Audio Length: 39:11
Requirements For Effective Prayers, But Not Without Warnings
Is the main requirement for effective prayer. Without it, prayer is pointless, empty and in vain. Prayer without faith is just a religious routine ritual, like clouds without rain, if you will. And with that, being repetitious in speaking many empty words. Ritual routines that has no basis for real intimacy with God. And ritual routines can lead any one of us into ruts. Ruts is an acronym for Routine or Religion or Religious Ritual, which has no intimacy with God at all. Religion is mans vain attempt to try to know God in the flesh and is all based upon good merits in order to get into the kingdom of Heaven or earning favor with God, which the Bible teaches against. Unbelief. Traditions which also has no basis for a personal relationship with God. Sins also creates ruts in our lives that makes prayers ineffective, because God will not hear prayers of the sinner or heathen that is not of repentance. Sin separates us from God. Severs our communication line with Him. If we have ruts in our lives prayer is simply going through the empty motions while there is no heart involved. And I can guarantee you that God see’s the actions. He Judges and finds out the real motives behind the heart, according to:
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.”
And in: Luke 16:15
“And He (meaning the Lord Jesus) said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
Now there are three Biblical definitions of faith. We will be dealing with two out of the three in this study. The word Faith defined is: ‘Believing: ‘to take as true or real.’ Namely God’s promises. (according to the Webster’s New World Dictionary)
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is the confident assurance of what we hope for, of things we cannot see yet. And those things are the promises of God. The word substance is translated as: “standing under.” So we in reality, stands under the promises of God’s Word. Believing God’s Word as true, real and fact. Based on the truth and concrete evidence of what His Word really says, and not based on mans own invention, understanding or assumptions. Being also convinced that God cannot lie concerning His promises. Not doubting. The Word of God warns us about doubting in:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (why?) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (Since we’re on this subject, the Holy Spirit adds: Being double minded makes one unstable in all ways. To be double minded is to love the world or the things in and of this sinful fallen world and so-called “love the Lord,” is double mindedness, as an example. You cannot love God and the world for the world is in enmity with God: James 4:4. You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons: 1 Corinthians 10:21&22)
Now the context of this passage of Scripture is dealing with asking/petitioning God for wisdom specifically. It is also applied to prayer in general as well, with warnings of being double minded or doubting as it warns: “let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;” Because of doubting or double mindedness, God our Father will not hear any of our prayers: Hebrews 11:6. The second definition to faith, which is the next requirement for effective prayer is:
The second definition of believing is: ‘To have trust, faith and confidence.’ (according to the Webster’s New World Dictionary.) Trusting that God cannot lie and trusting in what The Lord Jesus taught in: John 14:13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Ultimately in accordance to His will; plan and purpose for our lives. He give us what we need. He is the final authority! He has the final say! He also knows what we need better than we ourselves, in the time frame of when we need, what we asked for. He also knows the motives of every heart. He knows the motives of our asking. So if our asking is of fleshly things or of unnecessary earthly possessions that does not benefit His will, plan and purpose, than He will not do what we have asked for. Serving God is not the means to financial or selfish gains.
“You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
So you can kiss your 5 Cadillac prayers good-by. God’s Holy Word teaches that He will bless us with things we need, not our wants. Further more, we read the first hand accounts of King Solomon’s life’s testimony, written by King Solomon himself. Who was not only the wisest (which is disputable… 700 wives? Come on… 2 wives is not wise.) But was also the richest who has ever lived, nor will ever live on this earth again. Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Rockefeller and all the other richest people in the world do no even compare combined, nor come close to holding a candle against King Solomon. And This is the hard truth he eventually came to grips with in his own mistakes in remorse. He writes for our warnings and benefit:
Ecclesiastes 2 The Vanity of Pleasure
“I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity. I said of laughter—”Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives. I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards. I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds.
So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.”
And again in: Ecclesiastes 5:10-17
“He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes? The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much;But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep. There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun: Riches kept for their owner to his hurt. But those riches perish through misfortune; When he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, To go as he came; And he shall take nothing from his labor Which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a severe evil— Just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind? All his days he also eats in darkness, And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger.”
But God our provider gives us our basic necessities of living. And anything further than this, that will benefit His call for your life in His purpose, will and plans to further His kingdom by His Gospel message of Salvation. Which are tools He uses in us and through us to advance His kingdom and glory on earth and that’s it. Because it’s not about you or me. But this life is all about Him only. And He blesses us to further His kingdom in many ways. Even in trials, testing’s and tribulations of all types. Even in discipline and corrections, rebukes and chastisements. For these too are the blessing from God our Father.
Blessings are not for the purpose of boasting, ‘look at me, I have favor with God. I have faith, therefore I have things.’ That’s why those prosperity messages are so dangerous because it gets our focus off of Christ Jesus and fixates our attention on God’s Blessings, rather than obeying God which true blessings results. Teaches us to pursue God’s blessings (His hand) rather than God Himself (His face). And ultimately teaching us how to measure our faith by our wealth or by material possessions we have. Which is equal to arrogance. ‘I’m a child of God, I favor with the Lord because I am blessed with excessive wealth.’
Further more, it trains us to get our focus off of Christ Jesus and fixates out attention on our personal circumstance whatever that may be, or material wealth. These are the things that chokes the Word of God from our hearts, and then chokes our relationship with God which then can destroy our walk in Christ Jesus. These are the cares of the world according to: Matthew 13:20-22. And as a reminder: ‘this world will perish along with everything that is in the world and belong to the world.’ according to: Matthew 24:35 and Revelation 21. The cares of this world chokes the Word of God and our relationship with Him, which is the principle thing to life. Having a relationship with God is the principle thing! That’s why He created us to begin with.
These prosperity massages also teaches us abominable things such as to love money rather than God. To love this life above God. And it also will teach us gradually and progressively to stray down that road of abominable sins. And those abominable sins will eventually enter our hearts, making us it‘s captives! Making us it’s slaves! “For the Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil,” as it is written in warning:
1 Timothy 6:5-10
“people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Therefore the end result is as follows: 2 Timothy 3:2-5
“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
Why? Because they will corrupt you with convincing words and so called wisdom. And will also corrupt you through their actions as the saying goes “monkey see, monkey do.” I heard from the Lord which caused me to write this down:
‘The pleasures of flesh, Who made the riches of earth, as the principle thing to man. Folly of arrogance Idols of fools, which leads to destruction…
Woe, the sorrows of Solomon Ponder the sorrows of Solomon…
Do not go by that way! For at the end of the day, is only eternal doom and fiery misery Laid down for those who impenitently stray’
With this selfishness comes warning that must be heeded: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
“Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”
So if you are serving God for blessings. Than you are conceited and know absolutely nothing. And God will not bless those who seeks after riches. But if you serve God because you love Him with all your heart sincerely and obey Him. He will bless you well beyond what the riches of earth could ever bring. So we need not to worry about anything at all. He gives us what we need when we need them. We serve The One and Only God who supplies the needs of the righteous as it is promised in:
“I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their children begging for bread.”
If He takes care of everyone and everything including the smallest bird, how much more will He provide for those who knows Christ Jesus His Only Begotten Son as Lord and King and follow in His ways? God also provides for righteous and the wicked alike as it is also promised:
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
And: Philippians 4:19
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”
But in order to have effective prayers we, His children, must do the following. Because answered prayers are conditional. First of all, you must be His child and then do what His Word says to do in order for God to answer prayer:
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;”
Condition #1). “Trust in the Lord.” In order to trust in the Lord, you must know Him as it is written in: John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” and Matthew 11:26-28, “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
Condition #2). “Do good” (according to God’s Holy Word.)
Condition #3). “Delight yourself also in the Lord.” (to love Lord with all your heart, mind, strength and soul: Mark 12:30. Delight means to: ‘take pleasure in something.’ In this case to truly take pleasure in being with our Heavenly Father, (seeking His face.) Taking pleasure in His Word.)
Condition #4). “Commit your way to the Lord.” Is to be sold out completely to the Lord, not for what you can get from Him, because He see’s right through that. But again this boils down to truly “love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your mind, with all your strength and with all your soul.” And then the blessing: “And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Condition #5). “Trust also in Him.” And then the Blessings: “And He shall bring it to pass. (Bring what to pass? What ever you are asking the Lord for, according to His will and Word.) He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.”
So, what are our needs according to His Word, while we are on this subject? Our basic earthly necessities of life are: food, shelter, clothing and toiletries. Our spiritual needs is: Salvation/ relationship with God. His Word/ revelation knowledge of truth from His Word. The Holy Spirit. Tools that He has given us or equip us to further His kingdom. Technology! Basic technology as household amenities such as a: dish washer. Washer and dryer, things of that nature that makes our lives a little bit easier. So we won’t spend so much time washing dishes or cloths to the point where we have no time for God. Or have no time for reading His Word. That is why He has put into the wisdom of man the invention of all such things. So we can have the time to read and study His Word faithfully. To praise and worship Him. To talk to Him. To commune and dine with Him, Amen. Without any excuse.
Work is also a basic need. Even though it is a curse from God because of Adam and Eve‘s sin. And work was not originally intended by God’s original design. But because of sin, the world operates as it does. Work therefore, being important in order to gain a regular paycheck to be sustained. So work is a basic necessity, as the Word of God says:
“then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, (income) that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.”
So it is He who blesses by providing us with a job to get income. A pay check regularly to buy our basic necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, utilities and amenities. Also work is a Biblical command:
2 Thessalonians 3:7-12
“For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies ( a meddler in the affairs of others, which are another words, gossipers). Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.”
1 Timothy 5:7&8
“Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
So all our basic needs does truly come from God our Father. All things we have in this life comes from Him. Cars is another basic necessity to get to work. Or in emergency cases to get to the hospital, and to get to church. My wife and I have three cars with 2 car payments. At first I couldn’t understand why we needed three cars instead of the two we’ve had for five years now. But I now understand why God had blessed us with that third vehicle. It’s not a want, but an actual need after all. I travel 84 miles round-trip per day. 5 days a week just to get to work. And 40 additional miles round-trip just to get to church. With theses gas prices now-a-days, I cannot fill my car on $50 anymore, which is my gas allowance per week. So therefore I cannot drive on less that tank of gas per week. My wife on the other hand drive 20+ miles round-trip per day. 5 days a week to get to work as well. So the third car will get my wife or I to work without spending more money on gas before the weeks end. that’s necessity not luxury. Besides all that, my daughter is getting closer to driving age and we want to bless her with a good descent vehicle when she does drive. So we are ready for that day. You see The Lord point here?
And to add this in, we need to be good stewards to all that God has entrusted us with. Taking good care of those things He had blessed us with. When you boil it all down, all we have in this life are gifts from God our Father/Creator and Owner of all things. They all belong to Him, And they will all return back to Him one way or another, Amen! The third requirement to effective prayer is:
Again living in accordance to His Holy Word and praying the Scriptures. Sin separates us from God. Sin severs our communication line with God. We’ve already have done many studies on this subject by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So we don’t need to repeat ourselves again and again with this truth. But to briefly reminds us all that our sins are offensive to God, therefore He has to flee from us. Just like if someone offends us, what is our initial reaction? To flee from those who have offended us, right? And to avoid them until they make it right. It’s the same way with the Lord. Further more the Word of God proves this to be true:
“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. For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
And God does not change! Living right in the ways of the Lord is still the requirement to effective prayer. That is why He taught us penitent prayer while He taught us how to pray in: Matthew 6:12, “And forgive us our debts (sins), as we forgive our debtors.” (Or those who have sinned against us. which is teaching us to always forgive, not holding a grudge.)
Praying the Scriptures
Now you cannot pray effectively without the Word of God. For the Word of God and prayer do go hand in hand. “Praying the Scriptures” is not reminding God what He says or had said. For He does not need reminding. He’s not an old decrepit God who is slow in obtaining knowledge or who has Alzheimer’s. He certainly is not deaf nor has He forgotten anything at all. We pray to God Almighty our Father, the One and Only, who has no age in the way we measure age as we know it. For He is eternal of whom there is no beginning nor an end. But we pray the Scriptures for our own reminder and benefit of what God says and what He has established. Again, you cannot pray effectively without the Scriptures. Because on what basis will you stand your faith on? And do you know what the will of God is without the Scriptures? Certainly Not. I have personally heard some pretty ignorant prayers. Which was really on the lines of literal witchcraft in pray groups. Prayers that treats God Like a dog. We, trying to make Him bark on command. Petitioning to Him to do our will and to forsake His own. That’s not the will of God.
All of the Holy Bible are factual accounts! A lot of the Holy Bible are accounts of what He has established and done on behalf of prayer, believe it or not. Praying the Scriptures is to raise our faith in God and be assured that He is Faithful, Just and True. All Powerful and Mighty God, in whom we can absolutely trust because He cannot lie. And you have to be convinced of that first and foremost, as it is written:
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Not only that, but praying the Scriptures helps us to stand in the face of adversity in what He has promised to us, if we do not doubt, waver or loose heart in our faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. And the forth requirement to powerful, effective prayer is:
Is what some ministers teach as, ‘Putting a demand on God.’ The Word demand is really the wrong word to use here in the applications of prayer or in sound Theology of God’s Word. Because no one has the authority to demand God nor command Him to do anything. He is not a dog that barks on our commands. He’s not the family pet on a leash that we command to do what we want Him to do, when we want Him to do it. We are servants of the Most High God in Christ Jesus. Not Christ Jesus a servant to us no longer. Because He has already served us while He was on this earth and on that Cross. He is now at rest at the right hand God His Father. And His Father also made the earth His Sons foot stool.
You can now petition to God with prayer, but the Word of God does not give us grounds or license to demand or command God anything at all. So therefore the correct word to use here is Expectation, which means: ‘An expecting; anticipation. A thing looked forward to.’ (according to the Webster’s New World Dictionary.) I would personally define it as: ‘A thing looked forward to, not forgetting, but eagerly awaiting patiently for something unseen yet.’
“Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation. You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with You the wicked cannot dwell.”
Prayer is a powerful weapon of warfare in the hands of the believers and followers of Jesus Christ our all powerful Lord, in which the devil does not underestimate. Until next time, God Bless you your family, and your friends. Keep up the good fight of faith, because we are almost Home.