Successful prayer is dependent on a few simple principles. All of these involve relationship with God. He made prayer to be a relational engagement and not a systematic activity.
Jesus said in John 15:7 “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” To abide means to be in one’s presence, to wait, to draw near to. Our fruitfulness comes from remaining in Jesus, drawing near to Him and waiting on Him. The word, “words” in this passage is in reference to the word that the Holy Spirit quickens to us as we wait on Him. It is the rhema.
2. Pray according to His will.
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:14, 15 If we are going to pray successfully, we need to pray according to His will and purposes.
3. Praying with right motives and a pure heart.
Right motives are essential for effective prayer. James 4:4 – 5 “You ask and do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility towards God?” It is always important to ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and to convict you of any unconfessed sin or impure motives. Psalm 66:18 says that if we regard wickedness in our heart, then the Lord will not hear. 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins, that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Take time to search your heart and to receive forgiveness and cleansing.
“Without faith it is impossible to please Him for He who comes to God must first believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 ) We must approach God in faith believing that He is desiring to reward us with answered prayer. Do not doubt. Mark 11:24 gives us some strong insight: “…all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you receive them and you shall have them.” This is an amazing promise!
5. Fervency and passion.
When you pray, pray with passion and focus. Don’t pray wimpy little scattered prayers and expect God to answer them. “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man will accomplish much.” James 5:16
Do not lose heart and do not lose faith. Galatians 6:9 says that we will reap if we faint not. Jesus taught His disciples that if they had faith as a mustard seed, that nothing would be impossible for them (see Matthew 17:20). A mustard seed’s greatest quality is that of endurance. If you plant a mustard seed deep into the earth and then covered the earth above it with a slab of pavement, somehow that mustard seed will find a way to grow. It doesn’t matter how many years it takes, it will persevere. If it can’t push through the pavement, it will go around it, but it will find a way to grow.
7. The blessing of Journaling.
One of the things that will enhance your prayer life is keeping a prayer journal. That way you can keep track of your prayers, the scripture promises you are standing on, the date you brought your request before the Lord and the date of the fulfillment. God is so faithful to answer all our prayers. Keeping a journal reminds you of His continued faithfulness in answering your prayers.