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How to Pray Effective Prayers #1

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In my life, prayer has been so important. 17 years ago, in the days leading up to our son’s heart surgery, prayer was critical. It was all I had.

As we approached the surgery date, I really wanted to pray in a way that pleased God. I wasn’t sure how to do that, so I asked him to show me. He lovingly answered, and his answer revealed the grand landscape of his heart in a profound way. Intimate and personal, it changed my life forever and the way I pray today.


I learned that prayer isn’t about me or my ultimate desires. It isn’t about trying to manipulate God so he will do what I want him to do. It’s about the greatness of God himself. His character. His goodness. His sovereignty. His wisdom, His presence poured out on me. It’s about his ways that are oh so good for me. It’s about my trust in who he is and what he’s about in this world of ours.

In the Bible, God teaches us how to pray effective prayers.

  • “You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:2-3

When you ask God for something with wrong motives, he isn’t inclined to give you what you want.

He also tells us:

  • “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7

These are the direct words of Jesus – our sweet Rescuer. There’s a caveat before his words “ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” In the preceding words, he’s essentially saying . . . align yourself with me and stay there. Make your home in the safety of my heart. Don’t depend on your own strength and wisdom. Trust mine. Rest in it.

Be available and open to what I have to show you. Pursue understanding. Study my words and example. Take them to heart and put them into action in your life. Be one with me as I am one with the Father.

This is the tilling of the soil – the preparing of the “ground” for fertile prayers to spring from.

When you abide in Christ, he abides in you. His heart, his mind, his desires, his power, his wisdom, his beauty, his peace all dwelling down deep inside of you, reshaping your heart, leading you in your prayers.

How would this impact the effectiveness of your prayers? How could God deny prayers prayed with his own heart?

Will this change the way you live and pray?

Prayers are effective when we abide in Christ and He abides in us.

Loving our beautiful Savior . . .





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