Elements of an effective prayer life

Read Psalm 17:1-15
http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults2.php?passage1=Psalm+17&book_id=23&version1=31&tp=150&c=17(click on the link to read online)

Prayer is essential to the Christian life. God commands us to pray (Luke 11:2;18:1; I Thess. 5:17), and He uses people of prayer. What are the elements of an effective prayer life?

First, we need God's ear--"hear me." David was praying for "a just cause"; he was concerned about God's will. But God won't hear us if we harbor deliberate sin in our lives, if we pray with "deceitful lips." He loves us too much to pamper us in our sins. To get God's ear, we must pray honestly, fervently and submissively. We must prepare our hearts for prayer.

Second, we need God's eye--"examine me." David could have killed Saul on two occasions, but by faith he left his vindication with the Lord. God knew David's heart. He probes our hearts when we pray. Often we are like Jacob; we pray and then meddle and scheme. We must not pray and then gossip. God's Word and prayer go together. If we live by the Word of God, it keeps us in the will of God.

Third, we need God's hand--"deliver me." The word save (vv. 7,13) means "deliver." Notice that David's response is one of submission, and God's response is one of service. King David asks the King of kings for help, and He responds to David's faith. His enemies think they have David, but God's power goes to work for him.

Finally, we need God's face--"satisfy me." If our praying doesn't make us more like our Lord, our praying is in vain (Josh. 24:15). God's goal is that we be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). But we don't have to wait for the resurrection; we can be changed daily through God's Word and through prayer.

The purpose of prayer is to accomplish the will of God, for us to become like Jesus.

God uses your prayers to accomplish His will, both in your life and in the lives of others. To be effective, your prayers need God's help. Make your prayer time an alignment to His Word and His will.

[ Prayer for the Day ]

Father God, I come before You with thanksgiving and praise. For it opens your gates and your court for me to enter. Every wonder You have done in my life is a testimony I treasure in my heart. I want to be like your Son Jesus not by my efforts but with the help of your Spirit. Open every area of my life to be sanctified by You, that I may communicate with my whole being to You. I ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

[ Reference Scriptures ]

Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

I Thess. 5:17 'Pray without ceasing.'

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Rom. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

The Word of God was given free to us, therefore we should also share it freely with others.
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