4 Steps to praying effectively

Last December, we had a severe thunder storm that caused flash flooding.  As I watched from my office window, my boss called crying.  She was on the road in front of the office.  Her car had quit running when a bigger vehicle passed her causing water to come over the hood of her new car.  She wanted help getting it out of the street.
When I ran out the front door, her sister and several other coworkers were standing there with an umbrella watching her try to start her car.  I handed them my wallet and phone and waded out in the knee deep water to her car.  Two other men got out of their cars and helped me push her car into the parking lot.
Once we got her parked, I grabbed an umbrella so she could carry her computer in.  It was then that I noticed I had lost my wedding ring.  I waded back into the water being soaked by the pouring rain looking for my ring. After searching for about 10 minutes, a friend came out and held an umbrella over me to keep the rain from disturbing the water and giving me a clear view of the bottom.  We searched the path of the car for about 30 minutes.  I couldn’t find it. The lightening and thunder were getting worse.  I decided it was too dangerous.
We went back inside devastated. I couldn’t believe I lost something so precious while I was helping someone else.  My friend looked at me and said, “Chris, we can find it.  Let’s go try again.”. This time I got on my hands and knees crawling through the parking lot.  The water was up to my nose as I looked at the bottom and felt everywhere I could with my hands.  We searched another half hour in the rain to no avail.
I stood up, walked to the curb and said, “It’s not here. I give up.”. When I dropped my head in defeat, I looked down and there, through the water, I saw something gold and round.  I immediately dropped down and reached into the water.  It was my ring! We need to seek God and to pray the way he and I looked for that ring.
James 5:16 says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”. We need to not just ask God for things, but desperately seek Him for an answer.  We often throw a prayer up, don’t hear anything and then give up.  Ask him like a child asks for something.  They don’t give up because they know you will give in and give it to them.  Seek God for an answer knowing he will give it to you.
There are four things I learned from what happened that day with my ring.

1. Continue to seek Him even in the storm
Don’t give up because of the rain, lightening and thunder going on in your life.  You need to continually seek him despite your circumstances.  Learn to hear his voice through the storm. Block out the distractions and noise that tells you, “He can’t hear you. He won’t answer you. You aren’t good enough.” As a child would continue to beg and plead and throw themselves on the floor to get something, be that desperate with God.  Spend time asking Him.

2. Get a friend to believe with you

In Exodus 17, the Israelites were fighting a battle.  When Moses had his hands up, they were winning.  When they dropped, they began to be defeated. Moses grew tired of keeping his hands up so Aaron and Hur came along side him and held his hands up.  Friends can provide you with strength to keep praying when you are tired. They can hold that umbrella over you to protect you in the storm.  You are not alone so don’t fight alone.

3. Get on your hands and knees

I love what Mark Batterson says: Work like it depends on you. Pray like it depends on God. I must do something while waiting for my prayer to be answered. I’m not saying go out and solve it for God. I’m saying act in faith while you wait.
There is the story of a woman with an issue of blood in Luke 8 who wanted Jesus to heal her.  She couldn’t get to him because there were so many people trying to get his attention for their answers.  She didn’t let the circumstances keep her from Jesus. She got on her hands and knees to crawl through the crowd to touch the hem of his clothes.   We need to get on our hands and knees before God and to spend time at the feet of Jesus to get what we are asking for.  Press in despite the obstacles keeping you away from Him.

4. Admit you don’t have the ability to do it

In II Corinthians 12:9, we find that it is in our weakness that His strength is made perfect and that His grace is sufficient.  It’s when we realize that we can’t do it on our own that we reach that point of desperation in Him.  That produces an effectual, fervent prayer that has great power and produces wonderful results. His grace will be sufficient and strength enough to carry you through.


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2 responses to “4 Steps to praying effectively

  1. Belva Barron

    I like this story. I have a lost ring story too. Sure love my ring.

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