A clearer understanding of Christ’s instructions on prayer and a thorough follow-through in your life will result in your prayers being answered!
Here’s what Jesus said.
1. Find someone to agree with you in prayer.
Matthew 18:19 (Amplified Bible) "Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and[everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven."
Prayer partners are those who can agree and share the burden for the things for which you are praying.
The Greek word "agree", is "sumphoneo", the word from which is derived the English, "symphony."
One of the powerful aspects of a symphony orchestra is the way such a large number of instrumentalists work together to bring out the composer’s work.
Jesus is teaching us to likewise work together and harmonize with other Christ followers in our prayer lives. This gives our prayers great power. Together we achieve the work of our heavenly composer.
Christ also taught us to enter our prayer closets and pray alone. (Matthew 6:6) But there are times when we should seek out others who agree with our prayer requests and pray with them.
There is a humbling aspect to asking others to pray with you. There is also a unifying aspect. God wants you to be a part of the family. This is one of the ways we practice the community God intended for us to enjoy.
Praying with others fine tunes our prayers just like rehearsing together perfects the work of the symphony. When the prayer is answered more people can give glory to God.
2. Pray in the future tense.
Mark 11:24 (NIV) "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
There are indeed warnings against presumption in Scripture. (Psalm 19:13; James 4:13-14; 2 Peter 2:10) We should not boast about what we’re going to do.
But there is a great difference in counting on what you can do and counting on what God can do!
Prayer is counting on what God can do, and it is believing so much that He can do what we ask that we know we have the answer!
1 John 5:14 (CEV) We are certain that God will hear our prayers when we ask for what pleases him. 15And if we know that God listens when we pray, we are sure that our prayers have already been answered.
3. Manage your motives in prayer.
John 14:13-14 (NLT) "You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. 14Yes, ask anything in my name, and I will do it!"
The significance of asking for something in Christ’s name is not because this is a magic incantation.
God’s name is very powerful to be sure, but what Christ had in mind here was the motivation of our prayers.
Who’s name have you been praying in?
When David approached the Philistine champion Goliath he said, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied." (1 Samuel 17:45)
David was God’s ambassador, going in God’s name. He didn’t step on to the battlefield because he was looking for a name for himself.
When you pray, are your motives right?
James 4:3 (GNT) And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures.
4. Hold your ground in prayer.
John 15:7 (NLT) "But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted!"
We live in a very transient world. People change careers, addresses and even relationships often.
But you can’t afford to let instability characterize your relationship to Christ if you want prayers answered.
1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Matthew 7:7 (Amplified Bible) "Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you."