A few months ago, I listened to a sermon by Lon Solomon on how to pray powerfully. It was so good, I had to take notes. As I’ve applied the principles to my prayer life, I’ve been astounded at how my prayers are being answered! Putting these Biblical principles into practice has been so empowering, I want to share them with everyone! In addition to writing this devotional, I’ve also included the link to Lon’s sermon so you can listen to the full message. (Lon Solomon’s Sermon)
Ladies and gentlemen, if you are ready to pray powerfully, then strap on your seatbelt because Almighty God WILL take you on a ride that is greater than you can ask or imagine!
First, by way of introduction, we need to understand that powerful prayer requires us to engage God according to who He is and what His nature requires. Lon used the example of fishing. A successful fisherman studies the nature and habits of the fish he wants to catch. The reason he is so successful is because he positions himself according to the habits, rules, and nature of the fish. The bottom line is…if you want to tap into the power of God, you must pray according to God’s nature and by His rules.
Otherwise, your prayers are as much of a waste of time as…fishing in your bathtub!
So, let’s begin:
- Pray with clean hands and a pure heart. God is holy, thus we must come to Him with a pure heart.
“Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”Psalms 24:3-5
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” Psalms 66:18
If we come before God while we are harboring wrongdoing in our heart, it will hinder the effectiveness of our prayers. Open the search engine to the internet of your heart, enter the word “wrongdoing” and ask the Holy Spirit to do a search. Whatever pops up; repent, and get those things right with God. Lon calls it “Roto-Rootering” the spiritual pipes of your heart to get the gunk out so the power of God can run through you freely.
I’ve memorized this Psalm to incorporate it into a regular part of my prayers:
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”Psalm 139:23-24
- Pray with a forgiving spirit. God has forgiven us much; thus, to come into His presence, we also, must forgive.
“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
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”Matthew 6:12
A huge obstacle to powerful prayer is when we come into God’s presence with malice, unforgiveness, revenge….etc. In 135 A.D., Roman Emperor Hadrian tried to stamp out Jewish nationalism by ploughing under the entire city of Jerusalem and putting a thick layer of salt over the ground. The salt was to prevent anything from ever growing on that ground. This is a good representation of the state of our heart when we come into God’s presence with unforgiveness. Nothing powerful or edifying can grow in a salty heart!
- Pray in faith, believing. God is loving, wise, omniscient, and omnipotent; thus, to pray without insulting Him, we must pray in faith, completely confident that He will answer our prayers.
“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22
“Because they did not believe in God, and did not trust in His salvation…they tempted God, and LIMITED the Holy One of Israel.”Psalms 78:22, 41
“Now He [Jesus] did NOT do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Matthew 13:58
Praying in unbelief is an insult and affront to Almighty God. If, at age five, my son had asked me for something to eat and and asked as if—he wasn’t sure I was capable; he wasn’t convinced I was listening; or he didn’t think I’d have the time or energy to feed him because I was too busy in the all-important matters of my job—I would have been deeply hurt. I would have wondered what kind of mother I was to have given him that impression! Well, my friend, God is a good, good Father—much better than we can even imagine being to our children.
We must pray like we know God can answer our prayers because—He can! Here is a stunning revelation: Because of unbelief, Jesus DIDN’T—not COULDN’T—do mighty miracles in his hometown of Nazareth. We must pray with the confidence that God WILL answer our prayers; not with the attitude that He doesn’t have time, He doesn’t care, or it’s too trivial, etc. God IS interested in the everyday affairs of our life!
Indeed, God works some of His greatest miracles through our most mundane life circumstances!
While we should pray according to His will (1 John 5:14), that does NOT mean we shouldn’t come into prayer asking for ALL we can imagine. The key is we leave the slate open for God to answer according to His will. The fact that God answers according to His will should NEVER be an excuse to doubt God.
Our posture should be that the only person who places limits on what God is going to do—is God—not you or me. Our human logic shouldn’t be used to place limits on God. We don’t need to…run interference for God; apologize for God; give excuses for God; propose Plan B if He doesn’t want to do Plan A; etc. God doesn’t need our plan B, our excuses, or our apologies. All He needs for us to do, is to leave the slate wide-open for Him to do His will and be God. He’ll take it from there. When we leave our prayers open for God to be God, He ALWAYS does exceedingly more than we can ask or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)
- Pray with the glory of God as your motive. God is the Creator of all that is glorious and worthy of admiration; thus, He is deserving of ALL glory in everything. Our prayers must have one motive: God’s glory.
“I am the Lord, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images.” Isaiah 42:8
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”(John 14:13)
Prayer that is motivated by bringing glory to God brings the power of Heaven to earth. We need to switch the motive of our prayers from our own comfort to…bringing God glory. God’s motive, above everything else—our health, finances, relationships, career success, etc.—is to reveal himself to mankind. He wants a relationship with each of us. The highest and greatest reason to ask God for ANYTHING is that He be glorified. When we are focused on promoting ourselves for the sake of our own gain; we are missing the mark [fishing in the bathtub again] and we should not wonder why our prayers are not answered.
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”James 4:3
But, when we ask for anything that will put God’s glory on display, stand back, my friend! That prayer is going to be answered in a way that will shock and surprise you. This prayer touches the heart of God. Our motives are purified so our prayer is now—ALL about Him. We are casting a line directly above the prize fish! Does that mean we don’t pray for healing, relationships, and physical needs? Of course not! Rather, when we pray about our needs, we make it all about God. We pray for healing so God can be glorified. We pray for finances so God can be glorified. We pray for the relationship problem so God can be glorified. We pray for a new job so God can be glorified.
Praying in this four step format is so fantastic…
I am seeing my prayers answered more powerfully than I could have ever asked or imagined!
I hope these cliff notes will be useful to empower your prayer life as well. I’ve printed them out and left copies in places where I pray. I’m memorizing this method and scriptures that go along with each step. My prayer is for every child of God who reads this will be inspired to become a prayer warrior!
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