12 challenges concerning prayer…
1. The Greatest Ingredient In Effectual Prayer Is Faith In God. (Mark 11:23, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”)
2. The Level Of My Desire Determines The Intensity Of My Prayer. (Psalm 63:1, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;”)
3. Effectual Prayers Must Be Baptized In Genuine Gratitude For Previously Answered Prayers. (Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.; Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;”)
4. I Cannot Be Haphazard Or Indifferent In My Prayer Life And Expect My Prayer To Be Effectual. (Psalm 42:1, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”)
5. It Is Impossible To Harbor Sin In My Life And Be Effectual In My Prayers. (Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”)
6. It Is Not Our Clever Schemes Or Our Creative Strategies That Break Down Demonic Strongholds Or Open Closed Doors, But Rather The Fervent & Even Desperate Prayers Of God’s People. Our success or failure in reaching the closed mission fields of the world are very much dependent upon the earnestness and faithfulness of the prayers in our churches. (Mark 9:29, “And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.“)
7. Fervent And Consistent Prayer Is A Strong Indicator Of Spiritual Maturity. Prayerless Christians are very immature Christians at best.
8. Any Prayer That Is Contrary To The Expressed Will Of God Will Be Ineffective. (1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:“)
9. Pride And Effectual Prayer Are Contrary One To The Other. (2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”)
10. Trials Can Powerfully Motivate Us To Cleanse Our Hearts And Seek The Lord In Humble, Effectual Prayer. (Psalm 34:17-19 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.“)
11. For My Prayers To Be Effectual, They Must Be Specific. (Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”)
12. It Is In The ANSWER Of Our Prayers That God’s Power Is Displayed And God Is Glorified The Most. (1 Kings 18:24, “And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken..; “) Unanswered prayer by God’s people in the Bible is the rare exception, not the rule. The unsaved can pray, backslidden can pray, but there is no answer.
This last thought has challenged my heart intensely the last several weeks. Is answered prayer the rule or the exception in my life? If it is the exception, something isn’t right. We must work at this till answered prayer is the rule and unanswered is the exception.