Growing up many of us learned to pray the prayer: “Now I lay me down to sleep.  I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take.”  That prayer didn’t have much faith in God because the Bible says God is our Keeper, so He is going to make sure we don’t die while we are sleeping.  We have learned these kinds of prayers, but they can’t and won’t work for us today. So, we need to learn how to pray according to how God told us to pray in the Word just as Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray.

Luke 11:1-4 (KJV) And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.  

Jesus continues on teaching them how to pray.

Shameless Persistent Prayer 

Luke 11:5-8 (KJV) And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

Luke 11:8 (AMP) I tell you, although he will not get up and supply him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his shameless persistence and insistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.  

Still teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus shares this story to show them the power of shameless persistence and insistence in prayer.  We need to pray attention as well because lots of people haven’t gotten anything with their prayers because they are not willing to have shameless persistence.  He is teaching us how faith works and is saying this is the way you get effective prayer.

Prayer Based With The Word Of God

In this same scripture in Luke 11:8, Jesus is saying that here is a person coming at midnight, knocking at the door and asking for some bread.  The Word of God is referred to as the Bread of Life, our spiritual bread. Sometimes when we pray we need some bread, the Word of God to pray back to God.

Isaiah 55:11 (KJV) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 

What God has spoken is in our Bibles, written down in a form that we can read it and use it as the basis of our prayers. Praying the Word, we are returning God’s Word back to Him. When we return God’s Word back to Him then God cannot deny Himself and He said that Word would accomplish that which He pleases and prospers in the thing He sent it to do. So, using the Word in prayer we pray an effective prayer and get results. So, when we pray we need some bread, God’s Word to return it back to Him.

Prayer To Put God In Remembrance Of What He Said

Isaiah 43:25-26 (KJV) I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. 26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

God is telling us to pray using His Word and remind Him of what He said.  You might ask, does God forget what He said? I don’t know but He told us to remind Him of what He said. We can’t let logic tell us we don’t have to remind God because God knows what we need.  My point is, because we didn’t take the time to follow the rules God has given us to use when we pray, then our prayers are not effective.

Vain Repetitious Prayers Are Not Effective Prayers

Matthew 6:7 (KJV) But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Many people think God is going to hear them if they pray long prayers but that is not effective prayer. Jesus said vain repetitious prayer just to be heard for our much speaking is not effective prayer.

We Ask For What We Need In Prayer 

Matthew 6:8 (KJV) Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

Mark 11:24 (KJV) Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 

Even though God knows what we need, we are going to have to ask Him for it because that’s what He told us to do.  If we don’t ask Him, even though He knows what we need, it’s not giving Him the legal permission that He needs to meet our need.  The one thing God cannot violate is His Word because that would make God untrue.  So, if we don’t ask Him for what we need, He can’t answer our pray even if somebody is on the brink of death or He would violate His Word. God loves us but not being taught how God tells us to pray, God’s people have gone without and blamed God, that God didn’t show up and He knew what we needed. I am just telling you God has rules how to pray effective prayers and He wants the church to know what the rules are so that the church continues to have effective prayers and can stand in the gap for people who don’t know God’s prayer rules.

Prayer In The Spirit With Help Of Holy Spirit 

The Bible tells us that even when we don’t know what to pray, Holy Spirit comes to help us pray.  Holy Spirit is in us and He is an Intercessor.

Romans 8:26,27 (KJV) Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 

The “the will of”, in this scripture is in italics in the King James Bible.  So, taken out it reads, “Holy Spirit makes intercession for the saints according to God.” When we don’t know how to pray, Holy Spirit knows what we need, and He knows exactly what to pray to get results.  It’s called keys to the Kingdom.  It’s like having a key to the house and a key to the car to open each of them; every situation we face we will need a key to unlock the door to the answer and the key is the door to God and Holy Ghost helps because He’s got the whole key chain. So, when we don’t know what to pray for, we just pray in the spirit in other tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:14,15)

Prayer In Tongues To Get Wisdom

Praying in tongues draws out the wisdom of God.

Proverbs 20:5 (KJV) Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

1 Corinthians 14:13-14 (KJV) Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: … 

Christ is in us and Christ has been made unto us wisdom and so wisdom is in us and praying in tongues draws it out.

We can pray in tongues by Holy Spirit and pray according to God and as we pray in tongues Holy Spirit will give us understanding in our natural language.

Pray In Faith For Others

I wanted to share these rules of prayer, so that you will see that there should be no prayer that goes unanswered. God answers every prayer if it is prayed according to His rules and when it is prayed according to His rules, it’s effective prayer.  This especially is true when we intercede for other people as we will see in Job chapter 1:5.

Job 1:5 (KJV) And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Job 3:25-26 (KJV) For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. 26 I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

Trouble came because Job didn’t pray in faith.  Scared prayer doesn’t get you anywhere.  Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  So, when we pray we need to pray the Word and we need to believe something happened when we prayed even if we don’t see manifestation.  The only way we are going to see when you pray a prayer is by faith, through the eye of faith.

Jesus Shows His Disciples The Importance of Prayer

Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray as John the Baptist taught his people.  Jesus taught His disciples how to pray but they didn’t realize how important prayer was as we see in Luke 9. 

Luke 9:51-56 (KJV) And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to die on the Cross, but they went through Samaria and nobody came to meet Jesus. Jesus rebuked his disciples for wanting to call fire down on them and consume them because Jesus didn’t pray for that meeting but only prayed for Jerusalem.  Jesus was showing his disciples the people of Samaria didn’t come because they had not prayed.  The same is true for today’s meetings, there has to be prayer. The city is not the problem if they don’t show up, but the problem is no prayer.

I pray what I shared with you for effective prayer, that you will see there should be no prayer that goes unanswered because God answers every prayer if it is prayed according to His rules and when it is prayed according to His rules, it’s effective prayer.

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