7 STEPS TO PRAYING EFFECTIVE PRAYERS USING THE PRAYER PATTERN JESUS CHRIST TAUGHT US.
The importance of praying effective prayers cannot be overemphasized in our Christian walk. Have you ever wondered why you pray and your prayers seem as if God just ignored them or they bounce back to you unanswered? Do you wonder why you have been fasting and praying over certain issues in your life for some time now and nothing is changing? Are you bothered by the fact that even though most of your prayer requests are answered, there is one or more requests you have asked the Lord without results? Do you feel your prayers are not effective to yield the desired results? Are there areas of your life terribly affected as a result of unanswered prayers?
Your prayers will be answered not because you shout so loud, nor scream at the top of your voice. They will be answered not because you are so holy and do not commit any sin. They will be answered not even because you pray with fasting. This teaching is designed to help you develop the act of praying heaving-reaching and earth-touching prayers. This is not just one of those so-called formulas to get what you need from God, but a clear interpretation of the pattern Jesus Christ would want us to pray.
There are certain key facts you must truly understand to enable you pray effective prayers that can produce results.
- What is Prayer?
A lot of people believe that prayer “is just one talking to God about ones needs, and that’s all.” But prayer is much more than just talking with God. Prayer is a bi-directional communication between God and you. This means that, prayer includes God talking back to you, as well as you talking with God. We will start by treating the aspect of you talking with God and later we will look deeper into the art of God talking back to you.
A very clear understanding of prayer will enable you to truly know how, what, when, why and where to pray.
Have you ever wondered why one of the disciples of Jesus Christ asked Him to teach them how to pray “…as John (the Baptist) also taught his disciples”? (Luke 11: 1). I understood from the above passage that John the Baptist taught his disciples how to pray. Our Lord Jesus Christ also taught His disciples how to pray. If understanding how to pray was not important, Jesus would not have taken out time to teach His disciples how. So it is very important you know how to pray in order to pray with results.
9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
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1a. How Should I Pray?
Let us take a deep look at the prayer Our God taught us in Matthew chapter 6, verses 9 to 13 above.
This is the Model Christian Prayer. This is the revealed secret of prayer. It is a model, that means you can build any prayer request in this pattern. If you truly understand this prayer, every single prayer you pray will be effective. This is not just “The Lord’s Prayer”, it is your prayer and mine. This is the pattern of any prayer that will reach God’s throne room, touch His heart and move His hand into your life and situation(s). Every single sentence and words of this prayer are included there deliberately. They did not appear by accident or coincidence. The word “coincidence” is not in the Bible. Everything has been planned before they happen.
So, let us extract the pattern from the Model Christian prayer and develop our prayer outline and guide for whichever prayer request or need we have.
A closer look at verse 9 above reveals Jesus Christ saying: “In this manner, therefore, pray”.He was actually saying: “This is how to pray. God wants us to pray like this always.” There is no other manner or pattern He gave to us, apart from this one. So we need to delve deeper into its meaning
First line: “Our Father in Heaven.”
In order for your prayers to be answered, God must be your Father. John 1 verses 12 and 13 says:
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
And in Romans 8 verses 14 through 17, the Scriptures declare:
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
From the passages above, we understand that not everyone in the world today is a child of God. God’s children are only those who believe in the name of Jesus Christ, and are born of God or born again. To His children, the Holy Spirit bears witness in them that they are born again.
So, how can one be born again? Jesus Christ answered this question in John 3:3 – 8:
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
From the above Scriptures, it is evidently clear that for us to be truly born again, we must
- believe in the name of Jesus Christ,
- be baptized in water and
- be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Nothing less or else is possible. Fulfilling only one or two of the above is not enough. We must complete the three in order to be truly born again. So the God in Heaven is your Father, when and only when you are truly (fully) born again. God is more attentive to your prayers when you worship Him first!
Second Line: “Hallowed be Your name.”
The next thing Jesus Christ is teaching us here is to put praises and worship to God before our requests. When you hallow (make holy, set-apart, reverence) the name of God, He is more inclined to listen to you. Worship brings down the presence of God. It is necessary to reverence the name of God, before presenting Him with our requests. God’s revealed name in the new Testament is “Jesus”. Acts 4:12, Colossians 2: 9.The main reason many prayers are unanswered is because they are asked wrongfully!
Third Line: “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
This is the main determinant of the answer to your prayers. The will of God. A clear understanding of the will of God will enable you to ask God for only those things which are His perfect will for you. Ephesians 5: 17:
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
If you do not ask God in accordance to His will, your prayers will not be answered properly. If they get answered at all, then it is not God’s perfect will, and one needs to be ready for the consequences. Take a good look at the end of the second to last prayer Jesus Christ prayed while on earth. In Matthew 26: 39,
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face and prayed saying, O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (KJV).
Jesus Christ never asked for his own prayers and requests to be answered by force. But rather subjected his will to the will of God. We see Him here applying what He taught His disciples in Matthew 6:10. The main reason why you pray and your prayers are not answered is because you asked wrongly, outside the will of God. James 4: 3 throws more light on this:
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
When you ask God anything in prayer, conclude by adding “not my will, but let your will be done Oh God.”
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