5 “P”s of Powerful Prayer
As a child, one of my favorite songs in Church was “I’m in the Lord’s Army”. The song speaks that you may never march in the infantry; ride in the cavalry; shoot the Artillery… but, you can be in the Lord’s Army! I grew up to spend 11 years in the United States Marine Corps Infantry. While I am a former Marine, I am still in the Lord’s Army. So let me do my best as your Squad Leader to give you some learned steps to the most powerful prayer.
The military LOVES acronyms and alliteration, so since we’re in the Lord’s Army, here are 5 “P”s that will lead to a deeper prayer life.
The first thing we need to incorporate into our prayer life is praise. Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer to lead our prayers with praise. Psalm 22:3 reads; “But You are Holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel.” By starting with praise, we invite the presence of God into our prayer. We must also make time to pray deliberate prayers of praise. Our prayers need to have as much praise as they do petitions.
James 4:2-3 tells us; “You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” When we pray we need to make sure our motives our pure. Selfishness, greed and impure desires are the biggest cause of unanswered prayer. Not my will, Lord, but thy will (Luke 22:42). We also need to examine our lives. We need to be living a Godly life in order to have an effective prayer life.
Luke 18 begins with the parable of the persistent widow. Jesus taught us about persistent prayer for a reason. By returning to the Lord in prayer on multiple occasions we are reminded that He provides everything. It keeps the relationship in proper perspective. Persistence results in perseverance, a quality God wants us to develop. Peter writes of becoming more effective in our knowledge of Jesus in 2 Peter 1:5-8. Persistent prayer is a big part of that.
How much would you prepare if you could appear before Congress to ask for assistance? Do we keep in mind who we are speaking to when we pray? Too many of us are way too casual in how we approach God. I’m not talking about our physical posture or the words we use. It’s the attitude of our hearts. Are we being reverent and genuine? Sometimes we also need to go deeper and include fasting to our prayer. The act of fasting adds sincerity and humility to our request. In Matthew 5:5, Jesus said “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Mark 9:29 tells us that there are things that can only be done by prayer and fasting.
Jesus taught us to ask God for our daily bread. Philippians 4:6 reads; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Our Heavenly Father knows what we need, but He wants us to ask for them. It deepens our reliance on Him. It also demonstrates that we understand where our help comes from. We also need to be “present” in the relationship. The key to effective prayer is regular prayer. The old adage “practice makes perfect” applies very much to our prayer life. The more time we spend in prayer, the better we get at it. Proper prayer provides precious provision.
“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work” –Oswald Chambers.
Written by Dean Marini