5 Principles of Prayer
Over the years I have learned some truths about prayer. I don’t know all there is to know about it, but I have learned key principles from the Word that have helped me walk in victory. These principles will work the same for you.
Before I go further, understand that I’m not saying you will never have any problems or challenges. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Challenges will come. But the problem is never with God. Nor is it with people. The problem is in the area of receiving. We also must wrestle with the forces of darkness—the devil.
By the grace and mercy of God and the power of your faith, you can overcome those obstacles and receive prayers answered. Thank God you have the Name of Jesus, God’s Word and the power of His Spirit—“the weapons of our warfare”—that guarantee results when you pray (2 Corinthians 10:4).
In the many situations my family and I have had to pray our way through, we have learned that believers can live victoriously in Christ Jesus, overcoming the problems. If Jesus is your Savior and Lord, you have victory in Him.
#1 – God’s Will Is Heaven on Earth
But first, you must establish your thinking in the truth that when you were saved, you were set free from the curse and all its effects listed in Deuteronomy 28. Galatians 3:13-14 says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ.”
You may wonder why the effects of the curse are still on you if that’s true. They are on you because you haven’t cast them off. You haven’t believed and received what is yours.
The effects of the curse are here on the earth, but they don’t have any right to dominate you or have any power over you unless you yield to them and don’t take advantage of what is yours in Christ Jesus. James 4:2 says, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.” Verse 3 goes on to say, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss.” Just like a bank has set procedures for withdrawing money, God has given us a proper way to pray so that we will see results.
When you begin to see that, you will realize the world’s idea of prayer is not prayer at all. Prayer is not trying to get God’s attention. Prayer is not trying to get God to do something. He has already done it. He sent Jesus to the cross.
Prayer is communication with God, believing and receiving what He has already given you in Christ Jesus. Everything you will ever need is in Jesus, and when you made Him Lord of your life, it was given to you. All that remains is for it to be received. It has to be brought from the spiritual realm to this natural, physical realm. Philippians 4:19 declares, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
God’s plan for answered prayer is what Jesus was telling us when He prayed, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). God created the earth for man as a copy of heaven, a place to live like God lives. But because of the curse that came on the earth, not everything here is in line with God’s plan. God didn’t create man to be burdened with the effects of the curse like sin, sickness, fear, unbelief or evil spirits. His will is that heaven and earth run parallel to one another.
#2 – Live a Life of Prayer
So prayer—real Bible prayer—must be a lifestyle, not just a backup plan. In Luke 18:1, Jesus taught in a parable that “men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” He wasn’t talking about using prayer and faith as an escape hatch after everything has come apart. He was saying that your entire life should be built around prayer.
The Apostle Paul agreed. He said, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Don’t leave it up to your pastor to do your praying for you. Don’t wait until things become bad to pray. Build a communication with God every day. Listen to Him. Learn how He talks, what He does, how His prayer system works.
Prayer is always available to everyone. There is no situation that disqualifies anyone from prayer, because God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Acts 2:21 declares that “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
According to Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” God is an equal opportunity blesser. He doesn’t just hear “good” people. The deepest of sinners in the deepest sin can pray the prayer of repentance and receive Jesus as Lord. From that point on, he is qualified to continue in the other fields of prayer.
The only situation from which there is no deliverance is the rebellious refusal to pray at all. “Ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2).
Don’t let that be you. Instead live a life of prayer, receiving what God has for you.
#3 – Come Boldly…Through Jesus
When you pray, you don’t have to get God’s attention. You already have it. According to Hebrews 7:25, Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us. Hebrews 4:13 says, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
God knows all about you and your situation. That is vitally important to your prayer life. Verses 14-16 go on to say:
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
When you make Jesus the Lord of your life, then your prayer life, your approach to God, is through Him. You pray to the Father, in Jesus’ Name. It’s in His righteousness, in His Name.
You pray in His “new and living way” as Hebrews 10:19-20 says: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.”
Why can you come so boldly to the throne of grace? Because Jesus is your High Priest. You don’t come based on how good you are. Jesus’ blood has put you in right-standing with God. You’ve been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21). First Peter 3:12 says, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.”
You have a right to pray and expect results. Jesus made this promise: “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you” (John 16:23).
#4 – You Have a Right to Believe and Receive
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done, you have a right to believe.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus died for the whole world. If you are a human being, you have a right to believe that Jesus is Lord.
Once you step over into the realm of declaring Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have every right before God that Jesus has when it comes to praying, believing and walking with God. You share with Him in every privilege of having God lead, teach and develop you, keep you well and keep your family.
Galatians 3:29 says, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” If you have made Jesus Lord, you are the seed of Abraham, and you have a right to believe and receive the promises of God.
Romans 4:16 says, “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.” If you are the seed of Abraham, God’s promises are sure in your life. A sure promise is one that comes to pass when you stand on it.
The Word of God is a concrete foundation you can stand on. It undergirds all effective prayer. So make it final authority in your life. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
#5 – Always Start at the End
Base your prayer life on what God has already said and done. God’s Word—the sword of the Spirit—is His part of your prayer life, and it’s available to “whosoever will.” The Word is a copy of your covenant with God, signed in Jesus’ blood between God the Father and Jesus His Son. There is no failure in either of them.
It’s easy to believe God if you know what He said. Faith comes when you know what is His will for you to have. And His will is His Word. Find promises in the Word that cover your area of need, and pray based on those promises. When you do that, you are starting with the answer. You are starting with the truth.
Always go to God based on the answers you find in the Word. When you have faith in God and what He has said, faith will begin to grow up on the inside of you. Once you know what God said about something, believe you receive it. Believing is an action word, so praise and thank God for the answer.
Praying in the Name of Jesus, based on what God has said, puts you in position to receive from Him. It licenses Him to function in your life. It isn’t based on feeling. It’s based on believing what God said—believing is the key.
Remember, you have a right to pray and you have a right to believe. Jesus died for the whole world so whosoever believes can receive the victory He has paid for. God is no respecter of persons, but He does respect faith.
Learn to pray and stand on His promises for your every need. When you take God at His Word, He will answer.
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