No matter where you are in your prayer life right now, you can come up higher. Let me share with you some things that I believe will increase the effectiveness of your prayers.
First, prayer should be SPECIFIC. Scripture tells us: "Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [SPECIFIC] requests known to God." (Philippians 4:6 AMP) One reason why we should pray specific prayers is that it helps us to recognize when our prayers are answered - and answered prayer can have a powerful and positive effect on our faith. It's okay to ask the Lord to increase your finances. But don't stop there. Ask Him to supply some of your specific needs. What prompted you to pray in the first place? Were you worried about paying your mortgage, car repair bill, or fuel costs? Tell the Lord exactly what has you concerned, and ask Him for His provision. Then when the need is supplied, you will readily recognize that it was God's doing, and you can thank Him for the answer. Praying specifically enables us to thank and praise God specifically, too. Consequently, we will be less likely to overlook His blessings.
Secondly, prayer should be EARNEST. The word "earnest" isn't a popular word these days, but it's a great Bible word. It means: "Serious in intention, purpose, or effort." In other words, if we want our percentage of answered prayer to increase, we need to get serious about our praying. Scripture says, "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." (James 5:16 NLT) Our prayers should be filled with passion and emotion. If we tend to be distracted and unfocused in our praying, we shouldn't be too surprised if our efforts aren't richly rewarded. It's true that we can pray anywhere, at any time - but if we are never spending time getting quiet before the Lord in prayer, we simply won't hear from Him the way we desire to. Setting aside regular quiet times with God will show Him that we are serious about our prayer life and our relationship with Him.
God has blessings and victories in store for You that can only be released through effective prayer. I challenge you to begin applying these powerful principles today - and watch the "wonderful results" that the Lord will bring about for you!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for praying vague and anemic prayers. Teach me how to be more specific in my petitions, so that I will recognize Your answers to my prayers and give You glory. Show me how to pray with passion and emotion, keeping my focus on You. Thank You for the harvest of answered prayer I will reap as a result!
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