- Effective prayer begins with the right relationship with God
- You have to be prepared to do what you've never done before
- Mix your prayer with sacrifice
- Focus on the finished work at Calvary
The last point "Focus on the finished work at Calvary" was something particularly interesting because of what he compared it to. When Elijah sacrificed the animal to God the blood of it mixed with the water he had poured in the trenches. This resembling Christ's side being pierced at the crucifixion. Another side of the story that many people (at least I didn't) never think about is the amount of times he poured the water on the altar and the number of stones he used to build it. Elijah asked the priests of the idol gods to pour 4 jugs of water on the alter 3 different times. This number is the same number of stones used to build it; 12. Both were representing the 12 tribes of Israel. You can see here that Elijah was very intentional with what he did, which brings me to the point that you should ALWAYS be intentional with your prayers. If you don't believe that God will answer them then you have no faith and your prayers are wasted. If there is no purpose behind them then you're better off not praying at all. Always remember that nothing on the altar is wasted...so be faithful and be intentional.
The last point that I want to make is that when praying, it always helps to pray at the right time. As Christians we are given the word and all different forms of communication with God (as I shared in "The In's and Out's of Prayer") but something else we can do is wait on the Lord to know when the right time to ask something of God is. We can pray all we want to, but if we are not in tune with our walk with God and faithful to Him then we can not expect Him to meet our needs. Elijah waited until nightfall. This was the time that all sacrifices were made to God and the heavens were opened to receive them. As you see here, Elijah was once again very intentional with what he did.
As Christians we must be prayer warriors, praying consistently and we must pray in faith. Praying with expectancy instead of apathy.
"It is not enough to begin to pray, nor to pray aright; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray - but we must pray patiently, believingly continue in prayer...to continue in prayer unto the end. We have also to believe that God does hear us and will answer our prayers. Most frequently we fail in not continuing in prayer until the blessing is obtained and in not expecting the blessing." - George Muller
**Picture of Jackson and his wife Eve at top**