QUESTION: WHAT IS AN EFFECTIVE OR POWERFUL PRAYER?
Study References: 1 John 5:14-15, James 5:16, Numbers 11:2, Proverbs 15:8
James 5:16 says; "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."(NIV)
For a prayer to become effective and powerful, it does not depend on the prayer itself but one the one who prays. Prayer is like a road to a destination and the one praying is like the driver, the driver determines the speed to that destination but must pass through the road.
To pray effectively there are things to put into consideration, some are listed below:
Pray thankfully and praise God and end your prayers positively. Overcome attitudes like unnecessarily emotional begging and pleading to God. Believe that God already knows what you need therefore give Him thanks in advance.
Stop harboring sin in your life: This would kill it from the start. God can not look upon sin. I Corinthians 6:9-10, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor
abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
Forgive others: Live as God's child that He loves "positionally" in Christ, and you will be in His joy forever. You need to access His righteousness and forgiveness, remembering that you must also forgive, or you will not be forgiven. Mark 11:25, "And when ye stand to pray, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."
Obey God: John 15:7, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." Sin is disobedience and separates us from Him. The Holy Spirit will not dwell in an unclean temple; therefore, you must repent often, be saved once and remain yielded to the will and the grace of God. Whatever you plant into the lives of others grows in your own life, i.e.: "You reap what you sow."
Never doubt: Be wise enough to pray for what you want and be sure that you have the wisdom to believe when you pray, and so you
shall receive. Faith makes it possible. James 1:5-8; "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."
Confirm God's will in prayer, for God is not mocked: as whatever a man plants, he will also harvest.
Open up towards God, and ask Him what you will in faith. God obviously knows every aspect of your life, and He knows your struggles and sins. He knows how you feel. He loves and cares for you without limit. Since He is love and mercy, He doesn't unfairly favor anyone because He created and seeks to heal and save all of us if we have faith and follow in God's will.
Jesus said:"When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."(Matthew 6:5-6)
Jesus also said:"When you pray, do not keep on babbling like Pharisees, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."(Matthew 6:7-8)
Pray with right motives, not self-serving. Let your thoughts be of good reasons, and when you pray ask yourself whether it is going to bring glory to God or not. (James 5:3)