I am excited today to share a guest post by my friend Hannah Williams. She is a new member of our church and an author. I pray it will be an encouragement to you as she challenges us from God’s word.
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” I. John 3:22 NKJV
One of the most important principles of effective prayer is obedience. Not only does I. John 3:22 (listed above) remind us of this, but also Matthew 6:33 states, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” The two facts that are immediately apparent in these two verses are: if we are not listening to God’s voice, He is not listening to our prayers, and if we are not doing “those things that are pleasing in His sight,” we are not included in that group that Jesus promises will gain that for which they ask! We must study to know God’s Word and then DO what He says. Praying involves a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ!
Another principle of effective prayer is sincerity. If we pray for revival or the outpouring of the Holy Spirit but do not really want those things, they will not come to pass. Charles Spurgeon wisely stated, “Prayer without expectancy is unbelief in disguise” (see also Matthew 21:22). Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons afforded to a Christian, but we must be sincere in our prayers and be willing to use this weapon!
A third principle is to come with reverent submission (see Hebrews 5:7). Submission is laying down our own will and asking for the will of the Lord. The Lord’s Prayer is given to us as a pattern of how to pray. It includes this principle: “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:9,10). Reverent submission understands that prayer is not a way for us to get God to do what we want. When we renounce our will to embrace the will of God, we must remember three things: God loves you more than you love yourself, God understands you better than you understand yourself, and God wants ONLY the best for you.
The last principle we will cover here today is to approach God boldly. This simply means that we approach God with confidence rather than condemnation. Romans 8:1 reminds us, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Jesus encourages us to come boldly! Hebrews 4:16 reminds us, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
What is it that is weighing on your heart today? What are you seeking God for? Be obedient to His Word, be sincere, be submissive, approach God boldy, and watch Jesus do amazing things! Believe Him for it!
By: Hannah Williams