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Qualities that lead to effective prayer

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Scripture provides guidance concerning what attitudes and actions are appropriate for effective prayer. It also identifies a number of motives which are likely to lead to prayers being unanswered.

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(5) Qualities that lead to effective prayer

Sin

Isaiah 59:2 HCSB
But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.

Disobedience

Zechariah 7:13 HCSB
Just as He had called, and they would not listen, so when they called, I would not listen,” says the Lord of Hosts.
See also ;

Selfishness

James 4:3 HCSB
You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.

Injustice

Isaiah 1:15–17 HCSB
When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will refuse to look at you; even if you offer countless prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. “Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves. Remove your evil deeds from My sight. Stop doing evil. Learn to do what is good. Seek justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause.

Lack of faith

James 1:6–7 HCSB
But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Qualities that lead to effective prayer

1) Humility

Holman New Testament Commentary: Luke B. Dedication to Humility: The Justified Sinner (18:9–14)

Two personalities take center stage in this parable. The first is a Pharisee. Hearing the word Pharisee, the crowd would have had two reactions. This was a religious man who kept all the rules. This was also a man who opposed Jesus and constantly heard Jesus’ condemnation and ridicule. The second character was a tax collector. Hearing this word, the audience would have felt disgust and betrayal.

Two personalities take center stage in this parable.
Holman New Testament Commentary: Luke B. Dedication to Humility: The Justified Sinner (18:9–14)

Two personalities take center stage in this parable. The first is a Pharisee. Hearing the word Pharisee, the crowd would have had two reactions. This was a religious man who kept all the rules. This was also a man who opposed Jesus and constantly heard Jesus’ condemnation and ridicule. The second character was a tax collector. Hearing this word, the audience would have felt disgust and betrayal.

The first is a Pharisee. Hearing the word Pharisee, the crowd would have had two reactions.
This was a religious man who kept all the rules.
This was also a man who opposed Jesus and constantly heard Jesus’ condemnation and ridicule.
The second character was a tax collector. Hearing this word, the audience would have felt disgust and betrayal.
Dedicated kingdom living involves prayer that confesses one’s sin and seeks God’s forgiveness, not prayer that extols self and excludes others.
Holman New Testament Commentary: Luke B. Dedication to Humility: The Justified Sinner (18:9–14)

Dedicated kingdom living involves prayer that confesses one’s sin and seeks God’s forgiveness, not prayer that extols self and excludes others.

Luke 18:9–14 HCSB
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else: “Two men went up to the temple complex to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people —greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’ “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me —a sinner!’ I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
See also ; ; ; ;

2) Obedience

We may silence our condemning hearts in two ways:
Holman New Testament Commentary: I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude D. Christians Can Have Confidence before God (3:19–24)

We may silence our condemning hearts in two ways: (1) by confessing our sin (1:8) so that we are forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness, and (2) by resting in the fact that God knows all things, looking not just at our deeds but at our hearts. Once our hearts no longer condemn us, we can have confidence before God. This confidence leads us to fruitfulness in prayer. Characteristically, John states it in absolute terms: we receive from him anything we ask.

By confessing our sin (1:8) so that we are forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness, and
by resting in the fact that God knows all things, looking not just at our deeds but at our hearts.
Once our conscience no longer condemn us, we can have confidence before God. This confidence leads us to fruitfulness in prayer. Characteristically, John states it in absolute terms: we receive from him anything we ask.
Turn to
John did not intend to promise a blank check for any and every prayer, but that answered prayer is the ongoing experience of the Christian. Even Jesus’ request that the cup of crucifixion pass from him was not answered affirmatively (). We should observe, however, that the request was followed by the statement, “Yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Holman New Testament Commentary: I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude D. Christians Can Have Confidence before God (3:19–24)

John did not intend to promise a blank check for any and every prayer, but that answered prayer is the ongoing experience of the Christian. Even Jesus’ request that the cup of crucifixion pass from him was not answered affirmatively (Luke 22:42). We should observe, however, that the request was followed by the statement, “Yet not my will, but yours be done.”

1 John 3:21–22 HCSB
Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.
See also ;

3) Righteousness

Righteousness: here its defined primarily as the fear of the Lord and humility it is more a matter of motives than deeds and thus excludes self-justification.
Biblical righteousness is fundamentally an attitude of trust in God, an attitude implicitly and explicitly demanded
Wickedness, too, is more than simple disobedience to the commandments; it is above all manifest in an attitude of pride

Biblical righteousness is fundamentally an attitude of trust in God, an attitude implicitly and explicitly demanded

Wickedness, too, is more than simple disobedience to the commandments; it is above all manifest in an attitude of pride

The supreme qualities of the righteous life are “love and faithfulness”, and it is by these that one attains to the forgiveness of sin. Similarly, the fate of the wicked and the benefit of righteousness are also amplified in the New Testament.

Righteousness is here defined primarily as the fear of the Lord and humility

The supreme qualities of the righteous life are “love and faithfulness” (16:6), and it is by these that one attains to the forgiveness of sin. Similarly, the fate of the wicked (death, 15:10) and the benefit of righteousness (a peaceful life, 16:7) are also amplified in the New Testament.

Proverbs 15:29 HCSB
The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.
See also ;

4) Single-mindedness

The 13th verse says that God is accessible.
If we seek Him, we will find Him when we want Him more than all else, with all your heart, will all you mind and all your will.
God assured his people that when they sought him wholeheartedly, he would be found.
The definition of single minded is a focus on one thing at the expense of anything else. When we will spend the time to focus on what the Lord has for our lives, instead of what we want, we would be able to feel and see his glory for our lives.
Jeremiah 29:13 HCSB
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
See also ;

5) Faith

In fact, faith cannot be exercised in any way except according to God’s will.
It is not the faith which moves mountains, but the power of God in response to the expression of faith. True faith is always in keeping with God’s will and is based on intimacy with God and an understanding of his heart and will.
Holman New Testament Commentary: Matthew C. The King Acts out the Drama of the Fruitless Fig Tree (21:18–22)

In fact, faith cannot be exercised in any way except according to God’s will.

Holman New Testament Commentary: Matthew C. The King Acts out the Drama of the Fruitless Fig Tree (21:18–22)

It is not the faith which moves mountains, but the power of God in response to the expression of faith. True faith is always in keeping with God’s will and is based on intimacy with God and an understanding of his heart and will.

The weaker we realize we are, the greater the working of God’s power through us ().
Holman New Testament Commentary: Matthew C. The King Acts out the Drama of the Fruitless Fig Tree (21:18–22)

The weaker we realize we are, the greater the working of God’s power through us (2 Cor. 12:7–10).

Turn to 2 Cor. 12:7-10
Prayer is an expression of our powerlessness and dependence on God.
Holman New Testament Commentary: Matthew C. The King Acts out the Drama of the Fruitless Fig Tree (21:18–22)

Prayer is an expression of our powerlessness and dependence on God.

Matthew 21:21–22 HCSB
Jesus answered them, “I assure you: If you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you tell this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
See also ; ; ;
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