How is your praying? Are you growing more in love with Jesus as a result of continual prayer? Are your prayers gaining much? Are you growing more in love with the Body of Christ as you pray for people? Are you rising above circumstances and putting them under your feet as you pray? Are your prayers creating more eagerness to be involved and serve the Lord in the Body of Christ? If you are like most Christians your answer is “no” to at least one of those questions. Yet, the Word of God says in James 5:16 “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” So, how is your praying? Is it producing much? Are you seeing results? Would you like to see your prayers avail much?
God has spoken to me that many of His people say they are praying but they really aren’t. They are just “telling” God about things and then doing what seems right to them. The reason is because His children do not read and meditate on His Word resulting in self-talk instead of Spirit to spirit talk. God’s answer to availing prayer is His Word. John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God!” Well folks! It can’t get any clearer than that! Jesus is the Word! When we pray the Word, we are praying Jesus which is our key to praying effective and fervent prayers as we live righteously in Him, and we can expect a lot from Jesus!
However, this means we need to know Jesus in His Word, not just know about Him. Knowing Him outside of His Word causes us to make Him into a god we want or think we need Him to be ending in deceptive, selfish, self-centered, and manipulative prayers. Seeking Him as He is results in prayers and follow-up words and actions lining up with the Word! And one of the greatest treasures in all of life is that there is no end to believing in Jesus! We can never know enough about Him! Though He is more than enough we cannot get enough of Him! So as we grow in knowledge by spending time in and with the Living Word, our prayers take on a sense of urgency to line up with the Word!
Rarely do we purpose to pray our own will but it is the result of taking on a lackadaisical attitude in regards to reading and meditating on the Word of God, refusing to learn from our spiritual leaders, and not digesting His wonderful truths and letting them flow out of us in our prayer language. All of those take time and energy so we actually use prayer as a substitute for enthusiastically pouring His Word into our spirits. In other words, throwing out quick prayers as we go about our business is easier and faster than actually spending time reading His Word every day, studying, and going to church and bible study to “pray” His Word and will into our lives and not just what we “think”.
Of course I am not suggesting we not pray! Prayer is essential and central to our lives in Christ but we need Spirit and faith filled prayers coming out of the Word in order for them to avail much! The power of prayer is in God’s innate power not in our ability to pray! Therefore we must call on His power in prayer which IS the living Word! Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” We have the privilege of praying His Word fervently and effectively in order for His power and will to manifest on earth. As we immerse ourselves in the Bible a fervency for His Word takes root, our Word-prayer life grows because we are planted in Jesus, and we can expect to produce a harvest of answered prayers from the Word of God!
As we read and meditate on His Word our desire for more of Jesus escalates! We cannot stand still in worship once we get a glimpse of His glory in the Word! We cannot do nice, quiet prayers when we get a taste of His power in the Word of God! We cannot hold back our passion for the One who gave up His life so that we might have life when we grasp His enduring and unconditional love through prayer. Our prayer life is activated and empowered when we eat the Words of God as they come alive through His written Word!
Praying the Word avails much! Try these out to give you a taste of how sweet God’s Word is in our prayer language!
If you feel hurt or betrayed by someone, praying His Word means you bless AND pray for them! Blessing someone includes action! Luke 6:28 “…bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” All hurt and resentment melts and you are consumed with an overwhelming sense of love and peace for those who curse or use you when you pray God’s way! It is super-natural! Too many people today believe they are praying about these situations and then build walls to protect themselves from further hurt! That is not the Word!
If you are a person who sees or experiences wrongdoing at the hand of others, don’t spend time complaining about them to God but rather try praying Daniel 9:6 “O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and fury be turned away…” God is right and righteous! Pray for His mercy for you and those you might be struggling with.
If you are “trying” to forgive yet spend your prayer time telling God how hard it is to forgive try praying Amos 7:2 “…O Lord God, forgive, I pray!…” Desire His forgiveness and willingly and promptly forgive others who have wronged you. Know what true forgiveness is by being in the Word!
If you say you love God, love spending time with Him in prayer and worship, yet spend most of your prayer time asking Him to help you or your problems, pray like this! Matthew 6:9 “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your name.” Spend your time honoring His holiness, praising and standing in awe of Him not drawing attention to yourself in prayer. Do this and you will find your “issues” with other people are not “issues” at all in the presence of our Father.
If you are praying for help to resist temptation yet keep on sinning here is one for you from Matthew 26:42 “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” Watch for Jesus and pray His will knowing the devil tempts you not to pray at all or to pray your own will not God’s.
If you pray but aren’t “seeing” the results you expect and are getting weary, try praying Luke 18:1 “…men always ought to pray and not lose heart…” When we pray according to the Word we will not lose heart or give up on ourselves or others because our focus is on Jesus. We OUGHT to pray!
If you think you have your act together with God, think you are untouchable from the temptations of this world, thinking everyone else has issues and not you, pray Luke 21:36 “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass…” Pray with watchfulness and full awareness it was God’s grace that found you worthy! We are to pray “always” that we continue to be counted worthy. I sense a warning there to make sure we walk in gratefulness so that we keep being counted worthy.
If you spend your time “seeing” the sins of others and do not take time every day to deal with your own wickedness, go ahead and pray Acts 8:22 “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.” If your thoughts and prayers focus on the wrong everyone else does “to” you causing you to pull away from godly people, church, or tough situations – repent! You will be surprised what is in your own heart! Repenting of wickedness opens the door to discovering a depth of His grace causing us to refuse holding things against other people! Through repentance we are freed from deception.
If you pray for the love of God to manifest in you, your family, your church, pray this kind of love! Philippians 1:9 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment.” Look what love abounds in – knowledge and discernment. We need a bit more of that kind of love to abound in our lives! Pray the Word!
I could keep going but the point is that when we continually feast on His Word, we can be confident our answers in prayer are from the Spirit of God. Luke 4:4 “But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'” By daily eating the Word our prayers will be the effective Word as we pray His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. When we consume His every Word we live! Are we going to eat and inwardly digest His Word so that it will be His Word that nourishes us and others or just continue to feed our own egos, our own understanding and our own perception and discernment?
So I will end this as I started – How is your praying? There are good things in store for you, for your family, your church, and our nation! Let us pray the Word effectively, fervently, in righteousness and watch them avail much!