How to Have Power in Your Prayer By Using Scriptures
Do you ever feel like you don’t know what to pray?
Or maybe you feel like your prayers are useless and instead of reaching up to heaven— like a deflating balloon they lose air and plummet to the ground.
Friend, we all feel this way sometimes. I think if we are all being honest, our prayer life can get a little dry, leaving us feeling disconnected from God and unqualified to pray for someone who needs it.
It can be intimidating.
Especially when you’re leading a small group. You’re supposed to be the leader, right?
As I sat at church listening to my pastor preach, I knew I should be leading a small group. “The harvest was plenty, but the workers were few.” So as soon as the service ended, I rushed over to the table and signed up to lead.
Several days later, the realization hit me, “I’m going to have to pray in front of these people!”
I’d love to say that I was excited, but the truth is, I was extremely anxious.
What if I didn’t know what to say?
What if I prayed wrong? (Is that even possible?)
Would they think I was a bad leader?
Insecure thoughts raced through my mind as I considered the task before me.
Of course, once the group began and I finished praying my first simple prayer, the fear subsided and it no longer plagued me.
That was nearly 15 years ago.
Although prayer has become one of my passions, there are still times when insecurity tries to rear its ugly head.
But it looks a little different now.
Rather than being intimidated by praying, the enemy tries to convince me that my prayers either won’t work or that I will declare something and it won’t come to pass.
Why is that?
Why does the enemy try so hard to stop us from praying?
Prayer is powerful.
God knows it. The enemy knows it. Usually the only ones who don’t know (or perhaps forget) are us!
Let’s take a moment to dissect James 5:16 to see what the Bible says about prayer.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16 (emphasis mine)
3 Words that Characterize Powerful Daily Prayers:
- Effective: To be powerful in action. It actually stems from the word “work”(Strongs G1756). I don’t know about you, but I want my prayers to work!
- Earnest: There are several different translations that use the word either earnest or fervent. Earnest means diligent (Strongs G4705). In other words, prayers should be carefully crafted. Be intentional.
- Avail: To be of force, to be effective, capable of producing results. It also means to be strong or have power (Strongs G2480).
So what does all of this mean?
We can have prayers that are powerful in action, that work, and produce results if we carefully craft them.
How to Have Power in Your Prayer
Today I want to share some secrets on how to have power in your prayer.
When studying about prayer, God began to reveal to me several scriptures that seemed to point to powerful power. I have used these scriptures to begin to pray strategically.
Rather than praying random prayers, I wanted to have intercessory prayers—prayers that had power behind them, knowing that they were working for those I was praying for.
There are 4 key parts to these powerful prayers:
Begin with Thanksgiving
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)
All my prayers begin with thanking God. We enter into His presence when we thank Him. When I begin thanking Him, I also begin to get His direction and guidance on any situation. His Holy Spirit begins to guide me on what to pray next.
Pray/ Declare God’s Word
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)
Praying God’s Word is as if God Himself is speaking the words. It cuts through bone and marrow and gets right to the heart of the situation. When we pray His words, we are lining up with what He has already ordained. We confess what He has promised.
Believe You Will Receive
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22 (NIV)
Your faith, or believing what your speaking, is essential to receiving.
Close in Jesus’ Name
…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, Philippians 2:10 (NKJV)
Everything must bow to the name of Jesus—every hurt, every situation, anything with a name.
When I close in Jesus’ name, it’s as if I’m closing the deal with Him in agreement. When He died and rose again, we were given all authority, and using His name is one of those privileges.
At first it may seem difficult and awkward to pray this way, but the more you do it the more it will become second nature.
The key to prevailing at anything is to practice. It is no different with prayer.
Try starting with a morning/evening habit of using this method to pray for your family. Keep it simple and write it down. With intentionality and studying the Word of God, your prayers will become powerful, effective and produce much fruit.
Will you pray & believe with me?
Thank you, Lord for Your goodness in our lives. You are faithful—abounding in mercy and grace. Thank you, that you have given us authority over all the power of the enemy. What we loose on earth, will be loosed in heaven. Not only have you given us power over the enemy, but You’ve given us power to use our words to speak blessing over ourselves and others. Help us to use our words to speak life and to glorify You. When we declare Your promises, we can be confident that they will not return void. Holy Spirit guide us in our prayers. Continue to reveal Your Word and Your ways to us, that we may have powerful, effective prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
**I’ve included a bookmark for you to print out and laminate, that gives you a guide on have power in your prayer life. You can keep it in your Bible while you’re reading to help you.**
Thanks for your feedback, Lyli! It was very helpful in getting this piece finished!
Thank you so much, God Bless you!
This was such an inspiring post, Alisa! I’d never thought about the 3 powerful words used in prayer – effective, earnest, and avail – good thoughts (and powerful).
You are correct in that God knows how powerful prayer is and so does the Enemy. We are wise to keep accessing the throne regularly and frequently!
And your 4 key parts are very helpful and good points to guide us in prayer. I enjoy your writing, and also love the way you designed your blog – the flowers interspersed are a nice touch!
Sharing this from CBB on my Fb. Tweeted and pinned! Always good to see you, girl!
Awwww, thanks so much for your encouraging words Ruthtie!! And thanks for sharing!
I have had the thought that what if I tell an unbeliever I am praying for their situation and then the outcome is the complete opposite of what they hoped for. I never thought about it as the enemy trying to stop me from praying, but your are absolutely right.
I must remember that WHENEVER I am prompted to pray, it is the Holy Spirit who is prompting and the Lord “will accomplish all that concerns me”.
Thank you for all the wisdom you shared here on how to pray effectively to bring all Glory to God.
I’ve had that thought before too, Karen! It’s amazing the tactics the enemy tries to keep us from praying. It may not always be the same thoughts he throws at us, but it always has the same purpose: to draw us away from God. Thanks for stopping by today!
I was just reading today in my devotional how our access to God and the power in prayer is all because of Jesus. So I love how you write – Everything must bow to the name of Jesus—every hurt, every situation, anything with a name. Thanks, Alisa.
Yes, Rachel! Without Jesus- there would be no access! So grateful for His sacrifice!!
What a well thought out and beautifully presented post Alisa! I am learning the power of prayer as I want to pray with intent and purpose. I wrote a month long series in November regarding prayer it was revealing to me during my research. Also, the title of my newsletter that went out this morning was.”Keep on Praying…God Answers prayer! To see God work in the lives of people is such a blessing. I know Satan wants to cause doubt and send distractions our way because like you said, He understands and knows the Power of praying! I’ve seen your picture in several link ups and I am thrilled to make it to your site today. You site is beautiful and lovely to read. I will definitely return to see what God has laid on your heart. I hope you had a wonderful Easter and may God richly bless you and yours!
Thank you for visiting today, Horace! I appreciate your kind and encouraging words. I stopped by your blog today and was very inspired by your story! I look forward to reading your posts.
This post really spoke to me. I really struggle with praying, even when I’m alone. I want to pray but feel like I don’t know what to say. How did you overcome this? Can you recommend some literature on learning to pray?
Hey Rhonda! I think it’s safe to say we’ve all felt the same way about prayer. In my experience, which is limited to my 13 years of walking with God, I’ve seen prayer expressed in different levels:
Prayer 101 (Intentional Prayer)- It’s simply talking to God. Just like you would talk to a friend about your thoughts and feelings, your struggles or your victories. That is how I pray most of the time. It may look something like this, “Lord, bless my family. Help us to grow closer to you. Show me how to be a better mom, wife and friend. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” Simple. God knows what’s in our hearts already, but making time for Him blesses Him and most of all us! A great example of this type of prayer is in Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus gives us a wonderful pattern to follow.
Prayer 201 (Intentional,Focused Prayer)- This type of prayer is what I discuss in this post. As you read God’s Word, you take a scripture and turn into a prayer. See post again for examples. You can also look at the Prayer Declaration Cards I added to my website. If you subscribe to my website you’ll receive a download, which is another example of this type of prayer but focused on overcoming fear.
Prayer 301 is Spiritual Warfare- (Intentional, Focused and Overcoming Prayers)- This type of prayer is mentioned in Ephesians 6:10-20. This is prayer of overcoming anything that you feel like is coming against you or others close to you.
All of these types of prayers ebb and flow in priority based upon the season of life you are in and your specific need. I would start with the Prayer 101. As you grow in that, you can move to that next level. Keeping it simple, was what took the pressure off of me to perform and helped me to really just open up to God, which is really what He’s after- our hearts.
I love what you said about closing prayer in Jesus’ name is like closing a the deal in agreement with Him. I lead a Moms In Prayer group and am going to share this! Thanks!
Thanks, Karmen! I’m so glad you stopped by today.
Thanks, Alisa for sharing this model for prayer that you have learned and practiced effectively. Thanks especially for your testimony of how the Lord tempts us all no matter what our gifts or practices to believe we are inadequate or somehow “not enough”. That lie of the enemy is one he seems to never tire of trying with each and all of us. Visiting today from the Linkup at Faith Barista.
Thanks for visiting today Pam!
Alisa, this is powerful. I think Thanksgiving is such an important element to prayer. We need to cultivate gratefulness and recognize what God has done before we ask for more. I love your steps: Thankfulness, pray the word, believe, and close in Jesus’ name. Pinned and tweeted. Glad I saw you at Susan’s place!
Thanks, Betsy! Thankfulness is definitely something I have to practice. I’m not sure it comes natural to any of us. ☺️ Glad you stopped by today!
Ahhhh … our hearts are beating “prayer”! I love this so much. The verse of Isaiah is one of my favorites and one I cling to whenever I’m not sure I’m communicating well. God does the work–without fail! The same with our prayers. I’m so glad that He invites us to participate in HIs work through prayer.
Yes! When I read your post today I thought, God is definitely working hard to show me the importance & need for prayer! So glad you stopped by today!
Thanks for the post and i liked it you know why? i have seen most of the people do not know how to pray,some they tell the same thing again and again and some they preach while praying even i did not how to pray when i was young,i just keep on praising for ten or fifteen mints and finish it with Amen. That was my prayer, but thank god now i am much better.Like you said in the first part thanks giving or praising is a must in our prayer life as it says in Colossians 4:2, Be persistent in prayer,and keep alert as you pray,giving thanks to god.And the other three parts are very encouraging then finally the prayer, very simple but powerful. Thanks and may god bless you for what you are doing. PRAISE BE TO HIS HOLY NAME.
Alisa, I really appreciate your thoughts on prayer — I even took notes and as I was doing so, God prompted me to pray for someone whom I’d never thought to pray for before. I’m moved by how God works and how He continually calls us into relationship with Him and to partner with Him to reach others (when He could very well do that all on His own).
I love your beautiful site, your words of wisdom, and your humble and encouraging tone. You’ve created a warm and welcoming space where God’s Word gets to shine. I’m so glad we connected and look forward to staying in touch.
Marva, thank you for your kind words! I love how you mentioned partnering with God. That is exactly what we are doing when we pray for others. I’m so glad you came by today.
I love your thoughts on prayer – such wisdom here!
YES! Pray believing. My husband and I are learning that to pray already believing that God has the answer and is working it for His glory has changed the way we pray. It has changed our hearts toward the One Who hears our prayers. It has given us a faith we did not know we had.
Thank you for this, Alisa. It is all so good.
Yes, that is so true Linda!! When pray, we have to believe what were praying for! So glad you stopped by!
I am so glad I came to visit from Weekend Whispers. I loved this post! I sometimes do feel like my prayer life is dry, or maybe even repetitive. I love the 3 words that characterize powerful prayers, Effective, Earnest, and Avail! I am in spot 26 this week at Weekend Whispers. I look forward to reading more of your posts, and have subscribed to your blog. 🙂 <3
I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, Rachelle! Thank you for stopping by today! I look forward to checking out your blog as well. ☺️
Such a powerful post. Yes pray believing I loved how you shared that everything must bow to Jesus – every hurt, every situation, everything with a name.
These words struck me this morning: Everything must bow to the name of Jesus. This I know, but sometimes what I know gets shuffled into the background and forget. It was a good reminder that not only the everuhings must bow but my posture must be the same, as well. Thanks.
Very true, Natalie! That is a great reminder! Thanks for sharing that!
Next to you again this morning – we must be in the same time zone! thank you for reminding me to start my prayers with thanksgiving – I’m learning to also end them with that – anticipating His working that I don’t see – a form of praying with faith. My favorite prayer is: “Help!”
Thanks, Alisa -see you at she speaks
Hey Sue! I try to post in the mornings and read in the afternoons! I’ll be reading yours soon!
I use that prayer often as well! “Help!” So glad we get to connect today!
I’m so glad you linked this up to Open Mic Monday for the soul at Cisneros Cafe today. It’s so relevant and needed regarding today’s topic. What I love about your post is that it is needed everyday. Thank you for writing this. I need to learn how to pray better and more effectively. One can never learn enough about prayer. God bless you and I hope you have a beautiful week. Again, thank you for linking up. Your posts are always so refreshing. xoxo
I thought the same thing Carolina! Our posts went together beautifully! I love when God “links” us up that way! Have a wonderful week my friend!
Amen! That is a powerful guide. We must claim the promises of God. I have found my prayers are so much more meaty when I am speaking the word of God. He loves to hear that I am taking a verse or verses and I am calling it for my situation. The word of God is powerful sharper than any two edge sword. It is meant to be there as a weapon we can use when we are believing and standing for anything. Prayer is a language and communication with our heavenly Father. It is something that can get dry at times but we must not cease.
Absolutely, Naomi! Soon I’ll be writing a post on the different types of prayer! So glad you stopped by today!
Alisa – this is wonderful – from beginning to end. I appreciate the way you opened using a personal testimony. Then you beautifully broke down and explained the components of powerful prayers using easy to understand descriptions. Finally, you ended with a prayer that was also an example of the words you had just written! Truly, this post is awesome! There are so many who are uncomfortable with prayer, but the words you have written here have the potential to spur us all on to connect with our Father in greater ways! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Love You!
You are so sweet Leigh Ellen! My friend you have a serious gift of encouragement! I can’t wait to meet you in person. Thank you for your kind words. ☺️
Alisa, I so much appreciate your prayer emphasis here. Thank you for sharing from the wealth of your experience as a small group leader, and as a prayer warrior. Thank you for linking up with us at Grace & Truth!
Thanks for stopping by today Jennifer!
Thank you for this encouragement and wisdom. I really appreciate the reminder to thank God: it’s something that’s been coming back to me repeatedly. I’ve also been encouraged to thank God for that which is yet to come, believing He is working it into place. He’s growing my faith! I used to pray more pleading prayers: He’s teaching me to pray in confidence and to confess in openness what is on my heart.
Have you ever read “Beloved Dust” (Goggin & Stroebel)? This was eye-opening for me in regard to prayer.
Hey Anna! I have not read that book. I will definitely have to check it out! I love to read. Thank you for visiting today, I’m glad you enjoyed the post!
What a great post! I have been using the app ECHO to help me remember certain people to pray for, and it has been helpful. I love that you mentioned declaring God’s word as a way to pray. This helps me remember who God is and also what He is able to do.
(linking up from Soul Survivor)
Hey Elena Alice! I’ve never heard of Echo. I need to check that out. What a great idea! Thanks for stopping by today!
When I saw this post I was hoping you would address the last point. I’ve been curious lately, when it is best to pray to Jesus, and include Him in our prayers… “In Jesus’ Name,” I will pray. Great words!
Yes, my friend! The power is in His name! Thanks for stopping by today!
I could have written your opening words myself. I know prayer should be warm and intimate, but it has been a struggle for years as I’ve work through moving from asking for things to learning to focus on God and knowing Him. Thanks for your insight and encouragement to keep going.
What a wonderful post on prayer! Bless you for taking the time to write it out so beautifully. Isn’t it amazing to think about the ways God has answered our prayers and also taught us how to talk with Him?
Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!
Thank you so much Richella! I’m humbled that you would feature me this week. I do love how God continues to teach us His way through His word!
Prayer is one of my favorite subjects, Alisa. Your words are encouraging. I had to smile when I read your story about praying in front of others. I used to be terrified of doing that, too. Oh, the transition that happens in our lives when we choose to believe Him and His Word and choose to follow Him in our serving. So glad you stepped out of the box and were able to share these truths with us here.
Thank you for the lovely prayer and for being a part of the #GraceMoments Community.
Love this! Prayer is one of my passions as well. Blessings!
I am visiting from Richella’s and I love your post. I struggle with prayer in being repetitive. I feel I’m always praying for the same things and the same people. I love your insight into prayer and feel like by subscribing to your blog, I can learn to pray in a better way. Thank you and God bless!
I’m so glad you stopped by Debbie! We all struggle with prayer sometimes! Whether we feel dried up with nothing to say or like you said repetitive and unfruitful. I will be writing a series to go along with this particular post about different types of prayer! As a subscriber you’ll get them in your inbox as soon as they are posted! Thanks for subscribing! Have a great weekend!
I read your post on effective prayers. I was very moved by your easy guide line.Send the loss of my mother I thought God had let me I fell a void in my life.my mother took us to church study the Bible with us,but somewhere along the way I became loss from his present I want that closeness with my Lord again but don’t know how o what to pray to get back to him.Your words of prayer I felt something I haven’t felt in year.thank you and keep inspiring me and others.God Bless you
I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother, Ellen! Praying that God will fill that void with His unconditional love.
Great reminder! I am putting this into practice, starting now.
Really positive article #TwinklyTuesday
Such a poignant and thought provoking post Alisa! You have so many inspiring points here as well. I am writing a book on prayer so I may reach out to you to get your thoughts! Thanks for sharing this post today…prayer is vital to every Christians’s life. Have a wonderful 4th of July and may God richly bless you and yours!
Thank you, Horace! Congrats on writing a book. What a wonderful topic to cover. Feel free to ask any questions. Praying for God to guide you in your efforts!
What a great post on prayer. Many years ago a sweet prayer warrior calmed my fears about praying after I expressed a huge doubt that I could EVER pray so beautifully aloud. She said, “Lori, you will never pray like I pray. My prayers are like me. Loud and boisterous. Your prayers only need be like you. Gentle. You are what I am not and that is beautiful to God.” Over the years, I embraced those words and have been amazed at where God has taken me in regards to prayer. I now lead on our prayer team at Church. Who’d have ever thought?;-) And now I say those same words to many other women who express their insecurities about prayer.
Thank you for this beautiful offering of hope you shared here today at #MomentsofHope. Prayer ushers in hope like no other!
Blessings and smiles, my friend!
What beautiful words your friend gave you, Lori! It’s so true. I am feisty and tend to be a fighter. I remember the day God showed me that He created me this way to fight in the spirit. I love praying and believing with people to overcome! I love how God brought you into a place of leadership in this area. He loves to use those weak places for His glory, doesn’t He? Thank you for reading today. I always love to hear your perspective! Have a wonderful weekend!
I really enjoyed this post, it was such a blessing to me! Prayer is a passion of mine as well, and I love to read other people’s thoughts about it as God teaches them about prayer! Thanks so much for sharing!
This is an area where I struggle. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!
This is such a good post – practical, helpful, useful, and powerful!
Love it and sharing it today~
Hi Alisa, i thank God for inspiring you to write and teach us about prayers. I have found that the need for intercessory prayers has increased . I want to used by God to pray for others . Thank you for the 4 KEY PARTS . I pray that my prayers will be powerful effective and produce fruit.
So much packed in this one post.
I read and study much on the topic of prayer.
I will happily share this along with keeping it handy for myself.
I love starting with thanksgiving. No matter how much I want to just launch into my list of needs or whine about the hard things when I start with thanksgiving the prayer flows so much better. And thanks for the pinable reminder with the points. This is one we all need to be reminded of daily! That would be a great phone home screen.
I love this post. I have recently become more specific when I pray and this post really helps to remind me to thank God first and then go on. I love the bookmark, but we only use the KJV Bible. Could you do a bookmark with KJV verses please?