In our last study, we looked at understanding prayer. In this study we will be focusing on how to pray effectively.
Effective prayer is a goal that most Christians aim for in their daily life, and unfortunately this is a goal that few reach. Why would prayer be so hard to achieve, and to get results on a daily bases? The problem lies in our approach to prayer. For many of us, we have been taught that to pray we must "beg and plead" with God, and just maybe He will move on our behalf. I have also seen people think that they are exactly where God wants them, so they just pray "Lord if it be thy will" like that will do the trick for them, and what every results happen with that prayer then that is exactly what God would have them to do. Then you have my personal favorite kind of prayer, the "lets make a deal" prayer. We agree to do something for God, if He in return will do something for us. As a result of all these types of prayers, it's no wonder why so many Christians have a very weak prayer life, and are defeated by Satan. So let us begin our study of how to pray effectively.
Fist let us take the time to see what the Bible says about prayer. Jesus said in
"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you."
Here is the interesting thing about this scripture, there is actually two things going on in this verse. First is "pray", and the second is "ask". At first this seems like the same thing.
Well first let's see that the word "pray" means.
The Greek word is proseuchomai: to pray to God, supplicate, worship, and make prayer ? Strong's 4336 reference number.
What is unique about this word is that it is the primary word Jesus used when he was talking about pray in the Bible. The word in itself gives us the meaning of pray. It means to worship the Lord. But how does worship tie to prayer? Easy, the second part of the scripture finishes it for us.
To ask, this is the only thing most of us knows about prayer, is to ask, yet as you can see asking is only the second part of praying. So some would say now "O I get it; I just worship God and then ask. Then I will understand prayer." I would say no. That's not the point Jesus was trying to tell us about prayer. Let's dig deeper into this.
We have exposed the first part of Mark 11:24, let's look at the second part. Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you."
Here is the true key to effective prayer, Believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you. Jesus has just giving us the key to prayer. Here again, we have a two parts. First is believe, and the second part is receive.
The Bible gives us many verses that tells us to believe, but for me the most compelling of them is Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."
We as believers must believe that God is a rewarder, not a condemner. Most believers just believe that God will do what he wants, yet the Bible tells us, that if we come to God, we must believe that God will reward those who seek Him. So there is faith in God that these prayers will be answered.
If faith is a part of prayer, we have to figure out how I can have faith in this problem or situation, which I have been asking God to move in. That is simple, Faith comes by hearing the word of God, and the Word of God will show you what God's will is for that situation.
Romans 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
We need start to basing our prayers on the Word of God, and not our feelings, nor our religious teachings, and then we will start to see results. We have only one part left and that is to understanding the receiving part.
James 1:5-8 "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,  being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."
It says very plainly that if a man will not believe that he received what he asked, then let that man expect not to receive anything from the Lord. That is very clear if you ask me. If you will not act as if you have already received what you have asked for then do not think that you will receive it from God. That is a major problem for most people, how do we ask as if we have received, when he have not received yet? That is where faith plays into it.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Substance of things hoped for. What is substance? In the Greek it means "confident", so we could read it as this, "Now faith is confidence of things hoped for. The confidence is the results of hearing the word of God. As you can see, that all this is starting to fall into place, and every part of the 4 parts are staring to work together. Now, on to the last part "the evidence of things not seen." Again let's look at "evidence" in the Greek to get the meaning of it. Evidence means "proof". Let's re-read this verse with our study definitions in place.
Now Faith is the confidence of things hoped for, the proof of things not seen. So in short, your confidence in God will result on your hearing of the Word of God. As you grow in the Word your Faith will grow as well, and that will bring confidence that God will do what He says He will do. You will be able to believe what you ask, and in doing so you will also be able to have proof through your faith, (the Proof will come through knowing the promises of God.) so you will not be a flip flopper and you will be in the right position and open to receive from God, for you will already be acting as if you have already received.
Now that we understand the second part of Mark 11:24, let's return back to the first part.
Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you."
We have learned in this study, pray means to worship and that Jesus told us to pray and ask. How can these two things be together in what we call prayer?
Matthew 6:8 "So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. This verse is used by many as a means of just praying Gods will on everything. For if he knows what I need before I ask, then why bother studying the word of God, and applying my faith, if He knows then, just let him do it. That kind of thinking will get you no where fast with God. Yes God does know what you need before you ask, but that doesn't mean you will get it. You have a role to play in this as well."
To ask for something is our part; we need to know what the Bible says about our situation in order to be able to be in the right position to believe and receive from God. That's not that hard to figure out, but how about the worship part for the pray part of Mark 11:24?
Here is the best part and I have saved it for last. When you go into prayer with God, He already knows what you need, right. So, the worship part is just thanking God for what he has done for you. Can you see it tie together? We come to God worshiping him and giving him thanks, for what He as already done for us. Prayer should be in the past tense. Let me give you an example. Prayer for healing: Father in the name of Jesus Christ, Lord I thank you that you are a God of healing. Lord your word says in 1 Peter 2:24 "and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed." Father I believe that you have done this in Jesus, and Lord that you have healed me through Jesus, and now Father I receive my healing of ( what ever ). Lord you said I was healed, and Father, I will not speak another word that is against what you have said I was. The Doctors might say it, my Family might say it, and my body might show signs of it, yet Lord you said I'm healed and I believe your report. Father I give you thanks. Lord I praise and worship you, and I give you glory for my victory. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Can you see how that prayer is in Past tense? The prayer was as if it was already done. In that prayer you worshiped God (pray), you asked (my healing) and you believed and received from God. All in the same matter as Mark 11:24.
Prayer is not a five minute thing, if you truly want to be effective in prayer, you will need to take time and study the word of God. I know this sounds funny, yet as Believers the Word of God is God's Will for our life. We need to know what it says, and when we pray, we ask God to do what He said He would in the Word. But if we do not know the Word, we get all these different kinds of noise to God, trying to con God, trying to make a deal with God, and trying to just tell God "you handle it." Well my friends those prayers will not work. You have to show your self approved in the Word.
What if you are new to Christ, well God is a loving God and he will meet you where you are. But even a new Christian will be reading his or her Bible. And God will be able to show you what you need for prayer. As always I pray that this study has and will continue to increase your personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Daryl Frisbee Covenant Ministries: I have started this Ministry to help the children of God, to understand who they are in Christ. I have studied the topic of "Covenant" for over 4 years. I will show you, how to apply this covenant you have with God, in your everyday life. Topics of Prayer, Healing, Faith, Covenant, The Authority of the Believer, and more can be found on my website. These topics are in written Text Lessons, Audio Sermons, and Video Feeds. So come and learn your wonderful Covenant you have with your God.