I believe that all prayers are answered. They may not be answered in the way that we were expecting.
I also believe that we can make prayer more effective. Prayer is an important part of our life of faith because prayer is talking to God.
I was invited to speak at a wonderful event called Women of Audacious Faith. Another presenter made this subject the focus of her talk. It was so simple, but so powerful that I wanted to share it with you. It involves 3 steps called Believe, pray, do.
Step 1 to Effective Prayer is to Believe
This process must be done in this order. When you think about it, it makes total sense. We easily get these out of order.
We pray without believing. Or we pray without doing anything.
When that happens, prayer becomes ineffective.
A Great Example for unbelief is How the Disciples Didn’t Believe
You’ve got to love the disciples, because they are a great example of doubters! Having followed in the footsteps of Jesus, it’s encouraging to see their unbelief. We walk by faith and not by sight and they walked by sight!
In Matthew, Chapter 17, a father had reached out to some of the disciples to help heal his son from a demon that possessed him. Jesus had just come down from the Transfiguration experience on the mountain top with Peter, James and John. A great crowd had gathered. Jesus asked what all the commotion was about.
The father explained how his son was possessed by a demon and the disciples were not able to heal him. Jesus literally says, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I put up with you?”
Jesus cast out the demon. The disciples asked why they were not able to do it. This is where he tells them the reason was that they didn’t believe it. If they had the faith of a mustard seed, they could even tell a mountain to move. Nothing would be impossible for them.
Have you ever tried to pick up a mustard seed? It’s so tiny!
So, whatever it is that you are pursuing or praying for, you must first believe. Believe in yourself, your abilities, and believe anything is possible.
Step 2 to Effective Prayer is to Pray After you Believe
Now that you believe, you can pray. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus prayed for things in the present moment: daily bread, not to be led into temptation, to be delivered from evil, to forgive yourself and others, and for God’s will to be done. While you can look out into the future, what you focus on today will lead to your future. After you pray, spend time being still to listen.
The outcomes of those prayers, however, may not always be what we desired or expected. God’s love, grace, and wisdom are perfect. We trust and believe that God wants only the best for us.
Step 3 to Effective Prayer is to Do
We do our part by acting on what we can best control: our health, how we treat others, controlling our thoughts, listening to God’s guidance in the form of signs and what I call nudges, and taking steps towards what it is that we desire.
So, Believe, Pray, Do. Keeping these in order will help empower you, bring you peace, and strengthen your walk with God.
If you liked this post, I offer a Monday email each week to encourage, inspire, and include a Scripture that you can meditate on throughout the week. You can count on me to be timely with what is going on in the world and I try to throw some light-hearted humor in there too. Let’s share our journey together. : )