Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14)
No matter where I am in the world, I pray every day with my wife Sue. When we don’t have enough internet reception to Facetime, we text—regardless of how we can connect, we always do! We come together and agree in prayer for the things we are believing for: our family, the encouragement of the Body, and revival in our city and in our nation. Faithfully praying and interceding with my wife is my favorite part of the day. And through consistent prayer, we have seen tremendous breakthrough.
Prayer is absolutely foundational to the Christian life; it’s through prayer that we see healings, salvation, personal transformation, provision, opportunities, and open doors in our own lives and in the lives of others. As believers, we know that God is a good and generous Father, but when we pray, do we believe that He will answer those prayers? Do we pray specifically for our needs, believing that He cares? I want to talk about some specific principles of prayer to help you pray with faith and effectiveness.
Pray Specific Prayers
You do not have, because you do not ask. (James 4:2b)
What are you asking God for? We often ask Him for general blessing, but we avoid telling Him specific things we need or want. God is a good Father, and He delights in giving us gifts, even small things we believe may not be important.
I once heard a testimony from well-respected prophet and friend Bobby Connor, that he had lost his favorite knife. When he asked very simply for it to be returned, the knife miraculously dropped into his lap, as if from heaven! A while back, I lost my favorite money clip while traveling. The clip had special significance for me, not because of the money it held, but because it was from the Philippines, where my wife is from. Remembering the testimony from Bobby Connor, I sat down one day and said “God, I want my money clip back!” It didn’t miraculously drop from heaven, but I shortly after I found the clip in the pocket of a jacket I couldn’t possibly have been wearing at the time I lost it. God restored this treasured possession back to me—He is that good! He cares about greater trials in our lives as well as minor problems or issues. He is the God of the big and the small.
What are you believing for? Healing in your body? New job opportunities? Breakthrough in your family? I want to encourage you—be specific! Don’t just say “God, heal my body.” Say, “God, heal my shoulder!” Your heavenly Father cares about the details of your life, and He takes pleasure in answering your requests and your desires. That’s why it’s so important to be continually seeking His will.
Use Your Voice
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21
How often do you pray out loud, with your audible voice? God hears all your prayers, but there’s something specifically powerful about speaking out what you are asking from Him. How we use our audible voice is powerful: do we want to sow in faith and in thanksgiving with our lips, or discouragement and negativity?
In the story above, I asked God out loud for my money clip. When you use your voice, you show your faith that He will answer. In addition to asking Him out loud for what you need or desire, thank Him in advance for what He will provide, knowing He is good and faithful. He has promised to provide for us; say, “God, I thank you for healing my migraine headaches”, for example.
For many years, I struggled with TMJ disorder, a condition which causes a lot of pain and discomfort in the jaw. I would pray for my healing and in addition I would say, “God, thank you for healing my TMJ”—before I experienced the results of my healing. I’ll never forget the morning when I woke up, my jaw popped and I was healed forever.
Stay Hungry for the Power of God
And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” (Luke 18:38-41)
In the story of the blind beggar, Jesus was passing by a blind man on the outskirts of Jericho. The man, knowing Jesus was near, yelled out to Him to be healed, and even though others told him to be quiet, the man was loudly persistent. It would have been obvious to Jesus what the man would ask- he was clearly blind- but Jesus still asked him what he wanted, giving the man an opportunity to exercise his faith and his desire—and of course, the blind man received his sight.
God sees your hunger. The key to continual breakthrough in prayer is to stay in a place of desire and desperation for God to move. When you look at the lives of great revivalists and leaders in the Body of Christ, they remained hungry for the power of God regardless of circumstances; they were hungry for God to move in times of blessing, in times of difficulty, and in times of waiting for the fulfillment of a promise.
Matthew 5:6 says, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. God responds to your desire and your hunger, and He is faithful to satisfy you.
holy spirit, fill me afresh
Every morning when I wake up, I say to the Holy Spirit, “Holy Spirit, fill me again.” If you want to pray a powerful prayer, ask Him daily for His fresh infilling and presence. We need the fresh manna of God every day. I have been a part of several major moves of the Holy Spirit, including the Brownsville Revival and the Toronto Outpouring, but I cannot be satisfied with what I experienced yesterday. My prayer is to be filled with my heavenly Father’s power and presence every day. Exercise your faith, and see what your heavenly Father does in response to your desire in prayer!
Here are some resources to help equip you for a powerful and passionate prayer life.
- How to Pray for Healing is a book I wrote that will give you a biblical foundation and practical tips on how to pray for the sick.
- Intercessory Prayer, by Dutch Sheets, will inspire you to pray with courage and persistence.
- Decree, by Patricia King, focuses specifically on the significance of making declarations in faith. Very powerful!