The prayer Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers is a prayer every parent can pray for their child, every Cristian can pray for friends and family, whether they are prodigals far from the Lord or are seeking Him faithfully.

It’s an incredible thing to pray straight out of the Bible, because you know your prayer is in the will of God if it comes out of the Word of God. Colossians 1:9-14 is a great prayer to pray for anyone.

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Here is another: Colossians 2:6-7

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

This is why you must be in the Word—so you can find these prayers and begin to use them! True prayer must be linked with Bible study so you can pray God’s eternal purpose for those you are concerned about. Here are just 4 examples of how to do this from Scripture. Insert the name of the person you’re praying for in the blanks and pray these prayers from a sincere heart to God.

  • Create in _______ a pure heart O, God and renew a steadfast spirit within ________. Restore to ______ the joy of his/her salvation and grant _______ a willing spirit to sustain him/her. Psalms 51:10 & 12

  • Restore _______, O God Almighty; make Your face shine upon _______ that he/she may be saved. Psalm 80:7

  • Lord, in your great love, revive _______ so she/he will obey Your every word. Psalm 119:88

  • May You, Lord, the God of all grace, restore _______ and make him/her strong, firm and steadfast. I Peter 5:10

What are some other keys to effective prayer?

1. Pray in the name of Jesus.

To get your prayers answered, you must pray in Jesus’ name. To make sure we didn’t miss that point, Jesus says it twice in John 14:13-14.

“13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.”

A few verses earlier, He had just said:

“…6 I am the way, the truth, and the life: and no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”

Could it be any plainer? The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to come to God. God wants to glorify His Son, Jesus. We must pray in His name.

2. Pray in the Spirit

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…” Eph. 6:18

Just as you must pray in Jesus’ name, you must pray in the Spirit. God has given you the Holy Spirit of grace and supplication. Do you have difficulty praying? It’s because you’re not Spirit-filled. When you are, praise and prayer flow out of you. You cannot do it without Him and He will not do it without you.

When we pray Jesus’ name, we pray with authority. When we pray in the Spirit, we pray with strength because He helps us.

“Likewise, the (Holy) Spirit also helpeth our infirmities (weaknesses): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us…” Romans 8:26

The Spirit comes alongside to help when you pray.

All of us say, “I fail in my prayer life. Why don’t I pray more?” Because we’re weak. We must learn to depend on the Spirit. He does for you what you cannot do for yourself. The Holy Spirit inspires, guides, energizes, and sustains your prayer.

3. Pray in obedience to God.

It’s foolish to expect God to hear you when you’re not living in obedience. Some think God will bless them anyway, but if you’re living a life of disobedience, and God is answering your prayers, then He’s encouraging and rewarding your sin. God loves you too much to do that.

Psalm 66:18 is a great prayer promise:

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”

God says, “I promise not to hear you.” Answered prayer is not for rebels.

4. Pray in fellowship with believers.

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:25-27).

Unforgiveness is a barricade to answered prayer.

People wonder why their prayers aren’t answered, and they’re harboring grudges. Is that grudge worth it?

You can’t have an unforgiving spirit toward anyone and expect your prayers to be answered. This is especially true between husbands and wives.

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife as unto the weaker vessel; and as being heirs together of the grace of life that your prayers be not hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).

5. Pray in faith.

“All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22

Have you ever prayed, “God, I believe,” when you knew you didn’t? But you thought saying you believed would be counted for belief. You were lying. You knew it and God knew it. Faith is the gift of God. It’s not something you keep in your pocket to spend for whatever you want. You cannot have faith for anything outside the will of God because God won’t give you faith for anything that’s outside His will. And you can’t have any faith unless God gives it to you.

When you are praying…

  • in the will of God

  • in Jesus’ name

  • in the Spirit

  • in obedience

  • in fellowship

…faith will be there.

Faith is not just a positive feeling or working yourself into a frenzy, but confidence God is going to do what you asked Him.

Like the disciples, we ask, “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Our world needs prayer warriors—men and women of prayer. Join me in this prayer:

Father, help me and teach me, that I might be more of a person of prayer. Something in us resists prayer, doesn’t want to pray, and had rather do almost anything but pray. That’s our carnal, devilish nature. So, Lord, I pray that You’d help us to be so in love with Jesus, so filled with the Spirit, that prayer will flow out of us, that we might be in continual communion with You through prayer.

In the name of Jesus, amen.