How effective are your prayers? Do you always get what you ask for from God? Very likely the answer is “No”. But the bible says:
Mark 11:24 – Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
John 14:13 – And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 16:23 – And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my My name He will give you.
Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
This is God’s word. And the bible says God cannot lie. So how come we always come up with excuses like God always answers prayers in one of three ways. Sometimes “yes”, sometimes “no” and some other times “later”. That is nowhere in the bible; but certainly visible in people’s experiences. It is wrong to infuse our life experiences into the word of God and make it say something it doesn’t.
When I read the above verses on my own, I come to the conclusion that I can get whatever I ask from God my Father when I ask with the right motive and in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ. There are only two scenarios according to the word of God when we don’t receive what we ask for.
My dear brothers and sisters, learn to always question yourself when something from God's word isn’t working for you….because this is God’s word. He has spoken. His words cannot fail. How are you going to respond? Are you going to explain it away or try justifying why you can’t always do what’s written here because of life experiences? We need to be careful not to get inoculated by people’s opinions or their life experiences and instead align ourselves to the word of God.
In Christianity today, there is a lot of emphasis in “getting something from God” when it comes to prayer. We are always wanting God to “do something”. Our prayer life is full of “requests”. We associate prayer with requests. We associate prayer with a need. We always have a need or a want. Our default stance when we pray is “pleading” for something. We are looking for either a miracle, a provision, a deliverance or direction.
Is this really the essence of serving God? Do we only relate to God because we constantly want Him to do something for us that we can’t do ourselves? Is that the only reason we relate to God? Often times we even wonder if we are heard…because very often we don’t really see answers to our requests, except the obvious ones. Eg: A miraculous healing. In fact, we have almost made a god out of our “needs”.
Subconsciously our “needs” have gained so much attention in our lives. We say we are praying to God, but our needs are more on our mind than the God who is the answer to our needs. God our Father is wanting a genuine intimate relationship with us. Get into that relationship and you will notice that your prayer always works.
There are two primary things we need to learn when we stand before God in prayer.
In the Old Testament, we see God being Almighty God and man being a separated sinner from God. God spoke to man through prophets, signs and wonders. However, in the New Testament, Jesus (our Savior) has reconciled us to God. Our sins are wiped clean and there is nothing that separates us from God our Father anymore. In effect, we are back in the Garden of Eden situation “before” Adam and Eve sinned. In other words, we have an oneness and intimacy with God.
Before Jesus died, He was called the only begotten son….but after He died and rose again, He wasn’t called the only begotten son anymore, but the first born from the dead…Wow!! That implies, there must be a second born, a third born, a fourth, a hundredth, a millionth, and so on. That’s because when He died, we died with Him. When he rose from the dead, we rose with Him. In fact, Ephesians 2:6 says “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. How awesome is that!! We became sons and daughters of God when we were born again AND are seated together with Christ in the heavenly place. We are right there with God our Father in His presence, just as Christ Himself is.
Before Jesus died for us, He said to His disciples “I no longer call you servants, but friends”. (John 15:15). However, after His death and resurrection, when conversing with Mary; He said “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God”. (John 20:17)
This is the gospel dear friends. We are one with Him. He is the vine and we are the branches. We have the same God life flowing in us. This is why the bible says “we are not of this world”. Again, this is why the bible says “We are ambassadors for Christ” here in this world. You cannot be an ambassador when residing in your home country, can you? You are in a foreign land and you represent your home country in that foreign land. That’s what an ambassador does.
Revelation 1:6 says he made us kings and priests unto God. He is not planning on doing it when we get to heaven, but has made us kings and priests. This is a present tense reality.
This is who we are in Christ. We live by a different set of rules. Therefore, when we pray, we need to be conscious of who we are in Christ. We are right there in God’s presence. When you know who you are, then it changes your prayer life significantly.
When you know your Father that intimately, you don’t need to plead and beg in prayer for things that you need. Your requests don’t have to be lengthy and repetitive. He already knows what you need and He loves you immensely. Just ask in the name of Jesus, believing that He loves you, believing that you are His son or daughter and believing that you are not separate from Him anymore. Asking in prayer becomes easy and full of faith (not hope). You are now able to ask like a child and know that He heard you and also know that He will most definitely give you what you have asked for.
You come away “expecting” whatever that is you have asked for. This is the manner in which God expects us to come before Him.
1 John 5:14-15 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
When we pray, we need to pray from the right stance. From an understanding of who we are in Christ Jesus. A king and a priest unto God. From an understanding of our relationship with our Father God. From an understanding of the nature of God and the kingdom of God.
Eg: The bible records instances of healings and miracles done by Peter and Paul, but in all these cases, it was a “decree”, not lengthy prayers. So prayer is a private affair between you and God. Talk to Him…listen to Him.
Being in Christ is a position. Not a belief or a matter of faith.
Keeping on repeating the same stuff over and over again will not work with God. It’s not a strategy to get God to do stuff for you. Some people think that if they fast for a day or two and then ask God, then He is somehow obliged to do stuff for them. That is a poor understanding of who the Father is.
If you know who you are in Christ, then you also know that just as He is, so are you in this world. (1 John 4:17). Therefore, if Christ is God’s beloved son, then you are His beloved too.
Do not sound as if you are begging your Father for something He is refraining from giving you. You will paint a picture of your Father who takes sadistic pleasure in watching his dear children helpless and at His mercy. That’s not who your Father is. He wants you to have what you are asking for more than you want it for yourself, because seeing you joyful makes Him joyful.
John 16:23 – And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
Time and again I have seen and heard people start off a prayer by saying “Dear Jesus…” and then they ask whatever they need to ask and end it with “in Jesus name”. You don’t pray to Jesus….in Jesus name. Yes, He is our Lord, our Saviour, our everything in life. Tell Him how much you love Him. Talk to Him. But when you make a request…ask the Father in Jesus name. This is not about technicality. It is because we are now in Him ourselves. We are in the presence of the Father ourselves. Jesus has been given the name above all names. His name is the highest authority and He has given us the authority to ask the Father in His name, because He doesn’t see us separate from Him anymore. So how can we ask Jesus for anything in Jesus name?
So how do you pray effectively? For things that don’t comply with the kingdom if God, just decree or command. Say I decree peace in my home in Jesus name. I decree health in Jesus name. Call out your infirmity and tell it to GO in Jesus name. Why? Because you are standing in the kingdom of light and commanding things into the kingdom of darkness. The kingdom you represent has authority over the kingdom you are living in. These prayers don’t have to be lengthy.
For things that you need, such as a house or a job or a car or financial provision, etc; simply talk to your Father. Explain the situation like He is there right in front of you and simply let Him know of your needs. Trust that He heard you and come away assured that your need will be met. Remain in faith thereafter.
However, IF you are walking in intimacy with the Lord, you will at times be overwhelmed with a burden for lost souls in your family or city or country. This might compel you to intercede on behalf of them. Such prayers can tend to be quite intense, sometimes even with tears because you are genuinely feeling the same compassion of Christ for those lost people. These prayers are close to Gods heart because they are motivated and guided by the Holy Spirit in you.
James says “Prayer of a righteous man avails much”. Why is this in the bible? Because God knows that we might think that our prayers are not working. He knows that we may think our prayers are weak and get discouraged at times. Don’t think nothing is happening. It works. Why? Not because you are praying using eloquent words. But because you are righteous. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. No condemnation anymore. The blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all unrighteousness.
Matthew 18:19 - Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. Two of who? Any two who know their standing in Christ. Any two who are standing in His marvellous light.
This works best when you actually explain the situation to the other person. Don’t just say, agree with me in prayer…and start praying. You don’t know what the other person is thinking…Explain and ensure both of you want the same thing. Then pray.
There is so much more to say. I know some of you might have a lot of questions.
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.
True freedom is freedom from self-centeredness. Dying to yourself, your wants, your desires and to what gives you pleasure for the sake of others is more liberating than you think.