Praying That Pleases God

3 Characteristics of Effective Prayer

“Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.”— 2 Kings 19:20

We have a God who delights in answering the prayers of His children. Praying is a holy privilege and resource that every one of God’s children has at their disposal. However, in order for our prayers to be answered, there are unchangeable biblical principles that must be met. Criteria such as faith, obedience, and importunity are among God’s key requirements.

The Bible gives us many examples of people who had prayer lives that God blessed through incredible answers: Abraham, Daniel, David, Elijah, Elisha, Hannah, Hezekiah, Nehemiah, and Paul. They were people who were just like us except for one thing: they had extraordinary prayer lives.

For most of God’s children, the discipline of prayer is often neglected because we don’t understand the kind of praying that pleases God. We pray when we are faced with an emergency or an unexpected need, but during the normal down times of life, we pray with less frequency and effectiveness.

What kind of praying pleases God?

Our Praying Should Be Spontaneous

We should be ready to pray at all times, at any location, and under any circumstances. Paul admonished us to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). He also said that “men [ought to] pray everywhere lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (I Timothy 2:8).

Our Praying Should Be Specific

Many of our prayers offered to God are general, non-specific, and lacking in intensity. James said, “Ye have not because ye ask not” (James 4:2). Jesus instructed us that we should “ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). Praying that is specific leaves no question as to what is being requested.

Our Praying Should Be Spectacular

By this, I mean that we are not afraid to ask God for things that are beyond our power. I am referring to things that might be impossible. Over and over, we are encouraged to come boldly before God for Him to show Himself strong on our behalf. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3). “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

Let God work in your life though the ministry of prayer. Beginning today, pray always and with the expectation that God will answer your prayers. Don’t live the remainder of your life empty and powerless. Be a Christian who has a prayer-fulfilled life!

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