I’ve been working my way through the 12 Essential Ways to Copy Jesus. I’m up to number 10 which is to be prayerful.
The Bible tells us, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray.” (Luke 5:16) If Jesus made prayer a habit, then we should take notice and do the same.
Increase the Effectiveness of Your Prayer Life
So, praying regularly is great advice, but how do we make our prayers more effective? Well, there’s a lot we can learn from Jesus along these lines too.
First, it is important to believe – to have faith – that your prayer will be answered. Here’s what Jesus tells us:
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24 NIV
In the very next verse, Jesus continues by saying:
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against… Mark 11:25 NLT
When He says “anyone”, I think he means it. Therefore, it is important that we examine our hearts and be honest with ourselves about any bitterness or unforgiveness we harbor.
In the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Jesus makes it clear that the right humility and attitude of heart are very important. If you recall, the tax collector while praying, “would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'” Jesus emphasized that this man “went down to his house justified”. Therefore, I think it is safe to say that we need to humble ourselves before God for our prayers to be effective.
The last thing I want to point out today about effective prayer is that we must ask in the name of Jesus. He tells us:
You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! John 14:13-14 NLT
He is the only way to the Father. We can’t miss this. It is essential.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV
It isn’t about saying “in Jesus name” at the end of your prayer. It is about “believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord”. (Rom 10:9)
Pray and Never Give Up
So, faith, forgiveness, humility and praying in Jesus name are some of the keys to an effective prayer life. I’ve focused here on what Jesus specifically said about this topic, but others in the Bible have even more to say about effective prayer. It is definitely worth studying.
Prayer isn’t difficult. It is just a conversation with God. Plus, we have a mediator in heaven that advocates on our behalf.
Therefore, we can “pray and never give up” as Jesus told his Disciples in Luke 18:1. Copy Jesus and be a prayer warrior.