Praying Properly and Purposefully

by APC on May 06, 2015

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven… (II Chronicles 7:14, KJV).

Prayer. This is an action that unlocks endless possibilities. With simple activation in our lives, we can tap into the wonder-working power of the Almighty God. If through God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), we can (and should) ask for God’s hand and intervention in all things. We ask through the simple mechanism of prayer.

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer. Millions of people across the United States of America will take time out of their day to just pray. Prayer is not a complex action, but when engaging in prayer, it needs to be in alignment with the Word. According to II Chronicles 7:14, our action for prayer is simple:

Humble Ourselves

This is not an easy task. We’re all human, think “we’ve arrived,” and have everything in life figured out. It’s hard not to get in a mindset of “self-accomplishment.” However, humble in the Hebrew means to bring down low, into subjection, or subdue.

Before we enter into a mindset of prayer, we need to realize that God is the master of the heavens and the earth (Acts 4:24); He alone has all power in His hands (Matthew 28:18) and controls all things. We aren’t God—He is the reason we are what we are and experience we do. Once we realize we are insignificant compared to His power and unworthy to be in His presence, we can approach the throne of God in a true state of humility.

Turn from Our Wicked Ways

Repentance is an action that will always accompany prayer. If we have sin in our hearts, the Lord will not hear our prayers (Psalms 66:18). Paul told us that we need to crucify our flesh daily (I Corinthians 15:31) because our flesh will get out of control and cause us to act outside the will of God. We can’t live a life according to what we think is right and what is pleasing to us alone. We need to abide by the Word and use that as our “measure” of right/wrong. If we aren’t in alignment with the Word, we need to repent, get the sin out, and change. This is the only way to have effective prayers.

Seek His Face

Remember the human thing? Because of this, we also have a “complex” where we think we’re in control of our lives and sometimes even the components of others. When there are problems and issues in life, the last place we turn for help is to the Lord! Seek in Hebrew means to desire, strive after, ask, search out, and ask. All God asks is for us to seek Him out—to ask of Him to take care of situations in our life. He’s willing to bless us, to answer us, and to anoint us, but we just haven’t asked!

As we engage in prayer every day—but especially tomorrow during the National Day of Prayer—let’s take a moment to prepare ourselves. Above all we need to seek God first (Psalms 27:8) and His kingdom (Matthew 6:33). When we pray, we need to ask for His will because His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9) and He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

When God’s people get in one mind and one and one accord, and seek His will, we will be in a state of unity. Scripture reminds us when God’s people are unified, we cannot be easily broken down and subverted from doing and—praying for—God’s Kingdom (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Let’s seek to make our prayers effective tomorrow (James 5:16) and allow God to have His perfect work in the United States of America!