Bible Journal

Bible Journal: What is effective prayer?

Dear Journal,

Here are some short sermon notes from last Sunday. The sermon was about prayer, asking- and receiving. And you know what?
My family and I experienced the result of it that day, right after hearing the sermon!

Yes, interesting isn’t it?

We were praying to meet a godly, conservative family to fellowship with. We live far away from the church, and we’ve been visiting only for a few months now, so we don’t know many people yet.

Ah, but first I’ll share the sermon notes with you before I go on with the story….

Pastor John Mac Arthur            “The Necessities for Effective Prayer”           

 Jan. 23, 2011

Mark 11:22-25

You can see dramatic displays of God’s blessing in your life if you do not doubt when you pray. You ask by faith. Our prayers must be prayers in which we exercise our faith.
If you doubt the power of God, you will not receive what you asked for…

How much faith does it take to receive God’s answer to your prayer?

Even this much faith is enough: “Lord I believe, help my unbelief,” as the father of the demon possessed boy said in Mark 9:24. Of course you must remember that your faith is NOT the power that will bring an answer to your prayer, nor do the words you utter contain the power- but only God alone!

A practical element of effective prayer is:

Ask.  As simple as that.

The promise of “ask and you shall receive” is for the disciples first, then it extends to the church. John 14:13-14  is the qualifier of this promise. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

All things (or anything) should be asked according to His will (in His name). That is when we shall receive- if it is according to His will.

That Sunday, we asked the Lord to provide us with some fellowship….to allow us to meet a family. As we were standing outside between the services, I saw a nicely dressed woman and her daughter pass by. I mentioned to my sister that they looked like a conservative/homeschooling family, and I smiled at them approvingly. I wished we could get to talk, but it was not the moment, and so I hoped that God would bring someone like them in our path.

Then we met with a young couple that we knew from another church, and we were able to chat with them for awhile. I was glad for this at least! I thought we might not meet anyone else.

Somehow, the Lord brought that lady and her daughter near us a second time. This time I studied them a bit more from the distance, and smiled when the lady looked up and saw me looking at them. When she noticed me smiling, the lady came toward me saying:
“I saw you smile, and I thought you all look like a nice conservative family…are you homeschooled?”

And thus we got to know each other!

We met the rest of their family and stood there talking together for a good while. It was a treat to meet people with a similar mindset! But most of all, we saw how God answered our prayer when we asked Him to grant us some good fellowship.

I just want to encourage you to come boldly before the Lord and ask your requests…submitting to the outcome the answer that will be according to His will.

Have you had any answers to prayers lately? Or do you want to share a prayer request? Feel free to leave a comment.

2 thoughts on “Bible Journal: What is effective prayer?

  1. Hey Becky!

    Thanks for sharing these notes and how God answered a prayer for your family! I’ll share quickly how God answered a prayer for me last night. I’ve been working a lot recently to finish up the newsletter that I write. Last night I was doing so editing on it, and decided I’d print a copy so that I could see how it was really turning out. I tried to print the file, but the first time nothing happened. I tried again and this time all that I got was several pages of nonscensical (?) writting. I’d accidently clicked a spam link earlier in the day, so I began to get worried that perhaps I’d hurt my computer by that.

    Anyway, my parents were out for the evening, and I was pretty worried that my computer had a problem and all the work I had done on the newsletter might be lost. I spent some time praying that God would help me not to worry though, and He helped me to rejoice in Him and not worry. When my dad got home and looked at my computer it was perfectly fine, and my newsletter printed off just right. Praise the Lord!

    So, that’s just one prayer that the Lord has answered for me recently. What a wonderful God He is!

    Is your family still trying to start a home church? I think you had mentioned that on my blog a few months ago.

    Well, I’d better go! This weekend my church family is having a sort of seminar going through an overview of the Bible, and that starts in just a couple hours. I need to get a few more things done before then 🙂 I hope that you have a wonderful weekend! Keep up the encouraging posts on your blog. I always enjoy them!


    1. Hi Amy,

      Thanks so much for sharing! It was wonderful to hear how the Lord solved everything for you. I’ve been through so many similar situations where there was so much stress and things seemed to be going wrong in the last moment- but in the end, the Lord brought them all to a good conclusion!
      It was refreshing to read your example of how God is at work in the lives of His children.

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