Five Marks of Effective Prayer


We thank You, Lord, that Your love is the greatest love of all

“Love is as strong as death … It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it” (Song of Solomon 7:6-7). We thank You, Lord, that Your love is the greatest love of all: “Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). We can never earn Your love: “If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned” (Song of Solomon 8:7). Your love is always Your gift to us. May Your love burn, in our hearts, “like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame” – a fire that burns up our dross, a refining fire that purifies us, a flame that burns for Your glory.


A prayer about interpreting prophecy

As soon as you [Daniel[ began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are a highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision: seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put it into sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy Place. Daniel 9:23 – 24

And is said to them, “Oh foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things that enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:25 – 27

Lord Jesus, every time I read certain prophetic sections of the Old Testament, like this one in Daniel, I get flashbacks of big charts, bombastic preachers, and a bevy of fears. As a young believer in the late 1960s to early 1970s, I was convinced hours what’s the terminal generation. Surely you were going to come back within a few years. The political climate was perfect for that last of the last antichrist to emerge. All things 666 eschewed –– credit cards, phone numbers, drivers licenses. The truth is, we gave the antichrist more credit than Satan himself. The egregious truth is, some of us spent more time fearing the antichrist then really getting to know you, the Christ!

Jesus, I grieve that I didn’t know how to look for you in all the Scriptures, and therefore in all of history and life. You who have given me more than 70 times 7 worth of forgiveness parentheses (Matthew 18:22) are best qualified to help me understand Daniel ‘s seventy sevens and every other prophecy, simple or complex.

Whatever else is going on in this portion of Daniel, this I know for sure: Jesus, only you will one day put it into all sin. Jesus, only in you can perfect and complete atonement for us to be found. Jesus, only you will one day usher in a world of everlasting righteousness –– The new heaven and new earth ( Revelation 21: 1-5). Only you could seal up vision and prophecy, ( Hebrews 1:1 – two) and that yes and amen to all of God’s promises ( 2 Corinthians 1:20). Only you could fulfill every symbol and stick of furniture in the holy of holies and make a way for us to enter there ( Hebrews 10:19 – 22).

Only you, Jesus, are worthy of our adoration, affection, attention, and allegiance–– only you! I pray in your most glorious and gracious name. Amen

What Makes Prayer So Difficult and Why We Keep at It

Why Your Church Members Don’t Pray Much

Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer in the United States. My evidence is anecdotal, but it seems to me that most church members don’t pray much, despite efforts like the Day of Prayer. In general, they talk about prayer much more than they actually pray. Here’s why that happens:

  1. Some are not genuine believers. Jesus Himself had one fake among His group, and we’re not likely to do better. We shouldn’t be surprised when non-believers among us don’t really know how to pray.
  2. No one has ever taught them to pray. We’ve told them to pray, but we’ve not taught them how to pray. Consequently, they don’t pray—and they often feel guilty because they don’t–and can’t–do what we’ve told them to do.

Read the rest:

The master strategy

Prayer - God's gift

Pray Without Ceasing: What Does it Mean?

What does it mean to ‘pray without ceasing’? Is that even possible? Many Believers have asked this question, perplexed at the command- because that is what it is, a command. We know that we are to obey God in all things, so how can we possibly ‘pray without ceasing’?

I think that we can all agree that it is impossible to physically pray without ceasing. By physical I mean lifting your voice to the LORD in prayer, raising your hands to Him, getting down on your knees to pray- you get the picture. There is no way that we can physically do it because then we would never get anything done. You cannot attend a lecture and concentrate on what the lecturer is saying if you’re too busy praying, you would not be able to have a conversation with your spouse if you were deep in prayer, neither would you be able to attend parent meetings if all of your time was devoted to prayer. These are just a few things you wouldn’t be able to do- I’m sure that you could think of a hundred more other things, but you get the picture, right?

However, the words ‘without ceasing’ may not mean what you think. The Greek word for ‘without ceasing’ is adialeiptos. It doesn’t mean non-stop like we may assume, but it actually means ‘constantly recurring’. This changes things, doesn’t it? Instead of trying to pray constantly, all the time and all day, what we can do is interrupt our moments with intervals of recurring prayer. Perhaps this idea of recurring prayer still confuses you, so I’ll break it down even further.