12 Keys to effective prayer for believers in Jesus Christ

#7 Control your tongue -- all the time.

Jesus answering said to them, "Have faith in God. For most assuredly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says. Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions." Mark 11:22-26

I have seen the preceding verse work in both positive and negative ways. People often have what they say and believe, regardless of what they prayed for. This should not be so. Two rather dramatic cases I know of with someone having what they believe and say in prayer literally involve life and death. In one case, a young man kept saying that he would die young. He did -- and that without a good medical explanation. In another case, a woman actually raised her husband from the dead after a heart attack by asking God to raise her husband, telling her husband to live, and telling her son, "Just watch Daddy will be OK." Miraculously, he woke up. When they got to the hospital, the tests confirmed that he had indeed had a massive heart attack, but there was no damage evident and the heart was in good shape.

When you pray and after you pray, make sure that your mouth only speaks what God says about the issue.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue;

Those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn’t bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:26-27

If anyone doesn’t stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. Indeed, we put bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, and we guide their whole body. Behold, the ships also, though they are so big and are driven by fierce winds, are yet guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot desires. So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest! And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna. For every kind of animal, bird, creeping thing, and thing in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind. But nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the image of God. Out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring send out from the same opening fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, yield olives, or a vine figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh water. James 3:2a-12

Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for building up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear. Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you. Eph 4:29-32

"For everything spoken by God is possible." Luke 1:37

"He who would love life,
    And see good days,
Let him keep his tongue from evil,
    And his lips from speaking deceit.
Let him turn away from evil, and do good.
    Let him seek peace, and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    And his ears open to their prayer;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." -- 1 Peter 3:10-12

Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; 6for which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. You also once walked in those, when you lived in them; but now you also put them all away anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth. Don’t lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings,… where there can’t be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.

Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do. Col 3:5-9,11-13

The tongue of the righteous is like choice silver.
The heart of the wicked is of little worth.
The lips of the righteous feed many,
    But the foolish die for lack of understanding. Proverbs 10:20-21

The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
    But the perverse tongue will be cut off.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
    But the mouth of the wicked is perverse. Proverbs 10:31-32

There is one who speaks rashly like the piercing of a sword,
    But the tongue of the wise heals.
Truth’s lips will be established forever,
    But a lying tongue is only momentary.
Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh,
    But those who do the truth are his delight.
Proverbs 12:18-19,22

A gentle answer turns away wrath,
    But a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
    But the mouth of fools gush out folly.
A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
But deceit in it crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:1-2,4

Yes, my heart will rejoice,
    When your lips speak what is right. Proverbs 23:15-16

Next: Be patient & persistent.

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