How To Pray Effectively As A Christian, According To The Bible

Learn how to pray effectively. Get this scriptural guide on how to make your prayers effective and answerable.
How To Pray Effectively

Prayer is an essential and integral part of Christian living. Every Believer who understands the importance of prayer should know that it is something they should not attempt to do without. Let's learn how to effectively pray in today's teaching. 

To some of us, prayer is indispensable. It is our daily bread; our lifeline. It's oxygen. If we decide to stop praying, that's like writing our own obituary.

Rudiments of Prayer

True Christian prayer is not a religious activity. It is not a religious rite or routine. It is not what we do as an obligation, but as something we love and enjoy doing. It is one of the best ways to keep our relationship with God active, intact, and vibrant. 

When we pray, we are communing with the Maker of the Universe. We are speaking to the Almighty—the One who sustains all that there is in the palms of His hands. Hence, we should not do it carelessly. 

Even when we talk to our earthly father, we do not do it rashly. Then how much more our Heavenly Father? 

The Bible makes us understand that not all prayers meet quality standards—to guarantee answers. There are low quality prayers. James 4:3 points out what a low quality prayer is like. It terms it as "praying amiss".

James 4:3 KJV
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

The word "amiss" means wrong or faulty. To pray amiss means to pray wrong or not in the appropriate way. Gleaning from this, we can clearly see that there are calibres of prayers that do not meet Heaven's standards. They are classed as invalid and trashed. That's if they even ascend up to Heaven in the first place.

It is great to pray for many hours. But it is better if we pray that long and pray the right way. Because, if we do it the wrong way, it's just a waste of time and energy. 

Today we will take a look at how to pray and pray the right way to actually receive answers to our prayers. Join us as we explore this and don't forget to share this article before leaving. 

In the Kingdom of God, there is pattern to be followed in everything we do if we must get the expected results. When it comes to the things of God, so much emphasis is laid on diligence.

Everyone in the Kingdom who has achieved or is achieving great feats has a track record of diligently following scriptural principles. God is a lover of order. He is very principled. Even the scriptures is laid precept upon precept (Isaiah 28:10). Seeking Him has to be done with diligence, lest one might end up not finding Him (Hebrews 11:6). 

The Effective Prayer

Effective prayers are prayers that do exactly what they are sent out for (and even beyond). Effective prayers produce extraordinary results. 

James 5:16 KJV
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.

I personally group effective prayers into two categories as follows:

  1. Answered Prayer
  2. Prevailing Prayer

1. Answered Prayer

Answered prayers are the expected results we receive from God when we make our requests known to Him. 

2. Prevailing Prayer

Prevailing prayers are used, especially against the works of darkness—to destroy them and revert things which the enemy perverted, back to their original state (according to the will of God). Prevailing prayers break yokes. 

Not all prayers get answered by God, and definitely not all prayers prevail against the works of the enemy. Only effective prayers produce positive outcomes.

How To Pray Effectively

To make our prayers effective, certain principles must be followed. Let's take a look at them in the subheadings below.  

1. Righteousness

James 5:16 KJV
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.

It is the prayer of the righteous that avails much. Who then is the righteous? The righteous is one who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and God Himself, and is saved and justified

Romans 10:8-10 KJV
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; [9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

The righteous man has a clearance to answered prayer at all times. But this does not mean that if he becomes sinful, he will still get the same results. 

The throne of Grace is always open for the righteous to go up and seek for mercy when they derail from God's path. Sometimes, man sins unknowingly, this is why confessing sins daily is necessary. 

When our righteousness through Christ is intact, we can always be sure that our prayers will produce expected results. 

2. Faith

Faith is one of the most important components of effective prayer. 

Matthew 21:22 KJV
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

It is pointless to pray if we do not believe in our hearts that God is hearing us and is able to provide answers to our prayers. 

Hebrews 11:1-2 KJV
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [2] For by it the elders obtained a good report.

If we doubt that we have the authority (through Jesus Christ) to destroy the works of darkness via our prayers, then we should not even pray in the first place. Because prayers not said with faith never works. 

Faith is the adrenaline that drives effective prayers. Prayer that is not done in faith rarely gets past the ceiling, talkless of escaping the building from where it is prayed. 

Unwavering faith produces supernatural results.

3. Peace With God

It is wise to fix our relationship with God first, before we think of praying yoke-breaking prayers and bringing a long list before Him. 

God is not a lifeless energy source that we can plug into and make use of whenever we want. 

If our ways are not right with God, the possibility of our prayers being effective is very slim. 

No one should hope to overcome the enemy and destroy the works of darkness while they have personal issues to sort out with God. Most times, demons successfully afflict Christians because they are disobedient to God. 

2 Peter 3:14 NIV
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

First thing first. Fix your relationship with God and make sure He is pleased with you, then you can be sure your prayers will be effective. 

4. Prayer Should Be Scriptural

For prayer to be effective, it has to be scriptural. If our prayer points are in line with Scriptures, their effectiveness is guaranteed. 

Using relevant scriptures to back up our prayer is powerful! But understand that we can not manipulate God to answer us by praying scriptures. Our requests must be in line with His will. 

5. Prayer Should Be Based On God's Will

At one time, I was shocked to find out that there are Christian women who pray for a man to divorce his wife, and come marry them instead. How is God supposed to grant such a request? That's the kind of prayer that is totally outside of God's will. 

1 John 5:14-15 KJV
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: [15] And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

To avoid tagging God as "wicked" and getting offended that our prayer isn't answered, we have to be sure that what we are asking is not outside of His will.

Another example of prayer that is outside of God's will is praying for another person's death. No matter how evil they may be, a Christian is not expected to pray for their death. God doesn't want anyone to perish in their sin, but all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). 

6. Instructions And Leading of the Holy Spirit

Prayers should be based on instructions and leadings of the Holy Spirit. Certain prayers must be strictly based on this if they must be effective. 

1 Corinthians 2:11 KJV
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 

The Holy Spirit knows better when it comes to prayer. He knows what God wants us to pray and how we are supposed to go about praying it. 

God speaks to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Every Christian should be able to hear God's voice. Read our article on How To Hear God's Voice.

7. Secret Prayers Are Preferable

A Christian's prayer life isn't known in how good they pray in church. There's a very thin line between that and hypocrisy. 

Matthew 6:5-6 KJV
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. [6] But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

A Christian whose public prayer life is better than his or her private prayer life is in serous danger! 

We shouldn't be Christians who roar in tongues while in church but doze off at home when we are supposed to pray. Then we expect God to use the prayers we did in church?

Praying in church is good. Praying in secret is better. Secret prayers are more effective than public prayers. 

Final Thoughts On Praying Effectively

Concerning prayers, this article is not exhaustive. But I hope someone learns a thing or two from it. 

When we prepare a meal, we often ensure it tastes good. If it doesn't, even the one who made it would reject it. We can apply the same principle to prayer. 

Sometimes, God answers certain prayers swiftly because they carry every needed component that guarantees their answer. They are just too good to be delayed or rejected. 

Prevailing prayers carry every property that is needed to give them their sharp, flaming, piercing edge. They bypass all seeming Satanic restrictions to strike their target and wreck the works of darkness!

Don't just pray fervently, pray effectively. 

Remain blessed. 
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