Tips For Effective Prayer

Neal Pollard

As Lehman Avenue embarks on a month of specific prayer about our work, future, goals, and events, we may feel a lot like the disciples felt as we examine our prayer life. We may be thinking, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Jesus taught much about prayer, by what He did and said (cf. Acts 1:1). Consider Luke’s record of His teaching and exhortation in Luke 18 for some great tips to help us in our daily prayers.

  • Pray Consistently (Luke 18:1)–“At all times they ought to pray” (Don’t let a day go by without including prayer. As you conquer that discipline, find multiple times throughout the day. That ongoing talking to God will become a part of you)
  • Pray Persistently (Luke 18:1)–“At all times they ought…not to lose heart” (Be patient about the matters you’re praying about. God sees all and knows all. He’s not on our timetable, but He will do what’s best when it’s best. Don’t let seeming silence or unanswered prayers to cause you to give up)
  • Pray Dependently (Luke 18:2-7). Jesus chooses one of the most disenfranchised, powerless persons of the society of His day–a widow–to illustrate our prayers. She petitioned a wicked judge, but we petition a righteous, just Judge and King. See things as they are. We are wholly dependent upon God for everything, but He knows what we need. Yet, He still says to call on Him.
  • Pray Trustingly (Luke 18:8). Jesus ends this parable with a challenging question. “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Do we trust what Jesus says in the Word about prayer? If so, He will find faith. When death or the second coming stops time forever, be found among the prayerful.
  • Pray Humbly (Luke 18:9-14). Jesus follows up with a second parable, addressed to those “who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt” (9). We’re far better off to be transparent, penitent, and open with the All-knowing God. We’re better served not to compare our spiritual lives with others, before, during, or after times of prayer. With a “God be merciful to me, the sinner!” (13) mindset, we will more readily find justification and exaltation as we seek to walk in the Light.

“Prayer will change the night to day!” Don’t forget to engage in it today and every day. Jesus promised: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10).

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