The Keys to Effective Prayer

A Christian during prayer

Prayer is important for daily Christian living. Many people pray, but not everyone prays with desired results and answers. 

Prayer is like a locked door that has specific keys to unlock. It's a door. So, Christ said we should knock before it is opened (Matthew 7:7).

One of the major keys to effective prayer is by abiding in Christ and his word. It's God who answers prayer, and no one gains access to God without his son, Jesus (John 14:6).

Jesus Christ can't be outgrown in the Christian faith. It starts with him and ends with him. The prayer of anyone without a close relationship with Christ is futile. 

Another key to effective prayer is persistence. Persistence in prayer is asking continually without giving up until the answer is granted. Paul to the Thessalonians asked them to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Persistence in prayer is important. Christ in Parables taught his followers persistence in prayer (Luke 11:5-8; Luke 18:2-8).

Praying with a clear conscience free from the guilt of sin is also a key to effective prayer. Without a clear conscience during prayer, Satan will lay accusations in the heart of the person seeking God in prayer. He uses every unconfessed sin against us. It should be confessed. God is faithful and just to forgive the sins of anyone who confesses and  forsakes them (James 5:16; 1 John 1:9).

Some people's prayer isn't effective and answered because they pray with the wrong motive (James 4:3). They pray to acquire the mundane things of this world when God has said we should set our affection on heavenly things (Colossians 3:2).

The prayer that isn't prayed in sincerity with the right motive isn't effective and won't be answered by God.

We must also pray with faith for effective prayer. God hates doubt. It's a sign that we don't have complete trust and confidence in him. It's pleased with faith and wants us to ask in faith without wavering or doubting (James 1:6).

The prayer prayed in hypocrisy can't be effective or answered. God hates hypocrisy. He wants our prayer rendered with sincerity (Matthew 6:6).

Avoid the use of repetitions in prayer for effectiveness. Some religious groups repeat words to make long prayers. God doesn't encourage that. He wants our prayer with sincerity from a pure heart (Matthew 6:7).

Unforgiveness also hinders the effectiveness of prayers. God forgives us and wants us to forgive others. Grudges and hatred for another will hinder effective prayer. So, forgive those that wrong you (Mark 11:25-26).

 We should also pray with humility without self-righteousness, like the publican who went home justified for admitting his guilt and seeking pardon (Luke 18:10-14).

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