We are at a time now when there is a lot of pressure on Christians, and on actively ministering Christians in some intense ways as our Father prepares His Family for the influx of people He wishes to bring into His Kingdom. It is even more important for us to depend on Him right now as we walk through battle after battle, with the enemy of our souls shifting ground to wear us down if possible. Prayer is our lifeline at this time and an encouragement burning in me to be written.
The word Prayer is wide ranging in its content, covering a lot of situations, moods and styles. Is there a prayer formula that appears to be answered more often? I have found that the answer is "not really". That is because whatever we think prayer is, it is primarily relationship talk between Dad and me, putting that in a personal way. I put it in that way because prayer is personal and how you pray is very much your space. You own and control it, and our Father will do stuff to keep it that way.
Because it is relationship space first and foremost, it is also your private space before it is public space. There are aspects of prayer that Jesus encouraged us to keep private and one of them is prayer and fasting. Fasting prayer always flushes up the personal aspects that are slowing us down the most. It seems that for about three weeks after every fast I have been on there is a lot of stuff to deal with. So if you are fasting in preparation for a mission or event, it is a good idea to make sure you have enough time to deal with the resulting stuff before you get involved in preparation and work.
I have discovered that while I am fasting, the most answered prayer I can pray from my heart with real meaning is a cry for effectiveness.
Our Father always interprets this cry in the best ways, and starts to address the area of my soul that needs to change in order to bring about more large-perspective effectiveness. I discovered that He values and moves swiftly to work with me and for me, to bring about effectiveness in every area of my life. He has a holistic view and perspective which we can implicitly trust to work for our highest good. Always.
People ask what I think they should be praying for. Some of these people are looking for a prophetic answer that helps them focus on getting closer to Dad, others are looking for anything that helps, and it can be difficult to give them the simple answer they are wanting. In all the journey I have been through, I have discovered that there are only a small number of prayers that get Dad's attention and action straight away. One of them is a heart cry for effectiveness. Effectiveness is a word that can be used in small ways or large. It is a word that can be used to describe an overview concept while at the same time including several underlying areas of effectiveness that are all part of the overall picture.
As an example, some years ago I was praying for what I thought was "my ministry" at that time. I didn't seem to be getting anywhere with this. There seemed to be no change in the way things were, even though some good things were happening. I was hungry to see the Holy Spirit do more, and was hungry to see (and concerned for) the people around us at the time to grow in Christ more quickly. I knew inside there was more and better and I was unsatisfied and hungry for it. I decided to pray with fasting. After the first two days of hungers had settled down and I was in internal quietness, I heard a question. "Do you want a larger ministry or do you want to be effective?"
That was a question that placed me right between two aspects that I had considered to be the same issue. I felt disturbed and caught between what was now two issues that had my attention - on the one hand to be able to help as many people as possible, and on the other to influence real, lasting and deep differences to people's lives. The desire to be popular raised its voice inside me as well, but I knew at the back of my mind my answer was effectiveness.
Dad was silent for a while as the thought processes continued through my mind and heart, weighing up the values of reaching many with the values connected with effectiveness. After some serious pondering had taken place later that day, I realised that what I had been crying out to Him for was in fact effectiveness. My cry was not really about size. At that point of my life He began to change the way He was talking to me and a new dimension came into my interactions with people. Prayer will take you into relationship spaces you were not expecting, and it should. A prayer life that is fully under your control will be lacking the "God Factor" that you need.
I will go so far as to say that relationship with your Father in heaven is absolutely vital. Prayer, both personal and prophetic, is a result of that relationship. The many aspects of prayer should be influenced and driven by that relationship. Jesus said many times that He had come to reveal the Father, and that He was/is the only way to the Father. Now our function on the earth is to reveal the Father and point the way to the Only Way. This job is part of the Gift of Life we have been given. You cannot do it without Him, and you cannot do it without your communication lines of prayer. If you would like prayer to be a more connected place with Him, ask Him for it and hang out with those who live this way.
If you don't know what to pray for, or how to put it, remember that the Holy Spirit does know! Pray in your heavenly language as well as your own language.