"The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]."
- James 5:16 AMP
When some of my loved ones began dealing with some very serious problems a while ago, I turned to God in prayer and said, "Lord, show me what I can do to make a real difference in people's lives." God showed me how to implement some very specific prayer strategies that eventually led to major breakthroughs in the lives of my loved ones.
First, I began getting up early each day to spend extra time in prayer. By getting up earlier than usual, I was showing the Lord that I was serious about making a difference in people's lives through my prayers. Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13 NKJV) Each morning, I was "laying down my life" for people, and making sacrifices that I believed the Lord would honor on their behalf. David said: "In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart]." (Psalm 5:3 AMP) We can pray anytime of the day. But there is something special about approaching God early in the morning, before we jump into the busyness of our day. The great prophet Isaiah wrote: "The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know what to say to all these weary ones. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will." (Isaiah 50:4 NLT) God has important things to say to us, and sometimes He will only say them when we offer Him our first and best moments of the day.
Another thing the Lord led me to do was to pray for each person individually and specifically. While we may most often pray "collective" prayers, as Jesus did in “the Lord's Prayer" (Matthew 6:9-13), there will be times when a situation will call for us to pray more specialized prayers. The apostle Paul wrote: "Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving." (Colossians 4:2 AMP) The word "intent" means: "Having the attention sharply focused or fixed on something; having the mind and will focused on a specific purpose." When we concentrate on one person at a time in prayer, we are aiming all of our prayer power like a sharp arrow at a specific target. These are some of the prayers that the forces of evil hate the most, because they are the most devastating to their work in the world.
Thirdly, I began using books filled with Scripture-based prayers. The Bible says: "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) Since God's Word is His will, praying prayers based on Scripture can have awesome results. James wrote: "The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." (James 5:16 NASB) When we pray the Word of God for a person or situation, we are praying highly "effective" prayers that are destined to "accomplish much." I have found that when circumstances have me fearful or doubtful, using prayer books like these can fill me with fresh hope and confidence. When I've been praying long and hard with little results, these books help me to express myself in prayer in ways that I can't on my own. They revive my prayer life and help me to refocus. Sometimes we're too close to a situation to know how to pray effectively. Our own desires or emotions can taint our prayers, and books like these can help us to take a step back and see things from a biblical perspective. God is prepared to help you to make a real difference in people's lives. Are you willing to do what it takes?
Prayer: Lord, give me a heart like Yours, so that I'll be willing to lay down my life and make a difference in the lives of others. Teach me how to live a disciplined life so that I can do the hard work of interceding for others in a mighty way. Thank You for all of the miracles and breakthroughs--and blessings and rewards--that will manifest as a result!
- J. M. Farro