Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
Back to Blog
Prayer that gets God's Attention
Terry R. Baughman
“Confess and acknowledge how you have offended one another and then pray for one another to be instantly healed, for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!” (James 5:16 TPT).
Effective prayers are not from a multitude of words or repetitious phrases. Some of the most powerful prayers are brief utterances expressed in haste, filled with urgency, and spoken in faith. These prayers are not just words of hope-so or maybe-so, but heartfelt passionate expressions of the believer’s heart.
Jesus encountered a father who shared his deep concern for his son, unable to speak and possessed of a spirit that frequently seized him, causing him to fall into water or fire. The man must have been hopeful, but skeptical when he said, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us” (Mark 9:22 NIV). It was a plea of desperation, but short on faith. Jesus pointed this out in His response, “Everything is possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23 NIV). The depths of the man’s pain was revealed in that moment, “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:24 NKJ). The man was moved beyond desperation to faith-filled passion, and Jesus responded by immediately casting out the oppressive spirit and freeing the child.
The prayer of faith is an effective prayer that gets God’s attention. Jesus said, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24 NKJ).
The prayer of fervency also contributes to the effectiveness of obtaining God’s favor. James wrote, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16 NKJ). When we become earnest in our petition and focused with sincerity, prayer becomes powerful. This is noted in the text above, "Tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!" (James 5:16 TPT). Fervent prayer is not necessarily loud and demanding, but intentional and wholehearted.
It is amazing how serious we get about prayer, when it’s something serious. A bad report at the doctor’s office, a phone call to hear of a tragedy, or an ominous change in the weather can cause us to suddenly become intentional about prayer. The more dire the emergency or imminent the threat, the more fervent our prayers become.
Something powerful happens when we feel the pain of another. We become moved with compassion. This is the same visceral reaction Jesus experienced when He saw the great multitude who came out in the wilderness to reach Him, “He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14 NKJ). Jesus is moved to respond when He sees our fervent need expressed in heartfelt faith.
Another key to gaining God’s attention is when we pray in the power of His name. The prayer of authority is effective when we call on the name of Jesus! Following the commission to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel,” Jesus promised that believers would experience great miracles. He said, “In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:15; 17-18 NKJ). We can expect God’s anointing, power, and presence, when we call on the name of Jesus!
The lame man at the beautiful gate was miraculously healed when Peter and John spoke with authority, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6 NKJ). The answer was immediate and the lame man leaped for the first time in his life. It caused a great stir in the city as people gathered around, looking at Peter and John as though they had done something great. Peter was quick to give the glory to Jesus. He said that it was, “His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all” (Acts 4:16 NKJ).
God responds to prayers given through faith, fervency, and in the authority of the name of Jesus.
“Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life” (Ephesians 3:17 TPT).