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 9 Ways to Have Effective Prayers!


We've all heard the saying, "prayer changes things." Some of us believe it and some don't. In these times it's hard to believe in something other than ourselves. Times are hard, the economy is bad and we are still at war. We may think that when we pray to God, our prayers go unanswered. Or so we think. In our minds, if we don't get what we prayed for, God was not listening or just didn't care. So does prayer really change things? Before we figure out what an effective prayer is, we first need to define prayer. Wikipedia defines prayer as: "The act of addressing a god or spirit for the purpose of worship or petition."

In order to pray, we first need to acknowledge who we are praying to. Who is your God? The God of this world or the God over all the world? If you believe in the one and only true God, Jesus Christ, then here are 9 ways to have an effective prayer and get them answered.

1. Sin hinders prayer. Psalm 66:18-19 says, "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer." We cannot continue to sin against God and expect Him to answer our prayers. We must repent and ask God to forgive us of our sins in order for God to hear us effectively.

2. Idols hinder our prayers. Ezekiel 14:4-5 says, "Therefore speak to them and tell them, "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the Lord will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry. I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted me for their idols." If we put other things such as: money, cars, houses and people before God, they are idols and have more importance in our lives. We must put God first, before all things, in order for His will to be done in our lives, through prayer.

3. We must seek divine guidance through the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26-27 says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." When we pray for selfish things, material things and things not according to God's will, the Holy Spirit will pray and help us to speak to God instead. Even if we don't know what to say or think we are unworthy, the Spirit will do it for us, if we believe.

4. We must have a joyful prayer. Philippians 1:4-5 says, "In all my prayers for all of you. I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now..." God wants us to pray to Him with joy in our hearts. Even when bad things are happening to us and we pray to have these things removed, we must have joy knowing that it's already done.

5. We must be in constant prayer. Nehemiah 1:4 says, "When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven." When the wall of Jerusalem had been broken down and its gates were burned, Nehemiah prayed constantly to God to forgive Israel for their betrayal of Him. Because he prayed day and night without ceasing, God allowed him to speak to King Artaxerxes and request that he be able to rebuild the wall. This is just one example of what constant prayer can do. We've all heard that persistence pays off. And in time, God's will and your prayers will pay off too.

6. We must devote ourselves to prayer. Colossians 4:2 says, "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Enough said.

7. Praise God with prayer. Psalm 18:3 says, "I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies." No matter how bad things are and the mountains in our lives are not moved, we must give God praise when we pray. Because even though we may not see God working on our behalf, he's always at work. And by giving Him praise, we believe our prayers will be answered. So in all things, good or bad - give God praise.

8. God listens when we pray. 1 Kings 8:52 says, "May your eyes be open to your servants plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you." When you pray, you must believe that God hears you. He wants us to talk to Him at all times. He wants to be our friend and He wants to communicate back to us through His word. If you speak to God honestly and openly, He will listen. He might not give you what you want, because it may not be good for you in the long run, but He will definitely give you what you need.

9. God answers prayer. Psalm 65:2 says, "O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come." So to you who don't or won't believe, God can and will answer your prayer. Having faith in God plays a big part. When you believe that He lived and died for your sins, then you will know that all prayers of the heart will be answered.

So does prayer really change things? An effective prayer will. In these times we have to believe in something other than ourselves. And if we do, our shallow and sometimes empty prayers, will become much more effective in no time.

Wanda is a wife, mother, children's Sunday school teacher, public speaker of "1 Minute With Wanda" and contributing author of EzineArticles.com. She has been writing about God and spirituality for over 20 years and has researched the bible and its history. Wanda also specializes in children picture books and believes and teaches that regardless of a person's background or their mistakes of the past, God has a place for them. She currently resides in Chino, California.

She is the publisher and bestselling author of "Kids Ask The Darndest Things About God And The Beginning- Answers From The First Five Books Of The Bible" and "Kids Ask The Darndest Things About God And The History - Answers From The Next Twelve Bible Books Of History" and NEWLY released "Wendy Wonders: Why Are We Different?" picture book series available at http://www.ball-publications.com

Visit Ball Publications Christian Books at http://www.ball-publications.com and sign up for my FREE "Bible News" monthly Newsletter. Gain Knowledge and Power with bible-based articles, discussions, tips and special offers! Take advantage of up and coming events, radio broadcasts and recommended products of interest for you and your family! You can also follow me on Twitter, Myspace & Facebook and Become A Fan!

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