Friday, February 29, 2008




“If you stay in [right relationship with] me and obey my

commands, you may ask any request you like, and it

will be granted” (John 15:7, TLB).


As the saying goes, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”

And there are probably not too many people who don’t

pray when in a desperate or crisis situation. There is also

a lot of truth in the saying, “The family that prays together

stays together.” But again, as we have been emphasizing

this week, the key to getting our prayers answered is

learning to pray the right prayer. Here are several more

principles for praying the right prayer.


Pray specifically. Recently I had a need for office

equipment and asked God to show me how to get

the needed funds that month! That night I was unable

to sleep so I got up and worked on balancing my

finances. To my amazement, I found a mistake in my

favor and was able to order the equipment the next


Pray persistently. Not all prayers get answered so

quickly. I have prayed for some things for years

before getting an answer. If our prayer is legitimate,

sometimes we need to be as persistent as Jacob,

who once said to God, “I will not let you go until you

have blessed me” (Genesis 35:26, TLB).


Jesus Himself said, “Ask and it will be given to you;

seek and you will find; knock and the door will be

opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he

who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door

will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8, NIV). The principle

is to keep on asking and seeking until you receive.


Pray in harmony with God’s will. The Bible says, “If we

ask anything according to God’s will, he hears us. And if

we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know

that we have the request which we have asked from

him” (1 John 5:14-15, NIV).


High on God’s priorities for us is our growth and maturity.

Prayers in harmony with this principle and with all of

God’s will, will always be effective. Prayers outside his

will are not answered as we desire.


Pray sincerely. “Do you want to be made well?” was

Jesus’ question. In other words, if we want God to

answer our prayers we have to want the answer enough

to be willing to pay the price. For instance, if we want to

grow in faith, love, patience, perseverance, and maturity,

we need to realize that all of these are acquired through

experience, often painful experience. As the Bible says,

“Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces

character” ( Romans 5:3-4, RSV).


Pray in Jesus’ name. “I tell you the truth,” [Jesus said]

“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 [God] the Father. And I will do whatever

you ask in my name, so that the Son [Jesus] may bring

glory to [God] the Father. You may ask me for anything

in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-14, NIV).


Finally, pray on God’s terms. Effective prayer is also

dependent on our having a right relationship with

God through his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only

one through whom we can approach God. “Nobody

can come to God except through me” Jesus said

( John 14:6).


Because of our sin, our relationship with God has

been broken. But because of Christ’s death for us

on the cross, our relationship with God can be

restored by our responding to Jesus’ invitation

to receive him into our heart and life as personal

Lord and Savior and then coming to God through

him. (For help see [2] below).


When we are living in a right relationship with God and

learn to pray the right prayers, we can be certain that

God will hear and answer them. As Jesus said, “If you

stay in [right relationship with] me and obey my

commands, you may ask any request you like, and

it will be granted” (John 15:7, TLB).


Suggested prayer, “Dear God, please help me to always

stay connected to you in a healthy, right relationship, not

because of what you can do for me, but because I love

you. And when I pray, help me to pray in harmony with

your will and with the right motive. Gratefully in Jesus’

name. Amen.”

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