“If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ.” -C.H. Spurgeon
There are some things that you must be, and do, in order to have a powerful prayer life. Many have a presumptuous prayer life, rather than a powerful one. Meaning, they presume upon God, and approach Him like he’s a genie in a bottle. Their prayers are more presumptive than prevailing. Their hearts are far from God, yet think they can approach Him when times get tough to receive a blessing. The Bible doesn’t teach this way of thinking at all.
The Bible also never teaches the ‘name it and claim it’ doctrine. No where in the Bible will you see that type of language, and no where will you see anyone demanding that God obey them. But all throughout the Bible you see people testing the genuineness of their faith, seeking to obey the word of God, remaining, persevering, and trusting the Lord in prayer.
I don’t know about you, but I want to know that my prayers are being heard. I also want to know that my prayers are having an impact. When I pray for my wife or my children, I want to be certain that my prayers are not met by the ceiling. Can you know? You certainly can. I want to give you 5 things that you must be and do to have a powerful prayer life based off of 1 John 3:21-24,
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.”
- You must be in right-standing with God:
“Salvation is not a reward for the righteous, but a gift for the guilty.” -Steven Lawson
If you are going to have a prayer life that is victorious, confident, powerful, and prevailing, you must ensure you are in right-standing with the Lord. Salvation is not something that you achieve actively, but something that you receive by faith alone, passively. Grace is not a reward that you reach out and grab, but a gift that you open-handedly receive. God is righteous, and it would be unjust of him to allow us guilty sinners into the heavens apart from perfect righteousness. This justification that is needed is something that no one can achieve, except Christ alone, and He has achieved it. This justification before the Lord is received by faith alone.
If we are to approach the Lord with confidence, it will be wholly on the grounds of Christ’s perfect work, therefore if we are to have an impactful prayer life, we must ensure that we are justified by Christ’s blood.
2. You must be obedient:
“Because we keep his commandments”
Commandment keeping does not save us, but is a wonderful evidence that we have truly been saved.
If your child has rebelled against you, will not listen, will not submit, and will not obey, then looks at you and says,
“Can I have the keys to the car?”
What will you do? Obviously, you are not going to give the keys to your child. To reward rebellion is to endorse rebellion. To reward rebellion is to feed rebellion. To reward rebellion is to contribute to their rebellion. You will not grant their requests, at least I hope not.
God is the same way. Often times the answer to our prayer is no, because of our rebellious condition. If we are to have an impactful prayer life, we must be submissive to the word of God, and construct our lives upon it. That’s why I love this quote by Steven Lawson,
“A contradiction in terms? A disciple who does not follow Jesus. A believer who does not confess Him. A Christian who does not obey Him.”
3. You must be reverent, and have a healthy fear of the Lord.
“and do what pleases him”
One of the most powerful prayers that you can pray is this:
“Lord, increase fear of you in me.”
The greater our fear of the Lord is, the greater our wisdom will be. The greater our fear of the Lord is, the greater our submission will be. The greater our fear of the Lord is, the greater our joy, and delight in Him will be. The greater our fear of the Lord is, the greater our prayer lives will be.
4. You must believe:
“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ”
A great misconception today is that people think that believing in Jesus is believing facts about a historical figure. But true belief consists of trust, reliance, dependency, and above all Christ becomes supreme. Belief means you trust His work, His word, and His ways. Denying yourself, turning from your sin, and following Jesus.
5. You must love one another:
“And love one another”
You must have a special love for those of the faith. A distinct, unique, and genuine love for the church. The call to believe is also a call to love. They are so tightly knit, that you can never create a dichotomy. They are intended to work together.
In conclusion, those with a prevailing and powerful prayer life, are those who are justified by faith alone, obedient to the written Word, fear God’s name, trust Christ with their lives, and have a deep-rooted love for the church.
If our prayer lives are going to impact our personal lives, our families, our churches, our communities, our state, our nation, and missions across the world, these things must be a reality.