Prayer is important to the life of a believer. It is our way of communicating with God and bringing our requests before Him. In order for our prayer to be effective, there are certain requirements or conditions that must be met. First, we must have a sincere faith. When the father of the demon-possessed boy came to Jesus asking that Jesus heal his son, Jesus told this man that all things are possible for those who believe (Mark 9:23). Jesus told his disciples that when they ask for something in prayer, they will receive it they believe (Mark 11:24). James 1:6-7 tells us that, when we ask God for something, we must not waver in our faith. If we have doubt, then we should not expect anything from God.
The next requirement for effective prayer is that we should pray with the authority of Jesus. Jesus said that He will do whatever we ask in His name so that the Father will be glorified (John 14:13-14). Our prayers should be made in Jesus name. They must also be in line with His Word and His character. That brings us to the third requirement, which is that our prayers should be in line with God’s will. Jesus told us that, when we pray, we should ask that God’s will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). For more about praying for God’s will, see my post for May 22, 2017, Thy Will Be Done.
The fourth requirement for effective prayer is that our lives must be aligned with God’s will and His commands. We must be living according to God’s Word if we expect Him to hear our prayers and answer them. 1 John 3:21-22 tells us that we may have confidence before God and will receive an answer to our prayers when we keep His commands and live in a manner that is pleasing to Him. As Jesus told us, when we seek God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness before anything else, then we will receive the things that we need (Matthew 6:33).
The last thing needed for prayer to be effective is persistence. We must persevere in prayer, never losing heart, as Jesus taught us in the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-7). We should devote ourselves to prayer (Colossians 4:2). And we must persist in our belief that God hears us and He will answer our prayers.