The Six P’s of Effective Prayer

Elijah… prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain. James 5:17

Here are six observations about Elijah’s prayer:

Privately pray what God has promised with precision, passion and persistence.
1. Private: Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. 1 Kings 18:42
Jesus says, “Go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret” (Matthew 6:6). “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). What do you know of this?

2. Promised: The word of the Lord came to Elijah… “I will send rain…” 1 Kings 18:1
Cultivate the practice of praying God’s promises. Pray with an open Bible, and as you read, turn what God says to you back to him in prayer.

3. Pray: Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain. James 5:18
Why should we ask for something God has already said he will do? Because what God has promised will be done through your prayers. We’re God’s fellow workers (2 Corinthians 6:1).

4. Precision: He prayed fervently that it might not rain. James 5:17
Do you know what you have asked for after you’ve prayed? How would you know if your prayer was answered?

5. Passion: Elijah prayed fervently… James 5:17
Prayer can easily become separate from real life. What Elijah asked for mattered to him. Let all the pressures and challenges of life drive you to pray.

6. Persistence: [After] the seventh time… 1 Kings 18:44
After praying the 70th or the 700th time you can get tired of praying! Jesus taught his disciples not to give up (Luke 18:1).

This excerpt is from LifeKEYS Daily, the new daily devotional from Unlocking the Bible. Request your free sample copy of LifeKEYS Daily.

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Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

Date Posted: May 7th, 2013