What is effective prayer? In the Book of James, the fifth chapter, we read, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16 NASB). The word, “effective” indicates that there must also be such a thing as “ineffective” prayer and that God wants us to know the difference. Effective prayer is heavenly communication that permits us to connect with God and participate with Him as His will is done in the earth. The only absolute requirement for prayer is a desire to converse with God.
God Hears the Heart
God really loves you. He is overjoyed as you draw near to Him. I can testify that I’ve made every mistake in the book with regard to prayer. Nevertheless, God has honored some of my goofiest, off-balance and immature requests. Even before I was a Christian, I saw a beautiful young woman and I was immediately smitten. As an unbeliever, I had the audacity to say out loud, “God, I want that one.” I tell people that Jesus must have leaned over to the Father and said, “We better give her to him; that’s the first decent thing he’s ever asked for.” 🙂 We’ve been married nearly forty years.
Prayer is a Conversation Not a Recipe
A number of years ago, my father-in-law tried to teach me how to golf. I remember it all too painfully. “Comfortable stance; practiced grip; knees bent; head down; club face in; eyes on the ball; left arm straight; bend the wrists; rotate the trunk; extend the arms, then follow through.” Oh… and “have a good time.” It turns out I was a much better golfer when I relaxed with the adage, “Grip it and rip it.” In a similar way, prayer shouldn’t be a litany of formal rules and practices. Nonetheless, God might use one or two of the scriptures below to remind you of a spiritual Truth and enrich your conversation with Him.
25 Verses for More Effective Prayer
- We believe He exists and answers prayer. Hebrews 11:6;
- He already knows our needs; We seek His kingdom first. Matthew 6:31-33;
- We do not have because we do not ask. James 4:2;
- We check our motives. James 4:3;
- We pray with humility. Matthew 6:5-6;
- When we ask, we believe we have already received. Mark 11:23-24;
- We speak positively. Our mouths express what our hearts believe. Luke 6:45;
- We confess our sins to one another and pray for one another. James 5:16;
- We turn away from sin. Psalm 66:16-20;
- We keep asking. Luke 18:1-8;
- We avoid empty repetition. Matthew 6:7;
- We abide in Christ and we let His Word abide in us. John 15:1-7;
- We honor our spouses so that our prayers aren’t hindered. I Pet. 3:7;
- We know that His power is perfected in weakness. II Corinthians 12:7-10;
- We trust in Him. God’s answer may already be on its way. Daniel 10:10-13;
- We submit our wants beneath the Father’s will. Matthew 26:36-39;
- If we have anything against anyone, we forgive. Mark 11:25-26;
- We reconcile with anyone that has something against us. Matthew 5:23-24 / Romans 12:18;
- We seek God’s will in how to pray. I John 5:14-15;
- We know that the Spirit intercedes for us as we don’t know how to pray. Romans 8:26-27;
- We pray in agreement with other believers. Matthew 18:19;
- We ask in the name of Jesus, (in His character and authority). John 14:12-14;
- We help the poor and God answers our cries. Proverbs 21:13;
- We take courage. At times, even David felt like his prayers weren’t heard. Psalm 13:1-6;
- We seek the Lord while He may be found and don’t wait for trouble to call upon God. Isaiah 55:6 / Psalm 78:34.
What are some of your favorite verses regarding prayer?
The featured image is Jerusalem’s Western Wall (“Wailing Wall”)
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