We all want our prayers to count and be effective. To help us pray with power, God has given us several principles we can apply to our own prayer lives.
Praying in Faith
Jesus said, “You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it” (Matthew 21:22, NLT). Praying in faith is believing you will receive what God wants for your life. It is claiming a Bible promise and holding God to His Word. It is having confidence in God’s care and purposes for your life. It is recognizing God’s authority and power to answer. It is asking without doubt knowing you will receive what God has promised.
Praying in Earnest
Paul, Silas, and Timothy told the Thessalonian believers, “Night and day we pray earnestly for you…” (1 Thess. 3:10, NLT). Praying in earnest is intense and serious praying. It is heartfelt praying. The opposite of earnest praying is superficial praying. This principle of prayer helps you stay focused and concentrated in your prayers. (For a more detailed explanation of praying in earnest see my blog Earnest Praying).
Praying in Humility
God said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray… I will…” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NLT). Praying in humility is recognizing you need God and others in your life. Humility submits to God. When we pray humbly we are saying we need help and we cannot do it ourselves. Praying in humility means there is no pride, arrogance, conceit, or vanity in your prayers. God loves it when we are humble. So much so, that He exalts the humble.
Praying with Perseverance
Luke tells us that “one day Jesus told His disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up” (Luke 18:1, NLT). Praying in perseverance means to persist shamelessly in our prayers to God. It means to not give up and to be relentlessly stubborn in our intercession and petitions. Perseverance makes us sure of what God wants, makes us sure of what we want, trains us to take our eyes off circumstances that may be discouraging, makes us focus on God, and demonstrates real faith.
Praying in the Spirit
Ephesians 6:18 instructs us to “pray in the Spirit” (NLT). To ask in the Spirit means that every petition proceeds from the mind of the Spirit, not from selfish motives or self-serving ends. To ask in the Spirit means that we pray in agreement with the Holy Spirit. Our will must correspond to His will and our desires to His desires. It is praying for what He wants. We must earnestly seek to know God’s will for every issue we pray for. It is listening to the Spirit’s prompting, and following it.
Praying in the spirit
1 Corinthians 14:15 instructs us to “pray in the spirit” (NLT). Praying in the spirit is inner praying. Your praises and requests come from the depth of who you are. Just as we are to worship God in spirit (John 4:24), we are to pray in the spirit. The “spirit” involves our will and emotions. Praying in the spirit guarantees a passionate and intimate prayer that comes from the core of your very being.
Praying with the mind
1 Corinthians 14:15 instructs us to “pray with the mind” (NASB). Growing in your prayer life involves growing in your understanding of what you are praying about. The mind is the instrument by which you are able to form your requests. With the mind you make your requests precise and specific. This means you come prepared to present to God what you have thoughtfully determined to be important in His dealings with you.
Praying in Jesus’ name
Jesus said, “Ask me for anything in My name, and I will do it” (NLT). The context of John 14:14 indicates that this promise is for disciples, learners of Jesus anxious to do His will. The name of Jesus is your legal authorization for prayer: without Him you would have no claim on God’s attention. However, when you offer your prayer in Jesus’ name, you base your prayer on Jesus’ moral worth, His purity, and His value to the Father. You base your requests on the legal authority of His name. When you approach prayer from the standpoint of Jesus’ desires and reputation, your answered prayers bring God glory. When you prepare to make a request in Jesus’ name, first as yourself, “What would Jesus want in this situation?” Let His desires become your desires. When you use His name, you claim to represent Him and to act like Him. You have His desires, His qualities, His gratitude, and His outlook.
Praying While Remaing in Christ
Jesus said, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” (John 15:7, NLT). To “remain” means to abide, continue, persist, and to accept without objection. This does not mean you can lose your salvation. It refers to the closeness of your relationship with Jesus. If God’s Word abides or remains in us over a period of time, the way we think and the way we pray are affected. This proves that we really are learners of Jesus (John. 8:31). Abiding in Christ is expressed in many ways. Prayer, however, is both a means of abiding in Christ and a result of abiding in Christ. Remaining in Christ is consistently learning from Christ and fellowshipping with Him through His Word, His people, and His Spirit. We are to pray while living for Jesus. Jesus promises us that if we are living for Him, then what we ask will be granted.