Like oxygen to a human being, so is prayer to the believer. Prayer is your lifeline to Father God, Who will not fail to respond to your needs and desires based upon your faith in His Word because He is our loving, caring, sharing heavenly Father.
James 5:16b says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much power dynamic in its working,” which means that prayer works if you release it by faith from a heart on fire for God’s plans and purposes.
What is prayer? It has many facets. It is communicating with God. It is dialoguing with Him to understand what is on His heart. It is giving Him praise and worship, dancing before Him, singing to Him, speaking and listening to Him. It is interceding on behalf of others. It is also asking God to meet your personal needs and desires. Prayer is warring in the spirit to bind the enemy and establish heaven on earth. It is listening to Daddy God’s heartbeat with a red-hot desire to please Him by decreeing His plans and purposes into the atmosphere advancing His kingdom (Matt. 6:9-13). It is being still and knowing He is God (Psalm 46.10).
A secret to powerful prayer I have learned is cultivating an intimate relationship with God by ministering to Him with thanksgiving and praise and worship, and by meditating, studying and reading His Word, increasing my faith to do His will. To pray effectively, you must know God’s Word, which is to KNOW HIM in the fellowship of His suffering. There are no shortcuts.
The closest word in the Bible to describe “intimacy” is the word, “know” or “knew.” In John 17:3, Jesus said to our heavenly Father:
“And this is life eternal, that they
might know You the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”
The word “know” is the same word used in the Septuagint (Greek) Version of the Old Testament in Genesis 4:1, which says, “Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain.” The word, “knew” depicts the deepest intimacy: a physical intimacy between Adam and Eve, a spiritual intimacy between the true believer and God.
When you see a husband and wife still “in love” after 25, 35 or 50 years of marriage, you can rest assured that they intentionally make it a priority to cultivate intimacy by spending quality time together to strengthen and protect their marriage. Couples like this tend to complete each other’s sentences and read each other’s thoughts because they deeply know each other. Your relationship with your heavenly Father is no different.
Learning to be still and spend quality time with my Daddy God to hear His voice was one of the most challenging spiritual disciplines because I thought I had to perform to earn God’s love and get Him to answer my prayers.
Do you want to deepen your intimacy with God? After I have left my prayer closet, I am still communing in my heart with my heavenly Father while caring for my family, running errands, or at work. Sweet communion happens within my spirit and soul because in Daddy God’s Presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
However, in the beginning, cultivating intimacy with God was difficult because I compared Him to my earthly father, who rejected me. When I first started praying, I would cry with self-pity, victimization, fear, and shame as I begged God to answer my laundry list of prayer requests.
I had no concept of how much He loved me even though the Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). I was squirrely in Father God’s Presence because I thought I had to perform to receive His love and approval as I performed for man.
Boy, was I wrong. God’s love is the complete opposite. He does not love you because of what you do. He loves you because of who you are, His child—talking about being set free through prayer.
Daddy God’s love is unconditional, covering your imperfections and confessed sins. For example, if I goof off in class and get a “D” in calculus or get fired for being late to my job, these mistakes will not stop God from loving me, although I will suffer the consequences. Though He is not pleased with my conduct, Daddy God loves me unconditionally, yet another reason I enjoy communing with Him in prayer.
Secondly, I struggled to be still in God’s Presence because I thought, “What if He doesn’t love me?” So I kept busy as a bee so I wouldn’t have to face the hidden fears and frustrations deep within my heart.
However, when my life hit the fan, all of my pseudo-accomplishments began to crash around me. I ran to God to reveal the brokenness of my soul – my mind, will, emotions, subconscious, memories – and asked Him to heal the pain. By spending time in God’s Word, in prayer and going to church, prayer meetings, and conferences, I experienced healing and deliverance, which is another type of prayer.
I started cultivating intimacy with God because I was desperate to heal the painful holes in my soul. The more time I spent with Him, the more I trusted Him as my loving, caring, sharing heavenly Father. I began to hear His voice throughout the day, and when I prayed and stored up more of His Word in my heart, I encountered Him, and He would answer my prayers.
One secret of effective prayer is knowing God’s Word, which is His will, that helps you understand His nature, passions, heart, and mind. Matthew 4:4 says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” When you know God’s Word in your heart, you will have confidence that He will answer your prayers.
When the Word of God abides in your heart, you will ask what you will and God will answer your prayer (John 15:7). You will not hesitate to prophesy, pray, speak or decree God’s Word. After all, you know He will answer in His timing because He loves you.
If you desire a deeper prayer life, cultivate intimacy with Daddy God through prayer and the Word. Delight in Him and let Him delight in you. Read, meditate and study your Bible to renew your subconscious mind about truths such as how much Daddy God loves you, activating the mind of Christ. It is only by cultivating an intimate relationship with Daddy God through prayer in the secret place that you can find everything you need.
“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine:
he feedeth among the lilies”
Song of Songs 6:3
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”