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  • Writer's pictureJ.D. King

Why Your Prayers are Ineffective and What You Need to Do About it

Updated: Feb 23

Despite all the discussions about prayer, many Christians are still confused about it. When considering its meaning, vital aspects are often overlooked—not because of wickedness or bad motives. This happens because our worldviews and practices often fall short of the New Testament patterns.

Western Christians like to make everything neat and tidy—even when things aren't actually that way in real life. We love to compartmentalize and categorize. But our rationalism and pragmatism aren't found in the Bible. Scripture depicts a world that's interconnected and free. In the biblical stories, the lines between praying, prophesying, or preaching are blurry. The expressions seamlessly intertwine.

When engaging in prayer for others, the focus tends to be on offering guidance or solace. I know many Evangelical and Spirit-filled believers who prioritize comfort and teaching over "effect." Compassion and reason obviously have their place, but when they are prioritized in prayer, the breakthroughs don't tend to come. People don’t have to understand or feel much of anything to experience grace. Breakthrough should always be the overriding goal in this type of intercession.

Another thing that hinders believers is "one-dimensional utterances." We don’t always see how constrained we are. Most churchgoers associate prayers with "petitioning God." Although partly true, this is an incomplete understanding. Biblical prayer takes on various forms—blessings, declarations, laments, and commands. It is multi-layered and robust. If you want to be effective, you need to let your intercession move and breathe.

Here's something to consider—biblical prayer isn't always about addressing God directly. In scenarios where one prays against demons or disease, an intercessor might use “commands” as a spiritual weapon. Consider a couple of examples from the New Testament:

  • Jesus confronted a demon, declaring: "Be quiet! . . . Come out of him!” (Luke 4:35).

  • Similarly, the Apostle Peter would later turn to a lame man and prayerfully declare, “Stand up!” (Acts 14:10).

While prayer always involves some form of interchange with God, believers obviously shouldn't direct "commands" toward him. This is a fruitless endeavor for three reasons:

  1. While Spirit-filled believers have authority over the earth and Satan's kingdom, we don't authority over God. We are under and he is over.

  2. God is not the source of our problems. He is not our adversary. Making a demand from him is not only unauthorized, it would be fruitless.

  3. Commands directed toward God are dishonorable. God is the king; we are his subjects.

If your prayers are only directed to the Lord, then the "commanding prayers" are not only ineffective, they're blasphemous. The New Testament is, however, filled with anointed men and women making "intercessory demands." So, we must conclude that not all prayers are directed to God. Believers are, at times, praying “with the Lord”—aligned with his will and way, but directing our prayers specifically toward the darkness.

God invites us to adjust our worldview and synchronize with his heavenly rhythms. Those who learn to pray from Kingdom mindset, and a deeply rooted relationship with Jesus, have the potential to bring about transformative change here on earth.

It's time to move beyond stifled monologues and begin partnering with the Lord in expressing the mysteries of the Kingdom. Are you willing to engage in an extended dialogue with the one who dispels darkness? Imagine the profound transformation that could occur if we grasp the biblical patterns of prayer—I am convinced it could reshape the cosmos.

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