We Proclaim Jesus.
The School of Effective Prayer demands a lifetime commitment to learning since the depths of the subject of prayer are unfathomable. Though, there is so much to learn of the different facets of prayer, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can progress from one grade level to another.
Our focus at this level in the School of Prayer is learning about several major principles of effective prayer as revealed in the Scriptures. These principles are praying in the Holy Spirit, the place of obedience in prayer, the role of faith in prayer, being definite or specific in prayer, praying in the name of Jesus and the chief end of prayer. Knowing these principles and living them out in the power of the Holy Spirit, makes us people whose prayers are powerful and effective. We must therefore give ourselves to learning these principles, trusting that God will use them to enrich not only our prayer lives, but also our personal relationship with Him.
A. Praying in the Spirit
"With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).
"But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 1:20).
1. Praying in the Spirit requires dependence on the Holy Spirit.
2. Praying in the Spirit is a biblical truth.
3. What then does it mean to pray in the Spirit?
4. Living in the Spirit is necessary for praying in the Spirit.
5. Praying in the Spirit is fundamental to a powerful prayer life.
6. The Word of God is essential to praying in the Spirit.
B. The Place of Obedience in Prayer
"Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight" (1 John 3:21-22).
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
1. God is more than willing to respond to our prayers. He promises to hear them.
2. God's word states very strongly that obedience is the only path to blessing (see Deuteronomy 28:1-14).
3. One act of obedience with a simple prayer is responded to by God more than many years of praying with unconfessed sins and acts of disobedience.
C. The Role of Faith in Prayer
"And Jesus answered saying to them, Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you" (Mark 11:22-24).
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let that man not expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:5-7).
1. Prayer that is effective and powerful must be offered in faith.
Andrew Murray also wrote: "Faith in the promise is the fruit of faith in the one who promised. The prayer of faith is rooted in the life of faith. So faith that prays effectively is a gift of God.... Learn to believe in God, take hold of God, let God take possession of your life, and it will be easy to take hold of the promise. He who knows and trusts God finds it easy to trust the promise too."
Curtis Mitchell wrote: "It is not faith in faith or faith in your request but faith in God that is an effectual condition to successful praying."
|R. A. Torrey wrote: "Let us say with all emphasis, it cannot be pumped up. Many a one reads about the prayer of faith and then asks for the things that he desires and tries to make himself believe that God has heard the prayer. This ends only in disappointment, for it is not real faith and the thing is not granted. It is at this point that many people make a collapse of faith altogether by trying to work up faith by an effort of their will, and as the thing they made themselves believe they expected to get is not given, the very foundation of faith is oftentimes undermined."|
D. Being Definite in Prayer
"And answering him, Jesus said, what do you want Me to do for you? And the blind man said to Him, Rabboni, I want to regain my sight! And Jesus said to him, Go your way; your faith has made you well. And immediately he regained his sight" (Mark 10:51-52).
"Behold, there came a synagogue official, and bowed down before Him, saying, My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live" (Matthew 9:18).
1. What does it mean to be definite in prayer?
2. Christ responds to definite requests with definite answers.
3. What are the weaknesses of indefinite prayer?
4. It is important to be definite in prayer.
5. How can we learn to be definite or specific in prayer?
E. Praying in the Name of Christ
|"And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it" (John14:13-14; cf. John 15:16).|
1. Prayer in the name of Jesus Christ is powerful and effective.
2. What does it mean to pray in Christ's name?
Saphir wrote: "In all prayer, the one essential condition is that we are able to offer it in the name of Jesus, as according to His desire for us, according to the Father's will, according to the Spirit's teaching. And thus praying in Christ's name is impossible without self-examination, without reflection, without self-denial; in short without the aid of the Spirit."
Torrey also wrote: "To pray in the name of Christ is to pray on the ground, not of my credit, but His; to renounce the thought that I have any claims on God whatever, and approach Him on the ground of Christ's claims. Praying in the name of Christ is not merely adding the phrase "I ask these things in Jesus' name" to my prayer. I may put that phrase in my prayer and really be resting on my own merit all the time. On the other hand, I may omit that phrase but really be resting on the merit of Christ all the time. But when I really do approach God, not on the ground of my merit, but on the ground of Christ's merit, not on the ground of my goodness, but on the ground of the atoning blood (Heb. 10:19), God will hear me. Very much of our modern prayer is vain because men approach God imagining that they have some claim upon God whereby he is under obligation to answer their prayers."
F. The Chief End of Prayer
"Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13).
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified."(John 15:7-8).
1. The essential aim in any petition must be the glory of the Father.
|"Let us make His aim ours. Let the glory of the Father be the link between our asking and His doing. Prayer like that must prevail. It is a duty to live and pray so that our prayer can be answered and glorify God. For the sake of God's glory, let us learn to pray well." - Andrew Murray|