Special Contributor- Mrs. Zelia Gibson-Brown
Having been introduced to prayer in part 1 of the series, we now look at praying effectively. Prayer is a simple conversation. God communicates with us through His Word, we communicate with Him through prayer. Here are 6 steps for you to pray effectively:
- Prayer is a conversation between man and God.
When we have this conversation, a relationship is developed. The more we speak to the Lord, the deeper our relationship goes. God has always longed for relationship with man; ever since the days in the Garden. He and Adam would meet at the cool of the day.
2. Clear Your Schedule.
One cannot be busy to spend time in prayer. Instead, one has to be deliberate and make time to spend in prayer. Jesus made time to pray. The gospel writers recorded Jesus going off to pray at intervals. I, therefore, implore us to open up a space in the appointment book of our lives and “pencil in” Prayer Time. Make the time to meet with God.
- Confess Your Sins
Before you begin to pray, confess and repent of all sins – known and unknown. Ask the Lord to reveal sins and as He does, confess them. The Word says that if we regard sin in our heart, then the Lord will not listen (Psalm 66:18). We can only ascend into His holy place with clean hands and a pure heart. Submit yourself to God. Many times, we go before Lord in dishonesty. Hiding our flaws from the one who knows it all. The grace of God allows to make decisions for ourselves. Despite the fact He is all knowing, it is our responsibility to submit to Him, tell Him what He already knows. Going absolutely vulnerable before Him.
- Pray Without Ceasing (1Thessalonians 5:17)
This does not mean that we are expected to pray every single moment of everyday. That is really not possible or even practical. What it means is to simply pray constantly.
How do we then achieve this? Pray short prayers:
prior to leaving home, as you travel, when you’ve arrived at your destination, before making decisions, before/after you eat, as you wake up and before bed.
Make prayer a habit and not a last resort.
- Identify a Quiet Prayer Space
This could be a closet, chair, room, desk or even your car. Wherever it is, make sure distractions are minimal to non-existent. This space is important as it helps us to focus and concentrate on prayer. Ensure that this space is visited regularly for prayer so that the more we go there to pray, the easier it becomes. I recently learnt from Apostle Joshua Selman that, the more consistent we are in this space an altar will be opened. This altar in turn opens a portal to Heaven where we can access God freely and He comes down to meet us.
- Pray in the Spirit
Pray in the spirit on all occasions…(Ephesians 6:18) How exactly do we do that?
- Pray Spirit-lead prayers
As you pray, allow the Holy Spirit to lead and direct your prayer. As He profs and nudges, be open.
Reminder: we do not know how to pray as we ought..and He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit. (Romans 7:26-27)
When we pray Spirit-directed prayers, we wind up praying the Will of God as He unfolds it to us. Constant prayer develops that connection that allows you to be lead by the spirit.
- Pray the Word of God
Be strategic. Search the scriptures and find the specific promises of God that relate to particular situations and pray the Word of God over them.
For example, if I am praying for protection for my husband, I’d pray something like this:
Lord I ask you to protect my husband. You said in Your Word that in the time of trouble you shall hide him in Your pavilion; in the secret place of Your tabernacle You shall hide him;(Psalm 27:5) And when he walks through the valley of the shadow of death Lord, he will fear no evil for you are with him. Your rod, Your staff will comfort him. (Psalm 23:4)
Prayer is not a “gadget” we use when nothing else works. Prayer is the Father’s invitation to visit Him. Prayer should come before anything else, not as an afterthought. Prayer is the lubricant in the machinery of life. Jesus recognized there would be times when men would not really quite believe that their prayers would be answered, and as a result He gave much instruction and encouragement in prayer. He often repeated in one form or another that we are to “have faith in God” (Mark 11:22), and that “all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27).
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The latter part of the scripture reminds us that earnest and sincere prayers offered in confidence of faith, reaps/produce desired outcomes from God.