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Keys to Effective Prayer

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard
The Truth Network Radio
March 29, 2021 8:00 am

Keys to Effective Prayer

Destined for Victory / Pastor Paul Sheppard

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March 29, 2021 8:00 am

Developing a prayer life that is meaningful and effective; using "P.R.A.Y." as an acronym to give you prayer reminders; based on 1 Thess. 5:17 and other passages.

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The first is praise God continually and the second is proclaim who you are in Him. When you think of the P in pray, then think about praising God continually and think about proclaiming who you are in Him.

You may already know who you are, but do you know who you are in Christ? Hello and thanks for stopping by for this Monday edition of Destined for Victory. Today Pastor Paul Shepherd begins a two-part message about prayer and to help you remember the key steps to an effective prayer life, he'll use the acronym P-R-A-Y. As you heard just now, the P stands for praising God continually and proclaiming who you are in Christ. Today's message is straight ahead, so stay with us if you can, or visit to listen anytime on your schedule. That's

You can also listen to the podcast at Apple Podcasts or wherever you get yours. Now, here's Pastor Paul with today's Destined for Victory message, keys to effective prayer. First Thessalonians 5 17 says, pray without ceasing.

That's your next cliff note. Pray without ceasing. Last time we looked at the phrase before it, rejoice evermore or rejoice always, some translations say.

We talked about making the choice to rejoice. Now, we want to look at this phrase, pray without ceasing, and I've named this message, keys to effective prayer. I've preached a lot of different series over the years. We'll continue to preach them for as many more years as the Lord blesses me to be a preacher of the word because we've got to help people learn how to pray and pray well. And so what you have here is keys to effective prayer. That's what I want to share with you in these moments, keys to effective prayer. Now, I realize many of you did not come from a Christian background. Many people were discipling these days, didn't grow up in a home where you went to church every Sunday, where Bible reading was normative, where prayer was normative.

I realize that. Thank God that you're following the Lord now or you who are seekers. Thank God that you're investigating the claims of the gospel now.

Don't feel the least bit funny that you don't come from a Christian background because it's our job as leaders in the body of Christ to disciple you, to bring you along in the things of God. And so I want to help you develop a prayer life that is both meaningful and effective. And in this particular time of preaching about prayer, here's the way I want to do it. I'm going to take the letters P-R-A-Y and just give you four helpful nuggets that will ensure that you can build a prayer life. Here's why that's important because if you don't come from a prayer background, you say, well, why would Paul say pray without ceasing? Why in the world would somebody pray all the time?

I'm glad you asked. There are four categories of things that'll just help you keep in mind why prayer is important and how effective prayer can go forth in your life. Let's start with the P. The P stands for two things that I want to encourage you to think about as you think about developing a prayer life. The first is praise God continually. And the second is proclaim who you are in him.

When you think of the P in pray, then think about praising God continually and think about proclaiming who you are in him. Now, why would I praise God continually? Because that is something that people who have walked with God down through the ages learned to do. For instance, you can recall if you're a Bible reader that David said in Psalm 34 one, I will bless the Lord, how often?

At all times. He said, I will bless the Lord at all times. And his praise shall continually look at the language be in my mouth. David said, I'm going to praise God all the time. I will praise him constantly. This was a man in the Old Testament era, but he learned the benefit of praising God all the time.

Why would you do that? Because God blesses you all the time. Every moment of every day, you're living under the blessing of God.

And so it is right. It is appropriate to praise God continually. I will bless the Lord at all times.

David said something else in Psalm 113 verse 3. He said this, from the rising of the sun to its going down, the Lord's name is to be praised. From the rising of the sun, what's he mean? He said, from the time I wake up and see God has blessed me with another way, to the going down of the same.

What's he saying? From morning, noon and night, I will praise God. I will bless him from the rising of the sun. That's why some of us who were raised in a good old church tradition, we heard the saints pray. They taught us to pray like that. Lord, thank you for waking me up this morning and starting me on my way. If you were Baptist, you heard stuff like, thank you, that my bed wasn't my cooling board and my sheet wasn't my winding sheet, all of that stuff.

But whatever you heard, that's some of the old fashioned praying. But what they were doing is saying, the Lord blessed me and from the moment I woke up and saw that he had given me another day, I started blessing his name. You say, but pastor, there are days that are lousy. There are days that I'm miserable.

There are days when I can hardly stand it and I go through trouble and trials and heartbreak and all kinds of things, vicissitudes of life. Why would I praise God then? I'm so glad you asked because you don't just praise God for what's happening. You praise him when good things happen, but you praise him essentially for who he is because it is who he is that's going to get you through what you got to go through. And so you praise him not only in the good times, you praise him in the bad.

Let me point out one thing to you. In the Old Testament book of Job chapter one verse 21, you've heard the story of Job. Even if you're not all that familiar with the Bible, read the story of Job and on the literally on the worst day of his life, Job said, the Lord gave, the blood has taken away. Then what did he say?

Blessed be the name of the Lord. Job wasn't skipping and dancing and shouting when he said that they didn't have the Hammond B three going. Job wasn't turning corners and all that.

No. What Job did was with tears streaming down his face with a body wracked with pain. Job said, this is a horrible experience, but I'm not going to charge God foolishly. He said, blessed be the name of the Lord. My brother, my sister, I came to tell you that you need to learn how to praise God all the time. Don't just praise him when you got money, praise him when you're broke. Don't just praise him when you're healthy, praise him when you're sick. Don't just praise him when you got a raise on your job. Praise him when they hand you the pink slip. Don't just praise him when you got a brand new car. Praise him when your car broke down.

Whatever is going on that's not to your liking. Don't withhold God's praise. Don't hold praise hostage waiting for you to feel better.

Oh, I just said something. You need to hear that again. Don't hold praise hostage, say I'm not releasing you just cause you waiting to feel better. You got to praise him anyhow. Sometime you got to give God an anyhow praise. I don't like what I'm going through, but I'm going to praise him anyhow. Sometime you say hallelujah just to make the devil mad. He's thinking that he did his best to wipe you out.

And he's sitting saying, now I'm going to watch, see what she does now, see what he's doing now that I threw that at him. And imagine how he's going to feel when he sees you worshiping, even if you're worship while tears are streaming, even if you're worship with pain in your body, even if you're worship in the worst of moments, God is worthy of your praise. So let the P and pray remind you to praise God continually. Let it also remind you to proclaim who you are in him. Often when we pray, it's a good idea to tell God you're appreciating the fact that he has given you status in his kingdom.

How wonderful it is. These days people with social media always talking about status, changing their status and all that. I came to tell somebody something, God changed your status eternally when he gave you Jesus Christ as your savior. And part of why you can praise God is you proclaim who you are in him.

Thank you Lord. And so, you know, there are lots of different ways to do that. For decades, my wife was the first one I ever saw do it. She had an A through Z list of things she was glad about in terms of the status God had given her. Over the years I've developed my own.

Some is similar to her, some is different. You can develop your own because there are so many different things in scripture you can praise God for. But let me just give you the list that I operate from. When I want to celebrate who I am in Christ from A to Z, I got my own list. Now don't y'all try to write these down because I'm going to run through it quickly. I got a whole lot more message to preach.

And don't y'all stop me and say, hey man, what was C? I can't do that. So what I did was I put it on the website.

Go to right now and you will see reasons to celebrate who I am in Christ right there. And it's a PDF. You can just see it right there. Take your own notes. So let me run this down and don't ask me to stop.

I can't do it. I got too much preaching to do. You're listening to Destin for Victory with Pastor Paul Shepherd, Senior Pastor of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, California. He'll be right back with the second half of today's message. But first, an important reminder. If you haven't already, be sure to download our free mobile app so that you can listen to Destin for Victory right in the palm of your hand anytime. The app is very easy to navigate. You can even take notes on Pastor Paul's messages, so they'll be there the next time you tune in.

Search Destin for Victory in your app store and download it today absolutely free. You may view yourself the way others see you or the way you see you. But what about the way God sees you? For the next few minutes let's take a look at what God says about you.

Here's Pastor Paul Shepherd with the rest of today's message, Keys to Effective Prayer. A, I praise God that I'm accepted as God's child according to Ephesians 1-6. B, I'm blessed with every spiritual blessing according to Ephesians 1-3. C, I'm chosen by Christ, 1 Peter 2-9. D, I'm a disciple of Christ, Matthew 28-19. E, I'm empowered by the Holy Spirit, Acts 1-8.

F, I'm forgiven by God, Ephesians 4-32. G, I'm a grace recipient, Ephesians 2-8. H, I'm an heir of God, Romans 8-17. I, I'm an imitator of the Lord, Ephesians 5-1. J, I'm justified by faith, Romans 5-1.

K, I'm a kingdom citizen, 2 Thessalonians 1-5. L, I'm loved by God, 1 John 3-1. M, I'm more than a conqueror, Romans 8-37. N, I am a new creation, 2 Corinthians 5-17.

O, I'm an overcomer, 1 John 5-4. P, I'm predestined to be like Christ, Romans 8-29. Q, I'm qualified to be a child of God, Colossians 1-12. R, I'm redeemed, Galatians 3-13. S, I'm saved, Ephesians 2-8. T, I'm a temple of the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6-19.

U, I'm unashamed of the Gospel, Romans 1-16. V, I'm victorious in Christ, 1 Corinthians 15-57. W, I'm God's workmanship, Ephesians 2-10. X, I expect God to move on my behalf, Psalms 20-62 and 5. Y, I have a yoke that is easy to bear, according to Matthew 11-30.

And Z, I'm zealous unto good works, Titus 2-14. Those are just some of the ways I praise God for the status He's given me in the kingdom. You can always thank God for who you are. If at the moment you're not thanking Him because of the great things that you're experiencing, some more goodness is coming. But in the meantime, just praise Him for who He is and for the status He's given you. When you are a child of God, you know that even when you're walking through the valley of the shadow of death, you don't have to fear evil.

Why? Because He's with you and He is going to bring you out of that valley. Some of y'all are still bemoaning the fact that you're in a valley. Uh-uh, don't camp out in the valley.

Don't buy real estate in the valley because that's not your destination. Keep moving through the valley because He's taken you to a table prepared for you in the very presence of your enemies. So I want somebody to understand you can develop a meaningful and effective prayer life if you'll just remember P means praise Him continually and proclaim who you are in Him and be mindful, ever mindful of who you are.

It's because of who He's made you to be. You know you're going to come through and you're going to come out. Let me begin to give you the R points and then we'll take a break and I'll pick it up on the other side and give you the rest of this message. Let the R in pray remind you to do two other things. First, to repent when you fall short and to reconcile your differences with others.

Now this is extremely important when it comes to the matter of prayer and that's why I'm giving you these nuggets to help you hold on to. When you pray, praise Him continually, proclaim who you are, but the R is very important. Repent when you fall short and reconcile your differences with others.

Let's start with repent. When you fall short and guess what? Every child of God falls short in word, deed, in thought, in motivation. Every now and then you will fall short. I know you know some folk who believe nobody can spot my life.

I've heard all of these folks say that all the years. Oh, nobody can spot my life. Well, they just can't spot certain things about your life, but let me just help you. There's some stuff every now and then where you fall short. You ever had a funky attitude when God didn't want you to have one? You fell short, so don't just quit tripping, acting like you are walking in literal perfection.

That's not for this world. You should be moving better. You should be gaining more spiritual ground, but all of us are subject to come short in one way or another just because you haven't had some particular moral failure. You could have had a failure in your thought life.

You could have had a failure in your spoken life. You could have had all kinds of things go awry from where God wanted you to go, and so when you fall short, repent. Here's what the Bible says in 1 John 1 and 9. It says that if we confess our sins, what? He is faithful and just to do what?

To forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So here's what you do. When you fall short, get that taken care of right away. You say, oh Lord, I blew that. I shouldn't have said that. I shouldn't have done that.

I shouldn't have thought that. I missed it. I didn't do what I was supposed to do. I had the wrong attitude.

Come on, I need somebody to be honest with me. I know you're watching at home wherever you are, but just tell me, just shout back out loud to the screen, say you're right pastor. Every now and then I see I've fallen short in some way in my words, in my deeds, in my attitude, in something I failed to do that I should have done. When you fall short, don't keep that account open. Close it through saying I repent Lord. I'm sorry.

I'm sorry. And you already have forgiveness. First John 1-9 told you when you confess, he is faithful. God won't hold out. God will say, oh no, I'm sick of how many times you've done this. I'm not forgiving you this time.

Thank God he doesn't treat his children like that. If you confess, he is faithful. He is just to forgive you and to cleanse you of all unrighteousness. So that's the first thing I want you to remember about the R. Repent when you fall short.

Here's the second thing. Reconcile your differences with others. Now this one is really, really important because God in his word says very clearly, if you want me to forgive you, you must forgive other people.

Oh, now somebody doesn't like that. You're sorry that you came to this service, but too late you here. You need that word because it's straight out of the book. When you seek to live under God's forgiveness and who doesn't need God's forgiveness? That's the only way I get saved is I receive his forgiveness.

I trust that what Christ did on Calvary is payment for my sins. When I walk as a recipient of God's grace, I am mandated by scripture to reconcile, that's the word, reconcile my differences with others. Now let me, before I take you to the scriptures, let me help you understand right away. That doesn't mean you have to reconcile a relationship that's broken, especially if you're dealing with somebody who doesn't want to reconcile with you. God doesn't require that you reconcile with people when they won't reconcile with you, but God says you've got to reconcile your differences in your heart.

So I'm going to make that really clear. First of all, you've got to see that this is a biblical thing. Remember when Jesus gave us the model of prayer? We call it the Lord's Prayer. It's really not the Lord's Prayer. It's not a prayer he prayed. It's a prayer he taught us to pray. His disciples said to him, teach us to pray. And as a result of that, he said, here's how you can pray.

And he gave us categories. He gave us some items, some agenda items of prayer. And one of them is he said, forgive us, Lord, our sins, our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, or some translation say forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Look at how Jesus tied your forgiveness from God to your willingness to release your debtors. He said, Lord, forgive me because I've come short, but as I do that, I've got to forgive those who have sinned against me.

Now, brothers and sisters, let's just be honest. There are times when people have wronged you, and they could care less about how you feel about it. In fact, some folk have wronged you, and they wish they could have done more. If you got the kind of enemies I got, you got some that are mad that they didn't get you better than they got you.

They wanted you all the way wiped out, and you still got a little life in you, and they don't like it. Let me tell you something. My brother, my sister, I am not held hostage by the hatred, by the unforgiveness, by any malice in the heart of another individual. You don't get to keep me from being blessed. I'm going to be blessed.

Why? Because I've received his forgiveness, and although you don't want mine, I release you from my heart so that I am free to move on. Now, I'm going to explain to you in just a moment, there's a caveat that's important, which is you don't necessarily have to speak words of forgiveness to a person who is hateful and doesn't want your forgiveness, but you can release them in your heart. Praise God continually. Proclaim who you are in Christ.

Repent when you fall short. Those are the first three keys to an effective prayer life. We'll pick it up right here tomorrow in Pastor Paul Shepherd's message, Keys to Effective Prayer. Well, speaking of prayer, the Destined for Victory ministry team would like to pray for you. If you're struggling to develop an effective prayer life, if you're going through a season of trials or uncertainty, please stop by and use the contact us feature to share what's on your heart. While you're there, be sure to sign up for Pastor Paul's monthly letter of encouragement, yours at no cost or obligation. Again, our web address is

As you may know, Destined for Victory is a listeners supported ministry, one that depends on your financial support to reach the world for Christ. So as God leads, we hope you'll consider making a generous donation today. And when you do, please be sure to request this month's special offer, Pastor Paul's booklet, Your Purpose is Calling. God often uses other people to push us into fulfilling our God given purpose.

He also uses challenges or crises to help steer us in the right direction. In Your Purpose is Calling, Pastor Paul shares three directives for anyone trying to discover his or her purpose. That's Your Purpose is Calling, our gift to you today by request for your generous gift to Destined for Victory. Call us at 855-339-5500 to give over the phone or mail your gift to Destined for Victory, post office box 1767, Fremont, California 94538. You can also make a safe and secure donation from our website,

Thanks in advance for helping keep Destined for Victory on the air. Let the A remind you to ask what you desire. I not only praise, I not only proclaim, I not only repent, I not only reconcile, but I do get to ask. Prayer is about many things. One of them is, I get to ask God for what I desire. That's tomorrow when Pastor Paul Shepherd shares his message, Keys to Effective Prayer. Until then, they'll remember, he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion. In Christ, you are destined for victory.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-10 09:57:36 / 2023-12-10 10:07:06 / 10

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