How Exactly Does One Pray Effectively?

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Oftentimes I find myself looking back at one of my favorite experiences I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of. I was nineteen and looking for something new when this opportunity came along: a summer internship at my favorite place to be in the summer.

Typically, my time at this place was limited to three weeks (if my work schedule allowed it, that is) but this opportunity meant living there the entire summer during all the camps.

Taking the internship was such a great decision, and I learned a LOT from it. One of which I want to share with you today. 

It was a mundane moment, really, but the Lord took it and showed me Kingdom principles through it.

Living at the ranch had its perks. The other interns and I stayed at the hotel they have there, and there’s one thing available all day long that they don’t have anywhere else on campus: coffee.

If you’ve ever been to a summer camp, you know how much of a need that coffee is. Or maybe not, but for me it definitely was. And it must not have just been me as one of the cabin leaders asked if I, since I had access to it, could get him some coffee. I was feeling pretty generous that day so I went up the hill and got him some.

After getting the coffee and giving it to this cabin leader, someone else asked me where their coffee was and why I didn’t get them any. In response, I told them that I didn’t know they had wanted coffee because they had never asked for any.

Then it hit me.

They never asked for coffee, and therefore it wasn’t made known to the one who could get it for them.

At that moment, two scriptures came to mind:

“You have not because you ask not”  – James 4:2

and

“Ask and it shall be given to you” – Matthew 7:7

Sometimes we don’t get what we need or desire because we don’t ask. Philippians 4:6 says to make your petitions known to God. He wants to fulfill your needs and desires, but He wants to hear from you. He wants you to ask Him and make your petitions known.

I can hear some of y’all asking yourselves, if God is all-knowing, He then knows exactly what I need so why do I even have to ask?

Yes, God knows exactly what we need before we even ask Him for it (see Matthew 6:8), but God wants us to put our dependence in Him by asking Him and telling him our needs, wants, and desires.

Not only does the Bible say to ask, but it also says to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking (Matthew 7:7). All too often we ask God for something once and expect to get it right then and there, but God is not a genie. Other times we give up too soon. God does things in His timing, not ours. Your blessing could be right around the corner, so never give up! God is always faithful to answer us and meet our needs.

Looking further down in that same chapter in Matthew to verses 9-11 it explains good gift giving. If we know how to give good gifts here on earth to our kids, friends, or family members, “how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.” (v. 11)

God wants to give you good gifts. He wants to bless you. He wants to heal you. He wants to meet your needs and see you prosper. So when you take your needs to God and ask Him, know that He is a good gift giver.

Another thing I want to add on as well… When the cabin leader asked for coffee, he was specific and asked for cream. He was specific when he asked, and God wants you to ask in the same manner — specifically.

My Nana could testify to this. If you knew my Nana, you’d know that she is a social butterfly and loves to be on the go. At one point, her and my Pawpaw had only one vehicle, and he would take it to work leaving her at the house with no car and no means of getting anywhere while he was at work.

So every morning, my Nana would look out her front window at the empty driveway and thank the Lord for providing for her a little, green, four door Ford Aspire. Every day for a couple of months she faithfully did this, even with the discouragement coming from my Pawpaw telling her not to get her hopes up. She instead replaced that negativity and replaced it with what God says: ask and it shall be given to you. Sure enough, one day my Pawpaw brought that exact same car home: a little, green, four door Ford Aspire. 

You see, she asked for specific and she was steadfast in her God knowing He would follow through on His Word. Because she didn’t allow the negative words to stop her, the Lord was able to bless her with the car.

So if you were to ask for a bike, nothing specific, you might not get one in a color you fancy. But if you were to ask for a specific bike in a specific color, making your request known to God who loves to give good gifts, He would give it to you.

The point of the whole thing is to ask, be specific, and never give up. 

If it looks like it could never happen in the natural, never give up! 

If it looks like, from a human point of view, that it’s too late, don’t give up! 

If your hope is being lost, DON’T give up! 

Though people may try to get you to give up and think negative and not get your hopes up, you stand on the Word, tell them what the Word of God says, and never give up!!

God is working and He is moving on your behalf, so don’t give up on Him. Keep on praying. Don’t look at your circumstances, or allow what’s going on around you or what people are saying move you, but stand firm in Him knowing that He WILL come through because HE is a FAITHFUL God.

Keep on praying and never give up. This is effective prayer.

Stand firm in Him.

Caleigh

______________________________________

7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

M A T T H E W  7 : 7 – 8   N L T


An adventurer and coffee enthusiast at heart, Caleigh Ball has a passion for reaching out to others to inspire them to live with intention and purpose. As an ordained minister, she spends her time ministering as a youth pastor and is actively involved in Arise Ministries as the vice president and bookkeeper as well as one of the ministers. She enjoys life with her husband, Emmanuel, and their cat, Alaska, in their home state, Almost Heaven West Virginia.

Find Caleigh on Instagram at @caleigh.ball 

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