How to Pray Effectively
“Thou hast given him his heart’s desire, and hast not withheld the request of his lips.” (Psalm 21:2)
Martin Luther suggests to us in his Devotions and Prayers, that we see a double description of a conversation with God in this Davidic expression. There are two ingredients in the making of effective prayer. The first part concerns the prayer of the heart, which is in fact, the prayer of the mind that is expressed through the longing of one’s heart. Then the second is the prayer that is expressed verbally, of one’s own volition.
The Psalmist points out for us that oral praying is effective only when it corresponds with the desire of the heart. For, what is more effective than the will and the affection combined? We must also take note of the order; the prayer of the heart must precede the prayer of the lips. If not, the words of the lips are rendered ineffective and hypocritical.
Furthermore, the Apostle Paul adds another significant element to effective prayer as he writes to the believers in the Corinthian church saying,
“….I pray with the Spirit and with understanding also…” (I Cor.14:15)
Therefore, we learn three levels of prayer that merge to enhance our prayer lives:
a) Prayer of the heart
b) Prayer of the lips
c) Prayer in the Spirit
May it encourage us to become sincere, effective prayer warriors in these crucial days we are living in.
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