Effective Prayer

“And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”—Acts 4:31 (NKJV) 

As a young girl, I prayed and prayed and begged my parents for a pony, but it just wasn’t meant to be. And it was just as well. Years later I was into friends, movies, and driving. I forgot all about my desire for a pony. Not having it didn’t make a difference. 

As an older woman, I prayed and prayed and begged our Father for more empathy, and it happened! Days later I was in a situation where I needed to show empathy. I remembered His desire had become my desire, and that made all the difference.

Powerful, effectual prayer stems from a close relationship with God—a full surrender of self—the fruit of which is an immense desire to know His will and glorify Him. Jesus knew this. As a man, His only desire was to glorify God. For example, when He commanded Lazarus to “come forth” from the tomb, it wasn’t self-seeking. It was “for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified” (John 11:4 NKJV). Later, in His prayer for His disciples, Jesus lifted His eyes to heaven and cried, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4 NKJV).

Jesus’ intimate relationship with God, and the power of prayer that resulted from that union, is the same intimate relationship Jesus wants with us. His invitation is this: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7 NKJV). In the next verse He added, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit.” 

We glorify God by abiding in Christ. Abiding in Christ means “allowing His Word to fill our minds, direct our wills, and transform our affections.” It’s no longer all about you, but Jesus living in you (Galatians 2:20). And all the while, we are unconsciously changing as the Holy Spirit shapes our character. We find ourselves agreeing with Him more and more. Soon, our prayers are in line with His will. And the humility that comes with such an attitude of prayer is one of sheer delight.

I love when Andrew Murray stated: “Abiding in Him is the condition of power in prayer, because the answer is treasured up and bestowed in Him.”


DIG: What is your prayer life like? 

DISCOVER: Read John 15:10-11. How does this passage speak to you?

DISPLAY: In your prayers, petition God for something you know He would want to produce in you. Then see how He answers. It might take some time, but its end is glory.

About the Author

Lisa Supp

Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.