12 Keys to effective prayer for believers in Jesus Christ

#5: Make specific requests.

They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road. When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, "Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!" Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, "You son of David, have mercy on me!"

Jesus stood still, and said, "Call him."

They called the blind man, saying to him, "Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!"

He, casting away his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.

Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?"

The blind man said to him, "Rhabboni, that I may see again."

Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your faith has made you well." Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way. -- Mark 10:46-52 (WEB)

I know a brother in the Lord who was praying for the sick one day, and the power of God was evident in healing people. One elderly lady came forward to request prayer for her hearing to be restored. One of her ears was deaf and the other one worked only marginally, and that with a hearing aid. She obviously had trouble walking, limping up to the prayer line. As this dear brother prayed a prayer of agreement with her for her hearing to be restored. Within a few minutes, she could hear normally again, and was exceedingly happy, praising God. As she limped away, my friend called out to her "Isn't there something else you would like from the Lord?" She answered, "No, I don't really need to walk any better, but I really need my hearing. Thank you."

She got what she asked for. She got what she believed God would give her. Her faith, combined with her specific request and God's healing power made her well.

Although God knows all of your needs before you ask, He still wants to hear your request and see your faith. Note that there is a big difference between saying "God, I have a headache." and "Father in Heaven, please heal my headache. I know that by Jesus' stripes I was healed long ago, and I believe that I receive that healing from you now, in Jesus' name. Thank you for hearing and answering me." The first is just a complaint. The second is a prayer made in faith, and is also much more polite.

"Ask, and it will be given you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened. Or who is there among you, who, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, who will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets." -- Matthew 7:7-12 (WEB)

"Most assuredly I tell you, whatever things you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever things you will release on earth will be released in heaven. Again, assuredly I tell you, that if two of you will agree on earth concerning anything that they will ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them." -- Matthew 18:18-20 (WEB)

Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly I tell you, if you have faith, and don't doubt, you will not only do what is done to the fig tree, but even if you told this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it would be done. All things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." -- Matthew 21:21-22 (WEB)

Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. -- Mark 11:24 (WEB)

It happened, that when he finished praying in a certain place, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples."

He said to them, "When you pray, say,

'Our Father in heaven,
    May your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come.
    May your will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
    For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
Bring us not into temptation,
    But deliver us from the evil one.'"

He said to them, "Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,' and he from within will answer and say, 'Don't bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give it to you'? I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as many as he needs.

"I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won't give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he asks for an egg, he won't give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" -- Luke 11:1-13 (WEB)

Next: Believe God in your heart.


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