Summary: Prayer if often not what it should be but scripture tells us there is an effective prayer

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James 5:16b

Introduction: “We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.” --R.A. Torrey

I. What is prayer?

A. Godly prayer is worship.

B. Godly prayer is power.

C. Godly prayer is sincere.

II. How should we pray?

A. We should pray seeking God’s will and not our own.

B. We should pray expecting God’s power and presence.

C. We should pray out of our love for Him.

III. In what manner should we pray?

A. Sometimes we should pray alone.

- "Retire from the world each day to some private spot. Stay in the secret place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart and a sense of God’s presence envelops you. Deliberately tune out the unpleasant sounds and come out of your closet determined not to hear them. Listen for the inward voice till you learn to recognize it." ~A.W. Tozer

B. Sometimes we should pray together.

C. In a reverent prayer position.

- "God is looking for broken men who have judged themselves in the light of

the cross of Christ. When He wants anything done, He takes up men who have

come to the end of themselves, whose confidence is not in themselves, but

in God." ~H.A. Ironside

1. Standing Looking towards the Father in heaven

a. (John 17:1 - When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,)

b. (I Timothy - 2:8aI desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands…)

2. Kneeling looking to heaven or bowed head.

a. (Luke 22:41 And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed,)

3. Laying prostrate on the ground with your face on the ground.

a. (Matthew 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be..)

4. Sitting with eyes closed and head bowed.

a. (2Sa 7:18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD…)

IV. Whose prayers does God hear?

A. Whose prayers does God not hear?

1. Those who have no relationship with God.

- (John 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.)

2. Those who pray without reverence or worship.

- (Hebrews 12:28 …let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,)

- (James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures)

3. Those who ask without faith.

- (James 1:6-7But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.)

B. Whose prayers does God hear?

1. Those who are saved.

- ( James 5:16b The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.)

- Illustration “Josh McDowell’s Answered Prayer”

2. Those who pray in reverence and worship.

3. Those who ask in faith.


1. How is your prayer life?

2. How good do you believe is the prayer life of the church?

- Illustration “Prayer Path”

3. Are you in a position for God to hear your prayers?

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