Are My Prayers Effective?

Linda GildenBy Linda Gilden5 Minutes

Prayer is the most effective way we have of communicating with God. He is ready to listen to our prayers and wants to answer us in the way that is in accordance with His plan. What does that mean?

In our humanness we sometimes approach prayer like a vending machine. You put something in and want to get something out. But that’s not the way prayer works. Prayer involves interacting with God. James 5:16 (NIV) reminds us, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” We must come to God  humbly and sincerely. Here are a few things to remember to make sure you pray effective, powerful prayers.

Prayer Is a Two-Way Conversation

Often we go to prayer, assume a reverent position, spend a few minutes talking to God, say “Amen,” and immediately rise to go about our daily activities. But the reality is if that’s our way of praying, we are only half praying. We have left out one of the most important aspects of prayer, listening to God’s response. When you pray, stay a little longer where you are and just listen. God may speak to you, His voice may not be audible, but He may direct you to a specific Scripture, or He may not be ready to reveal His answer to you yet and remain silent. Waiting is hard, especially when you have come to God with something you are anxious about. But when He answers, “Not now,” by making you wait, He is waiting for His timing to reveal the very best answer.

Pray Anywhere, Any Time

In I Thessalonians 5:17 , Paul says “Pray without ceasing.” It doesn’t tell us to go to a special place or to pray out loud or silently. But the most effective prayer comes when you have gotten off by yourself where you can converse with God and hear His voice. Find a spot that feels holy and sacred to you. It may be outside, by a lake, in the swimming pool, in a nook in your bedroom, or on a porch swing. The place itself is not what is important. Choosing a place where you can meet God and hear Him speak makes your prayer spot effective.

Pray Expecting

The most powerful prayers are those spoken full of expectancy and trust, knowing God will answer the prayer. If we trust in God  and His love that only wants the best for us, we can count on His answers to provide that. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Trust Him and the direction He leads. When we pray, we often pray expecting and believing God will answer right away. Rarely is any one of us thrilled to get a “Wait” from God as the answer to our prayer. But our trust in His plan for our lives will help us to wait expectantly, knowing the answer will be powerful and effective in our lives. God’s timing is always best and He knows the right time to reveal the answer to us.

Pray Scripture

God has already given us His Word. Praying His words back to Him affirms our trust and acknowledges He knows best. When we stay in His Word, God will answer your prayers, maybe not immediately, but as you get to know Him better. Daily time with him through His Word will help you become more sensitive to His voice as He speaks to you.

Do you want a relationship with God?