Skip to main content

Praying Effectively

“For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”
Romans 15:3

Praying effectively for others requires a deep work of the Holy Spirit. There is an objectivity required to get past our own thoughts and desires for others in order to be in agreement with God’s purposes. It is critical that we grow into prayers which are born of the Holy Spirit. When our prayers are affected by our feelings, rather than by the clear direction of His Spirit, we ask amiss.

Effective prayers require an abiding in Him and Him and His words abiding in us, whereby we become free from the stain of selfish intents. The purer the heart the more powerful the prayer will be.

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
John 15:7

These lessons are not learned quickly. It requires the sharpness of the Word of God to delineate between soul and spirit to reveal the intents of the heart.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12

If we regard lightly the Word of God, we will know little of this necessary ministration of God. Obedience to His Word liberates us from our soulish propensities. Praying amiss happens when our prayers are offered to God based on selfish motives and opinions. Such prayers will not find their way to God’s Throne.

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
James 4:3

Effective prayers are those which have an effect. True prayer will cause changes in our own heart and, in holding others up before Him, we become aware of God’s heart and desire for them. A child-like attitude of heart is what opens our understanding to see them in His Light. In this approach we receive spiritual insight to pray accurately and from a right heart. God sees all and knows all; His desire is to bring us to a place of participation with Him in the life of another. Knowing the truth of someone’s situation will help us to walk wisely in our dealings with them. Our response should reflect the insight gained in our private time with Him. True and effective prayer can bring us to the place of becoming a means of our prayers being answered.

Freedom from self is the path to effective prayers.

See: Effectual Prayers – Wisdom


“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Brian Troxel


  • Julia says:

    YES! Self must go to effectively pray for another! I love anything written by Bonhoffer…. Thank you as this was such an enlightened read. Blessings Always.

  • Gary Fultz says:

    So true Brian. Many of us, including me, need to up the caliber of our prayer which comes from the caliber or of our very relationship with God. There’s big bear out there and the prayer 22 should have been a 338 by now. We need to get past the milk to the meat (ya, kind of mixed my metaphors).

    • I liked the analogy. There is no end to our growth in prayer nor our learning of Him. It is why I so appreciate the brothers and sisters in Christ spurring us on in our pursuit of Him.

      Hope all is well with your family.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: