prayer is heard by you oh God.Thank you God for hearing my prayer .I pray for those who are ill, financial crisis, going through difficult times, to bless them too…I pray and ask in the name of Jesus Christ.Amen

  • Donna says:

    Please pray for me to pass the exam tomorrow! This will change my life! Thanks

  • Donna says:

    Please pray fore to pass the exam tomorrow! This will change my life! Thanks

  • Aldo says:

    Acklyn Belinda, let me suggest that you read God’s Word, the Holy Bible, every night before you retire. It will fill your mind with positive things, and alleviate the negative ones. Start in the New Testament in the gospel of John, then read the other three gospels- Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

    Let’s pray: Father God, I pray that You would deliver Acklyn from the bad dreams which she is having, and fill her with Your peace. Turn her life around from not doing well, to being blessed with the joy of the Lord. Grant her a job which she will enjoy doing, and a marriage partner who will love her unconditionally, in Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

    Acklyn, let me encourage you to log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com and allow God to bring the changes in your life which He desires for you. God bless.

  • Aldo says:

    Nobuhle, let’s pray: Father God, Nobuhle has asked for You to bless her with a job. Lord, thank You for giving her a desire to work, and to provide for her financial needs. In order to do that she needs a job. Grant her a job that will be a great blessing to her; one that she will enjoy doing, as well as providing for her finances, in Jesus Name we pray and agree, Amen.

  • Aldo says:

    Srujana, God knows and has heard your plea, and is desirous to help you. Let us pray: Heavenly Father, Srujana is struggling with her studies, and has asked for help in them. She has failed in one of her crucial subject, and would like to be able to pass it. Father God, we ask for a miracle here. Bless Srujana with the wisdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the faith to believe You will answer our prayer, in Jesus Name we pray, Amen.

  • Elkay says:

    Amelisa, the Lord declares that His grace is sufficient for every painful situation we will ever encounter. Because of His abundant goodness, kindness, and love for us, we do not have to succumb to discouragement, give up hope, or not live in His plan. God’s grace can supernaturally bring about change in your life and give you the strength to overcome harmful addictions and other hindrances to being a “good Christian”.

    The apostle Paul had been through shipwrecks, imprisonment, and beatings—difficulties far worse than what most of us face. Yet he didn’t quit, because he drew on God’s grace and found it sufficient for every circumstance.

    So we pray, “Abba Father, Amelisa needs an infusion of grace in order to bring about change in her life and to regain hope for her future. Teach her that hope is an anchor for her soul that reaches behind the veil that is heavenly Jerusalem where Jesus reigns as High Priest . . . and that she can become one of Your children if she will receive Jesus as her Savior of life and believe in Him as Lord. Thank You, Lord, for Your grace and mercy without which we are all lost. In Jesus’ name, we bring this prayer to Your throne of grace. Amen.”

    Amelisa I encourage you to log onto knowingjesuspersonally.com and allow God’s grace to make the changes in your life that you are striving for.

  • Amelisa says:

    I pray for change in my life,I’ve been drinking it away haplessly .I also want to become a good Christian..I wish Anyone can pray for me..I just need change and hope in my life.Thank you everyone

  • Acklyn Belinda says:

    Hello, please pray for me am having bad dreams and everything in my life seems not to be going on well. Need a new job and marriage. Thanx a lot and believe your prayers will work for me.

  • Nobuhle says:

    Please help me pray that God grants me a Job….

  • srujana says:

    im sturuggling a lot in my academics.i failed in one of my crucial subjects.please pray that my grade would be chnged and i vl get passed in that subject

  • Sharon says:

    to father God I pray for success and travelling mercy for us travelling to the hospital for my eye surgery and give me peace I pray all of this in JESUS name amen

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    Hi there Skye,
    I don’t know what your situation is but I would love to pray for you:

    Dear God, thank you for Skye. She has shared her heartfelt desire to get married and to find a good job. Thank you that you always know what is est for us, and that you are never too early nor too late. Guide and direct her in the path that you would have her go. Amen.

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    Michael, Let me pray for you right now:

    Dear Heavenly Father,
    Thank you for your love and care for us and the promise that if we cast our cares on you, you will care for us. I lift Michael up to you today and ask that you would help him as he is working on his summer course. Give him wisdom and discernment to feel like he has something to contribute in the discussions and use him to be Jesus with skin on to the other students in the class. Bless and encourage him today.

  • skye says:

    Please pray that I get married soon. I get a new job that will make me feel happy and healthy and positive towards life. so that I keep everyone happy and smiling joyfully.

  • Michael says:

    Please pray for me. I am currently an English graduate student and I am overwhelmed with a feeling of irrelevance in the discussions over a summer course I am taking. I will use the ACTS formula in my daily prayer. Thank you.

  • Aldo says:

    Jisha, let’s pray.

    Father God, be with Jisha as he takes his exams. Guide him, inspire him, and bring the correct answers to his memory. Grant him his desire to serve You with all his heart and strength, in Jesus Name, Amen.

  • jisha says:

    Thank you all for your prayers…. By gods grace I got my hall tickets… He has yet again raised me up from my fall… Thank you lord… Please continue to guide me as I write my exams from 30th june till 4th july 2015… Take me in your care as Im your lost sheep… guide me to spread your words… Guide me in all that I do.. Amen

  • Elkay says:

    “Heavenly Father, Jisha has said “yes” to Your will for her life, asking You to lead her so that she can follow Your Son’s footsteps. She has asked that You hold her hand and arrange and rearrange the circumstances of her life according to Your plan for her. She has yielded herself to Your Holy Spirit who is working even now to make her more and more like Christ as she is changed into His glorious image (2 Cor 3:18). Thank You Father for this transforming miracle, for Your love, grace and mercy. Your Word says that You shall supply all Jisha’s needs according to Your riches which have been given to her in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19). You only know the future and You only are all-powerful so we come to Your throne of grace to ask for the help Jisha needs to deal with hall tickets and exams in the way that You know is best, whatever that may be. Bless her, Lord, so that You can work together to fulfill the dream You have for her life. We ask this through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord and Savior. Amen.”

  • Jisha says:

    Please pray that my friend Varsha and I receive our hall tickets and we write our exam successfully… Please pray that all obstacles in our way to get our hall tickest that are wrongly held by few people are all removed and please pray for lord to never give up on me and hold my hand as he has done always and lead my way so that i can follow his footsteps

  • Elkay says:

    Abba Father, You established marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind. It is Your plan and only with You can we work it out with joy. Bless Nissi. Give her a tenderness that will make her great, a deep sense of understanding and a great faith in You. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, that eternal youth that is found in holding fast the things that never age.

    Teach her that marriage is not living merely for each other; it is two uniting and joining hands to serve You. Give her and her husband a great spiritual purpose in life. May they seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, and the other things they need will be added unto them.

    May they not expect that perfection of each other that belongs only to You. May they minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths, and see each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes.

    Heavenly Father, please make assignments to them that will bless them and develop their characters as they walk together. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them humane, enough failure to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours, and enough success to make them sure they walk with You. May they never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims, ‘Out of all this world you have chosen me.’

    This we ask through Jesus Christ, Great Lover of Our Souls. Amen.”

  • Pl.pray for the marriage of my daughter NISSI

  • Jodie says:

    do you know what the bibles message is? What it tells about our future? What happens when you die? Who really is in control of the earth? Why is there so much suffering? For a free home bible study please email me at: [it is our policy not to publish personal contact information]
    “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” John 8:32

  • emily says:

    VINAKA Chris i have accepted Jesus today and this prayer will definitely help me work well day by day


  • Chris says:

    donna…i rejoice in the encouragement and comfort of the holy spirit upon you!! John 14 to 16

  • Donna says:

    Thank you Chris for your words that you sent to me; I read those words and make sure that they are apart of my everyday life.I allowed myself to be distracted. Thank you

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