We all want to have an effective prayer life. Who wouldn’t want to know that their prayers are being heard and answered?
We often think that we are entitled to have our prayers answered simply because we asked, without paying any attention to how we asked.
In order to have a powerful and effective prayer life, we must posture ourselves before God with the right attitude.
James 4: 3 says “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
3 attitudes that open the door for connection
If you want to have an effective prayer life, you need to establish connection with God. True connection cannot be faked. The key to establishing connection is through humility, praise and repentance.
I have also written about 4 things that will make or break your prayer life.
There aren’t many things that cause God to resist people but pride is one of them (James 4:6, Proverbs 3:34). Pride is the elevation of yourself to a position or stature that God has not assigned you to.
Humility is the opposite of pride. Pride is self-promoting, humility is God-promoting. Pride is rough, humility is gentle. We must not mistake gentleness for weakness though. When we humble ourselves before God, He draws close to us.
The power for effective prayer is found when we come close to God; the more humility we have, the closer we can get to His heart.
To praise God is not simply something we say or do, rather an attitude we carry. Praise is the ability to see the goodness of God at work in your life and to give Him due recognition. Praise releases us from our selfishness, bitterness, guilt and shame.
There are many biblical examples of praise being a vital part of our prayer life. When teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus starts by saying, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” (Matt 6:9)
David was a man of passionate praise. He would sing songs of praise to God: “…The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my saviour – from violent men you save me. I call to the LORD, who is worthy of Praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” 2 Samuel 22: 2-4
It’s such a dirty word, isn’t it? Repentance. Just saying it makes me uncomfortable. We have attached so much to the word ‘repentance’ over the years that if you ask people what it means, you will get a lot of different answers.
I think for a lot of people, especially non-Christians the word repentance is synonymous with condemnation. When I hear the word, my mind automatically goes to the picture of an angry 18th century male, convinced that his morality is perfect and that the rest of the world needs to repent of their sin and be more like him.
But biblical repentance is more connected to blessing than condemnation. Repentance means to turn to God. We often think that He wants us to turn to Him so that we can get a good talking to about how much we suck at life, when actually He wants us to turn to Him to receive life through His Spirt.
Acts 3: 19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
Repentance needs to be the foundation of our prayer life. Having an attitude of repentance is all about learning humility and trust – trust that we can bring our weaknesses and failings to God, knowing that He is redemptive and not a condemning God.
Repentance is about giving your whole self to God, not just the bits you think He will like and approve.
If you were encouraged or challenged by this would you consider sharing it with friends and family?