I wanna be straightforwardly honest with this, I rarely go to church, I dont really like going to church because I see that it lacks substance, I got irked when the last time i went to church, the Priest kept including the RH Bill in his sermon, I feel that its not the perfect way for me to talk to God.
Most people pray because they need to ask God for something, suffice it to say, some prayers are superficial. Thats why over time, Ive been wondering what a prayer needs for it to be effective and I came across 10 things from a book Hun and I finished reading together.
These 10 locks and keys helped my prayers to be more effective, it also made my relationship with God deeper than how it used to be.
10 Locks (Things that Hinder Prayers from Being Effective) :
1. Praying without Knowing God through Jesus
John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
2. Praying from an Unrepentant Heart
Psalm 66:18 – 19 NIV – “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.”
3. Praying for Show
Matthew 6:5 – “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.”
4. Praying Repetitive, Empty Words
Matthew 6:7-8 – “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
5. Prayers Not Prayed
James 4:2 – “You do not have because you do not ask.”
6. Praying with a Lustful Heart
James 4:3 – “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
7. Praying while Mistreating Your Spouse
1 Peter 3:7 – “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way…and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
8. Praying while Ignoring the Poor
Proverbs 21:13 – “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered.
9. Praying with Bitterness in Your Heart toward Someone
Mark 11:25-26 – “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”
10. Praying with a Faithless Heart
James 1:6-8 – “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one you doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
10 Keys (Things That Make Prayer Effective)
1. Pray by Asking, Seeking and Knocking
Matthew 7:7-8,11 -- " Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives and he who seeks, finds and to him who knocks, it will be opened.. If you then, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him?"
2. Praying in Faith
Mark 11:24 -- "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them and they will be granted to you"
3. Praying in Secret
Matthew 6:6 -- "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."
4. Pray according to God's Will
1 John 5:14 -- "This is the confidence we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He will hear us."
5. Praying in Jesus' Name
John 14:13-14 -- "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it."
6. Praying in Agreement with Other Believers
Matthew 18:19-20 -- "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."
7. Prayer while Fasting
Acts 14:23 -- "When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed."
8. Praying from an Obedient Life
1 John 3:21-22 -- "Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God, and whatever we ask, we receive from Him because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight."
9. Praying while Abiding in Christ and His Word
John 15:7 -- "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."
10. Praying while Delighting in the Lord
Psalm 37:4 -- "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
The Summary of the Locks and Keys of a Good Prayer :
1. You must be in the right relationship with God.
2. You must be in a right relationship with other people.
3. Your heart must be right.
This article was taken from the Book -- The Love Dare.