Last week we talked about 10 ‘locks’ that hinder and muddy our prayer life. This week, we’re talking about 10 ‘keys’ to ‘unlock’ and enhance your prayer life.
- Praying persistently by asking, seeking and knocking (Matthew 7:7-8). We have to make time to pray. We shouldn’t hold back in our asking and we should be doing it every day. Remember, He will answer when the time is right!
- Praying in faith. We should pray with confidence; Jesus praised those who asked in faith. (Mark 11:24) “ 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Prayer is not a magic genie lamp – it’s based on our loving relationship with God, so we can more clearly come to know what He’s wanting to give us. Where He’s wanting to take us. We can believe and know that it’s coming to pass in His time.
Praying in secret (Matthew 6:6). “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Galatians 6:7-8 reminds us not to pray for show; that is sowing to the flesh. We need to seek Him with grounded humility.
Praying according to God’s will. We think of this as hidden and mysterious, but the Bible reminds us in Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Prayer can show us where God is willing to go and where he’s not ready to go. In John 5:14-15 “14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” When we genuinely desire the knowledge of His will and are committed to following it, He will inspire us with a new level of assurance in prayer.
Praying in Jesus’ name. It’s not just a “sincerely yours” at the end of prayer, it’s reflective of an unselfish, God-honoring heartbeat within ourselves. It’s a statement of of worship and admitted need. John 13:13-14 says “13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Praying in HIS name is to pray as HE WOULD. We don’t approach God based on us, our authority or what we’ve done; it’s on what He’s done!
Praying in agreement with other believers. Matthew 18:19-20 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Praying with other believers really zooms your prayer experiences off the charts! When we pray in a group with one heart and one mind. It pleases God. He loves and honors the synergy with others when we pray.
Praying while fasting. This can mean going without food or other things, which allows us to focus. Acts 14:23 reminds us of the fasting pattern of Paul and Barnabas. It helps open our spirit to God instead of just feeding the flesh – seeking Him above all your other appetites.
Praying from an obedient life. I John 3:21-22 “21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.”
The intimacy you desire with God travels through the connective bond of your obedience to Him. When we pray with an obedient heart, we can make requests without shame, working with Him and not working against Him.
Praying while ABIDING in Christ and His word. This means staying close in fellowship with someone. It involves spending time in God’s word, allowing it to fill our hearts and guide our thinking. It also means staying clean before God, not allowing sin to build up or go unconfessed. John 15:7 –“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”
Praying while delighting in the Lord. When He is our greatest delight and first love above all else…then we’re in a position to have God bless us with our heart’s desires. It’s only when we receive His salvation that we can truly begin to love Him. John 14:15 – “if you love me, keep my commands.”
Psalm 37:4 – “take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” He takes delight in us when we do the same.
Here’s the prayer from the end of the chapter!
Lord, you are a good and loving God, You didn’t need to allow us to know you and pray to you, but you did. I thank you that through Jesus, we can boldly approach your throne of grace in our time of need. Make me a strong and effective prayer warrior. Help me walk closely with you, to pray in faith, in Jesus’ name and in agreement with other believers. May I delight in you above all else. Give us grace and faith to trust you for great things. Prompt us with great requests so we can lift them back up to you and watch you answer them for our delight and for your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Our word of the day today was an early hat tip to the Knox County Fair!
Thanks for listening!