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Making our prayers effective

Prayer basically is conversation with God. Conversation is two-way communication. There are several ways that God can speak to us. Likewise, there are several ways we can talk to God. The first four are found in 1Timothy 2:1, "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications (petitions), prayers (praises to God), intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men"




1. Petition Isaiah 43:26 – State your case

  • This is a legal request made to God based on what His Word says. 1 John 5:14,15

  • John 14:14 "ask anything in My name" doesn’t mean simply tagging "In Jesus’ name" to your prayer. It means making a request to God based on your covenant relationship with Him.


2. Praise/Worship Psalms 66:4 – Focuses on God only

  • Praise can be horizontal (to others about God) or vertical (directly to God)

  • Worship is always vertical


3. Intercessions Matthew 5:44 – Plead someone else’s case

  • Everyone should pray for others. "Intercessor" is not a separate calling.

  • You can request protection or provision on someone else’s behalf.

  • Intercessory prayer will not save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. Each person must give an account of himself to God (Romans 14:12). You cannot use prayer to force people to have relationship with Him. Jeremiah 7:16 "Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you."


4. Thanksgiving – Be grateful for what He has done, is doing, will do

  • Giving thanks is the way to enter God’s presence

  • Even in the most troubling times, try to find something to be thankful for


5. Repentance – Godly sorrow for what you’ve done or failed to do

  • Godly sorrow makes you feel bad about what you’ve done (conviction). Worldly sorrow makes you feel bad about you (condemnation) because of what you’ve done.


6. Meditation – wait, let Him speak, put the Word on repeat

  • Remember prayer is a conversation. Make time to allow God to speak to you.

  • Meditation is taking time to reflect on God’s Word, His works, His awesomeness, His voice.

  • Meditation reduces stress, improves health, helps you make better decisions and hear God better.


7. Consecration – dedicate something for God alone (time, money, body, children)

  • The goal of the believer should be to live a completely consecrated life.

  • Voluntary surrender means a lot to God. Whatever vows you make to Him, keep them.


Note: The categories above are not mutually exclusive. In one prayer session, you can cover any one or any combination of these types of prayer.


There is also a difference between private prayer and corporate prayer.


PRIVATE PRAYER – Alone one-on-one with God


Matthew 6:5-8 "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him."


  • The word for hypocrite literally means "actor". This is someone who acts like he has an intimate passionate relationship with God only when he’s around people. God wants authenticity.


  • ‘Shut your door’ is figurative for shutting out all distractions when you pray. At times this could mean silencing your phone, shutting down the computer, turning off the television or radio, or literally closing your door. Your room means a place where you can be alone with God. It could be your bedroom, bathroom, or even the beach


  • The secret place is not a physical location. It is intimate private worship. When you have a true relationship with God in private, He will reward you in public.


CORPORATE PRAYER – Prayer of agreement

The purpose for praying together is unity/oneness/agreement.


John 17:22 "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one"


Matthew 18:19-20 "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."


  • When you pray with someone or for someone, make sure you agree on what you’re praying about.


  • Corporate prayer changes the atmosphere and invokes the manifest presence (glory) of God


Acts 1:14 "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication"


Acts 2:1 "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place"


  • One accord=‘unanimous passion’

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