This sermon will help you learn how to pray effectively as a Christian.

The scripture encourages us in several places to pray effectively; in Mathew 18:1-8 Jesus Himself gave us a parable of the widow and the unjust judge which teaches us to pray always and never be discouraged.

And according to the words of Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians we are told to:

Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) 

But so many Christians misconstrue the purpose of prayer and make so many vain prayers that sometimes destroys them.

Therefore we are going to learn through the Spirit which reveals all mysteries in this sermon how to pray effectively as Christians.

First and foremost I want to help you understand how Christians all over the world make wrong prayers.

As we all know, our first prayer point should be the sacrifice of thanks since there is absolutely nothing we could give back to God for all He does for us.

And after that we move on to ask for the forgiveness of our sins so we can take away that barrier that prevents God from listening to us according to Isaiah 59:1.

Behold the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.

But it is however sad to observe that most of our Christian brothers and sisters are unable to take away that barrier (sin) which prevents God from listening to us because, immediately after asking God to forgive them they will tell Him to destroy those they are quarreling with forgetting these teachings of Christ:

If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Mathew 6:14-15)

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” “But if you do not forgive, neither will your father in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:25-26)

Therefore, if we do not forgive people at first, there is no way God will ever forgive us.

And if God does not forgive us the barrier called sin still remains, and there is no way we will be able to receive answers to our prayers.

The main prayer point so many of us make is always calling the Holy Ghost fire to go and destroy our so called enemies, but we fail to study the scriptures to discover what transpired between Jesus and His disciples: James and John in Samaria:

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did? But He turned and rebuke them, and said, “you do not know what manner of spirit you are of. “for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. (Luke 9:51-56)

So if we are still following the same Jesus who did not allow James and John to call fire to destroy people, why do we think He will approve of it now?

Now if you make the above truth known to Christians they will say they are calling the fire to burn Satan and his agents, but they forget that God does not intend to destroy Satan until this scripture is fulfilled:

They went up on the breath of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophets are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:9-10)

Another worst kind of prayer we make is using insulting words while contending with Satan.

But the scripture helps us to understand that  the angels, even the chief angel Michael, do not insult Satan whenever they contend with him but rather they use the word of God to defend themselves.

Whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation before them before the Lord. But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption. (2 Peter 2:11-12)

Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “the Lord rebuke you!” but these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. (Jude: 9-10)

And as we can see from the above scriptures, this kind of prayer turns out to destroy us.

Another prayer Christians love to pray is asking God to bless them with worldly possessions, and worst of all they continue to pester God over and over again if they are unable to see those things they pray for materialize.

Now when you think about asking God in prayers for material things, consider how you normally approach your earthly father to make a request.

First you must be sure that you have not done anything of recent that displeased him.

Secondly you must be sure that your father knows you will be able to handle that thing properly before he can give it to you, for no father will ever hand over his car keys to a child he knows does not know how to drive.

Therefore, you must consider all these things and review what you request from God if it is something you will be able to handle, which will not destroy you in the long run.

If it is riches, you must be sure you won’t ask for too much that will make you forget Him as the scripture says:

When they had pasture, they were filled; they were filled and their heart was exalted; therefore they forgot me. (Hosea 13:6)

So then the scripture gives us tips on how to ask God for anything.

Jesus Himself told us:

‘And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. (Mathew 6:7)

John also said:

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:14)

And James shows us why we cannot receive what we ask of God:

You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. (James 4:30)

Moreover, as we said earlier, you must be sure you are not the disobedient type, for the scripture helps us in several passages to understand that God does not listen to the prayers of sinful people, same as an earthly father will refuse to pay attention to the request of his disobedient child:

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17)

The LORD is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)

For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil. (1 peter 3:12)

“Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshipper of God and does His will, He hears him. (John 9:31)

And as we can see, it is only the righteous kind of Christians that are capable of believing to receive whatever they ask from God as the scripture says:

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (Mark 11:24)

‘And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. (Mathew 21:22)

And since they have been able to hearken to the words of Jesus in Mathew 6:24-34, by not worrying about the good things of life, but rather depend on God to supply all their food and clothing while they seek for His kingdom (which we now understand to be the Holy Spirit) Who will enable them to attain His righteousness.

So when believers who refuse to lead a life that pleases God worries Him to give them their own share of earthly inheritance the story of the prodigal son seen in Luke 15:-31 becomes their story, and if they are not wise to return back to God when they are done wasting all they received from God by force; as the prodigal son returned back to his father when his money was gone, they end up blaming God for their misfortune and destroy themselves in going out to seek for solutions from the devil.

Finally, the key to an effective prayer is totally forgetting to pray for yourself at times and pray for others.

Now consider an earthly father, who has two children, one is obedient while the other is disobedient.

Now the disobedient child goes to the father and makes a request for something which the father refuses to give him, but if the obedient child having pity for his brother approaches the father and begs him to grant his brothers request, do you think the father will refuse to grant him that request? Of course the father will grant the request saying if not for you i.e. the obedient child, I wouldn’t have granted your brothers request.

So we now understand that, it is in our place as true believers who please God to make intercessory prayers for those our brothers and sisters who are unable to do the same, and we definitely know that God will surely grant the request we make on their behalf.

That is why the scripture severally admonishes us to always make intercessory prayers.

Confess your trespass to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:6)

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. (1 Timothy 2:1)

But this does not mean that believers should not pray for believers also because at times the earthly father refuses to give something to his obedient son for no reason but if other obedient children join to beg him he sure will do it in the end.

That was why Paul always encouraged the early believers to pray for him and his fellow workers in the vineyard.

Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers for me. (Romans 15:30)

Brethren, pray for us. (1 Thessalonians 5:25)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephesians 6:18)

Some say Jesus was fond of praying, a little while He will leave the disciples and go to a secret place where He will spend time in prayer; but what they fail to find out is: what was Jesus always praying for?

And if they ask the answer the Holy Spirit will give is that Jesus was always praying for others;

The devil was seeking to destroy Peter by making him deny Jesus, and knowing this Jesus prayed for Peter’s faith not to fail. (Luke 22:31-32).

While on the cross amidst all the pains and sorrows, He did not pray the Father to make the pains go away, but rather said a prayer of forgiveness to the very people that killed Him. (Luke 23:34).

Now if you check how Jesus used to pray for Himself, He was always seeking for the Father’s will to be done and not His.

An example is during His agony in the garden. (Luke 22:42). And finally, He said a prayer that covers everyone that will ever believe and follow Him. (John 17)

But today you will find the supposed followers of Christ spend long hours in prayer asking God to do this and that for them, and the worst is their asking God to kill and destroy their enemies, and this very reason is why they cannot receive whatever they ask in prayers.

If only you could spend much time praying for the good of others, you will be surprised at what God will return to you; remember the laws and the prophets: ‘do unto others what you wish them do to you’, which means that those things you pray others to receive will also be given to you.

After all, in John 17 Jesus had finished praying all the necessary prayers for us i.e. His followers; hence He now wants us to continue from where He stopped by praying for others too.

Beloved, prayer is a spiritual exercise i.e. the Spirit gets to work once we kneel down to pray, and that is the very reason why we must always depend on the spirit to lead us in our prayers.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, (Ephesians 6:18)

It is never wrong for a Christian to pray for one second to twenty four hours long as he is being directed by the Holy Spirit who searches and knows everything.

So the secret is: don’t always plan to pray for a specific frame of time, when you kneel down just call on the Holy Spirit to lead you, and if you find yourself praying for even a second know that that is how long the Spirit wants you to pray because if you force yourself you will end up praying in the flesh.

Paul even showed us that even while we are weak it is the Spirit Who helps us to pray.

Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:2)

In summary, I love to state here that many Christians consider Satan to be their worst enemy and for that reason they don’t waste time to rain abusive words on him whenever they stand to pray. But as for me, I know Satan as a bigger brother, who disobeyed and rebelled against the Almighty Father, and ever since his duty is to send the younger ones on errands that put them against the Father, and after that he bullies them in whatever manner he chooses.

So in order to escape his errands and bullying’s, I chose to serve the biggest brother of all, even Jesus Christ, because I know that He is the only One that has the power to stand against and fight Satan. Thus I always put in all my effort to carry out His instructions, and whenever Satan tries to interfere, I don’t stand to insult him, knowing he will surely beat me up mercilessly, rather I quickly run to the back of the Master, Jesus Christ, Who is the only person besides the Father, that Satan is always scared of and never dares to confront.

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Last modified: November 7, 2021



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