Prayer is a very powerful force when done the right way. Benny Beckum is one of my favorite preacher/evangelists. He goes all over the country preaching about prayer. If you have never heard him, he will reveal things that will totally change your prayer life. If you're in the Greenville area, he'll be holding a Prayer Conference at Tabernacle Baptist Church October 3 - October 6. You do NOT want to miss it! I haven't heard the other speakers for that conference, but if you get a chance to hear Brother Beckum, you will be blessed.
Studying prayer, however, will also reveal things. The Bible tells us to study the Word. And in studying about prayer, there are personal requirements we need to be aware of.
Purity of heart
Praying in Christ's name
Praying According to God's will
Purity of heart is important for prayer and it is a must. Psalm 66: 18, 19 "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD WILL NOT HEAR ME; But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer." If we have unconfessed sins in our lives, God will not hear our prayers. If we are to be good prayer warriors, we must ask God's forgiveness of our own sins and remove those things that will hinder our prayers being heard. He is faithful and just to forgive us those sins. And when He does, He will hear our prayers.
We must believe when we pray. Many times I have prayed and my faith was lacking. I wonder how many prayers have not been answered the way I hoped because of my lack of faith. Matthew 21:22 "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, ye shall receive."
We must pray in Christ's name. How many prayers have gone unanswered because we do not pray in His name. We know who we're praying to. Christ knows who we're praying to. But He still expects us to call on HIM. For one thing, we show other believers that we are His child too. And for another thing, non believers will know who we are praying to. For all they know, we're praying to Budah. And if we're not praying in Christ's name, we might as well be praying to Budah. But when we pray in Christ's name, we open opportunity for God to be glorified. John 14:13, "And whatsoever ye shall ask IN MY NAME, that will I do, that the FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON."
We also need to ask according to His will. This is a difficult one for me because I want things done my way. That's my flesh. If it's done my way, then I feel that I'm in control. But the truth is, God is in control of all things, and whatever His will is for my life, it will be far better for me in the long run. If we're just spouting off all the things we want and desire, or praying for healing, or whatever burden we might have, never asking Him according to His will, we might as well just stop praying all together. I John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, IF WE ASK ANYTHING ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, HE HEARETH US:"
These are important keys to prayer, that we often forget. They help unlock the doors of Heaven so that God will hear us when we pray.