“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5-16 NIV)
How to Pray Effectively
Seven Principles of Prayer
1. We need to learn how to pray
“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11: 1) emphasis added
2. We pray based on the “family relationship” principle
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:15-17 KJV) emphasis added
3. We must believe (That God exists and will rewards those who diligently seek him)
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV) emphasis added
4. We have to pray according to God’s will
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15 NIV) emphasis added
5. We must remain in the word of God
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7 NIV) emphasis added
6. We have to be persistent in prayer
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up….” (Luke 18:1 NIV) emphasis added
7. We must pray in the name of Jesus
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-14 NIV) emphasis added
John 14:12-14 (NIV) 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
In the verses that preceded the text for this evening, Jesus had just told the disciples that He was in the Father and the Father in Him. The words that He spoke were not His but the Father’s. If we take the above verses out of context, it sounds like Jesus is our magic genie. That is not what He is saying.
If you have faith in Jesus, that is to believe and receive Him, or to have the relationship He has with the Father, you will do what He has been doing. The miracles and words of Jesus came from His relationship with the Father. If you have the kind of relationship with Jesus that He lived out on this earth with the Father, then your life will look like His. The New Testament writers understood this clearly. Jesus’ goal is to conform us to His perfect example. That is the expression of the fruits of the Spirit.
If we have that oneness with Jesus that He exemplified with the Father, then you can “ask in His name”. That means you can request with the authority of an official representative of Jesus. It does not mean to add the magic phrase “in Jesus’ name”. The request will be the will of Jesus just as Jesus’ requests were always the will of the Father.
This promise carries no limits, but it is not without the previously implied conditions. If those conditions did not exist, every immature Christian would have won the local lottery and be a super-star to their spiritual detriment. That has the opposite affect of bringing you to God’s goal, Christ’s likeness. But if that oneness with Jesus does exist, consider your potential to touch the world around you with the very words and miracles of Jesus!
Consider: What should I be asking of God in the authority of Jesus’ name?
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