Prayer is our means of interacting with God, our loving heavenly Father. The heart and purpose of prayer is to seek our Father’s Heart, to behold His Face and to enjoy sweet communion with Him. Prayer also involves asking for things, but if we don’t get our hearts right with the Lord we can get too focused on that. Our prayers should involve thanksgiving and worship of who the Lord is. It should involve acknowledgement and praise for all the Lord has done. Even more than this, prayer should be our opportune time to listen to what God wants to tell us, affirm in us or ask us to do. The Lord says ” My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:1).
When you go through Psalm 139 and see how well and intimately, Papa knows us, the least we can do is to begin to get to know Him intimately too. We need to endeavour to get to know Him better each day. We should be able to look back over 6 months and assess how much better we know Him. When we speak of knowing the Lord, we also mean experiencing Him, so we get to understand His ways and acts.
James 5:16 tells us that the effectual prayers of the righteous “availath much”. The Good News Bible puts it this way, “the prayer of a good person has a powerful effect. This implies these prayers are powerful. It makes us wonder if God has selective hearing. It makes us wonder which type of prayers the Lord loves to answer.
From the Bible, we read that God hears ALL our prayers. Isaiah 59:1 reminds us that “His ears are not dull with deafness that it can not hear. Psalm 139:4 tells us that there isn’t a word on our tongue, still unuttered, that Father God does not already know. He understands our heart’s thoughts, which is the store from which the mouth speaks. John 5:14-15 encourages us to pray according to God’s Will. This helps us understand that in one sense, God answers all our prayers, but we may not always receive what we ask or receive in the way we desire. God responses are “Yes”, “No” or “Maybe”.
My ability to understand answers I receive from God in prayer is highly dependent on my relationship with and trust in Him. If I know how much Father God loves and accepts me, I am able to accept whatever answer I get and feel peaceful. If He says “wait” I would do this happily. If I have experienced His love, I know that Father God is all-knowing so will enable everything to work out for my good. I would rather trust and align with His will if it’s a “No”, than insist on mine. Therefore spending time in God’s Presence, helps me align more fully with His Heart and thus pray effectual prayers. While in His Presence, I can always ask Him exactly how to pray concerning a matter.
Righteousness is a position given to us by Jesus Christ when we accept Him as our Saviour(Romans 3:21-24). We must believe that we have been made righteous in God’s sight before we can walk in it. We must believe that just as we had all sinned, we are now justified and made righteous, through the redemption provided by Jesus Christ. Understanding and walking in this “positioning “, also referred to as “good” in some translations, causes faith to rise up in us, thus enabling our prayers to be answered. In other words, these prayers produce powerful results because it comes from a heart that is perfectly aligned with God’s heart and will.
Sometimes I wonder if “we” are on the same page as God regarding powerful prayer! Our idea of powerful prayer seems to involve increasing the volume of our voices to add a bit of drama, as opposed to God’s idea of powerful prayer which is seeing our prayers answered. No well brought up child would be seen shouting at their parents, especially when you are asking for a favour. It therefore seems really odd when we are shouting at God, Our loving Father during our time of prayer.
As we meditate on Jesus’s journey to the Cross, and all He accomplished for us during this Lenten season, let us assess our prayer lives again. Father God really wants us to come and interact with Him in the place of prayer. (John 16:23-24; John 15:16) He really does want us to get great results (answers) when we pray. If we spend time with Him, He can sort out any wrong motives that would hinder our prayers in any way. If we are able to get our prayer lives to the next level, we will be setting ourselves up this year for effectual prayers that get results.