The phrase “Be fruitful…(Genesis 1:28)” denotes Divine intimacy. Until you are rooted in the right soil, fruitfulness is redundant. God is the source of your life from where all divine blessings for fruitfulness flow. Regarding fruitfulness, intimate friendship with God is not optional. Rather is a Divine protocol for productivity. Where you are planted determines the quality of your fruitfulness (Psalm 92:13-14). Jesus called us “branches” who must continuously attach to the vine (Jesus Christ) in order to be fruitful (John 15:5). It is only by remaining attached to the Vine that fruitfulness is guaranteed. Remember, an answered prayer is a fruitful prayer and unanswered prayer is a fruitless one.
Until you are connected in intimate friendship with God, your prayer has no capability to deliver. What you are connected to is the force that causes your prayer to be fruitful. The miraculous will flow from God to you. But if you are disconnected from Divine supplies, spiritual drought is inevitable. And where there is a drought, fruitfulness does not prosper. That is why Jesus said in John 15:7 that, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” The first protocol for effective prayer is Divine intimate connection.
Jesus reiterated this divine principle when He taught his disciples to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. He said, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven…” In other words, if you desire to see the fruits of your prayers, you will have to; first of all, develop a father-child relationship with God. The first step to effective prayer is to acknowledge and relate to God as your heavenly father. There has to be a relationship. There has to be a transfer of status (Colossians 1:13).
Divine adoption has to take place. You will have to surrender your life to Jesus and become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (James 5:16b). The Spirit of Sonship has to be deposited on the inside of you (Romans 8:15). Until God becomes your Father, your prayer remains futile (Psalm 66:8). If God is not your Father yet, all the blessings you currently enjoy are just products of God’s unfailing mercies towards you. But the place of unprecedented power is a place of intimate relationship with the father through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).
In prayer, it is not a matter of saying right words; rather it is a matter of having in place a healthy relationship with God as your heavenly father. For your prayers to be effective, God must be pleased. He has to respond favourably. But until you approach the throne of grace by the blood of Christ and become adopted into the family of God through the Holy Spirit, your prayers have no power to deliver. Remember the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who thought they could pray the way Paul prayed and perform the kinds of miracles Paul performed. I’m sure you recall the end of the story; they were torn apart by the evil spirit they were trying to cast out (Acts 19:13-16). Prayer that is not offered under the platform divine parenthood has no capability to unlock the miraculous.
Furthermore, it is possible to be a born again Christian and still not effective regarding prayer. The reason is that God desires quality relationship. He wants your heart first. Until your heart is totally devoted to Him, your words won’t commit Him. The quality of your relationship with your heavenly father decides how effective your prayers will be. Miracles are divine favours. But the favour of God in your life will always be proportionate to the quality of your devotion to Him (Acts 10:34). Miracles are God’s reactions to human compliance to Divine purpose. Now let’s look at the second foundational principle crucial for effective prayer.
Obedience is the honouring of divine instructions. In the Kingdom of God, the place of obedience is the place of power and glory (Psalm 84:11-12). The arena of obedience is the territory of the open heaven (Matthew 3:16; Acts 7:56). Favour is a divine gift, but obedience is human decision. Everyone decides the magnitude of His divine influence (2 Timothy 2:20-21). Disobedience destroys the capability of human words to unleash Divine presence.
Let’s look at Genesis 1:28 again. “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Now, remember this is a divine mandate for man. It was God’s first instruction to man. It was so important that it was first on God’s priority lists of instructions. Therefore it matters immensely to God.
I have already looked at the first phrase, “be fruitful…” meaning that you need to connect to God, since He is the source of your fruitfulness. Then the remaining four instructions (multiply, fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion) are specific instructions that can only be actualised once you’ve begun to bear fruits. Multiplication is impossible until you have the capability to produce fruits. Likewise, you cannot produce fruits unless you are rooted in the right soil.
Notice this expression, “And God blessed them. And God said to them…,” meaning that God blessed them first (empowered them to prosper), then give them an instruction to follow. I believe the word “Blessed” here carried a different impartation from the instruction that follow. As I have explained earlier on, God basically imparted His Divine enablement in to man so that He can use His in-built treasures for exploit. Remember man was made in God’s image. He was already loaded with divine qualities. He was a product of God’s own breathe. He already carried the life of God.
Therefore, in this verse, there was a time for divine commissioning and a time to give man a pivotal instruction. This is because it is man’s obedience to these instructions that will determine his effectiveness and exploits on the earth. Here is the powerful message in it; God is saying that now that you’ve been furnished with enormous potential and have obtained divine backing, here is the instruction code for your fulfilment on the earth. Here is your assignment on the earth.
Although these instructions are God’s purposes for man, they are not inevitable. They will not be achieved unless man obeys and deliberately takes actions towards their fulfilment. Why? This is because God created man in His image. In other words, man is god on the earth and must decide his own destiny (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34). You are a free-will being. Whatever you decide on is your future. Your future is hidden in your own decisions. That is why unless you decide that you will go heaven, you will not end up there. Your destiny is simply a fruit of decisions.
Here are the critical questions that will determine how influential and effective your words (prayers) will be on the earth; are connected to God as your source for fruitfulness? Are you being fruitful with the gifts, talents, personalities and opportunities God has given to you (1 Peter 4:10)? What are the qualities of the fruits you are bearing? Have you committed to multiplying your fruitfulness so that you can expand the kingdom of God here on earth? Are you filling the earth with the fragrance, knowledge and the love of God through your divine deposits? Lastly, are you dominating your territories by confessing the Word, exercising your faith and exerting your divine authority over every situation as a representative of God on the earth?
Seeking the expansion of the kingdom of God here on earth is proof of passion. When kingdom’s prosperity becomes your ultimate passion, your supplications become heaven’s priorities. This is the focus. This is the mandate-to use every divine gift in us for the multiplication and expansion of the purpose of God in our generation. When God’s goals become your goals, angels will rally to ensure that swift answers are delivered to your address. When you prioritise the establishment of the will of the will of God on the earth, uncommon favour is inevitable. No wonder Jesus said in Matthew 3:33 that we should seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Your obedience is more important to God than your worship (1 Samuel 15:22). Why is it so? First, God interprets obedience as love (John 14:21). The only way God measures our love is through our obedience (John 14:23). Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” God is Love and obedience is the divine attribute that lifts us into the realm of the love of God where the power of God resides (1 John 4:8). Second, obedience is proof of faith, and faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). God is pleasured when He senses the fragrance of faith through your obedience. Third, obedience is the activator of God’s covenants with man (Genesis 22:15-18). When you obey God’s instruction to be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and dominate, you schedule divine preferential treatment and the promises of His covenants are released unto you (Exodus 19:5).
The importance of being in the centre of God‘s will here on earth cannot be overemphasised. Focussing on the will of God is so crucial that Jesus prioritised it, as He taught His disciples the model for prayer.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10
According to Barnes notes, the expression “Hallow be your name..” means “”Let thy name be celebrated, venerated, and esteemed as holy everywhere, and receive from all people proper honour.” In other words, it is your conscious and focused desire to see the names of the Lord exalted and respected throughout the earth. It is a passionate dedication to the course of the gospel on the earth.
Likewise, “…your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” also focuses on the fulfilment of divine mandate on the earth. Jesus revealed to us in the above verse a powerful secret to effective prayer, which is to pursue the establishment of the will of God here on earth. The petition is simply saying; reign in the heart of everyone Lord! May obedience to your divine mandates prevail in every single heart Lord! May your will be our focus on the earth as it is over there in Heaven Lord!
When you live the will of God and use all your gifts, opportunities, resources and influence towards the fulfilment of God’s will, your prayers starts to touch a special place in God’s heart. Elijah, a passionate worshipper of Jehovah, prayed that it would not rain on the land and heaven obeyed his voice. It did not rain for three and a half years (James 5:17-18). He was a man of integrity. He walked with God with such passion and devotion that his prayers became extremely powerful. This is because, on such level of passion for God, even your supplications are the will of God themselves.
God desires your relationship and obedience. When your intimacy with God and your obedience are in place, whatever supplications you bring before the Lord become seeds for miracles. Remember that God knows your needs before you ask for them (Matthew 6:25-32). But He wants to make sure your focus is right. When you to seek the Giver first, and not the gift, your prayers become capable of delivering results.
In summary, prayer is crucial to our fulfilment in life as believers. But for our prayers to be effective, two decisive foundations must be in place, Divine intimacy with God and the willingness to obey divine instructions. We were designed for relationship. And in this relationship, obedience is the covenant-duty of man. Obedience pleases God and schedules man for unprecedented favour. Therefore, if you desire to command heaven’s attention, start to build your relationship with God through the help of the Holy Spirit. Begin to receive His strength to abide in the place of obedience. As you do, heavens will open up over you, and you will become the custodian of the Heavenly treasures.
Below are 8 necessary ingredients for effective prayer.
8 Components to Effective prayers
- Know God as your Father. ““In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father…“ Effective prayers are fruits of a father-child relationship with God (Matthew 7:9-11).
- Know Him as Omnipresent and Omnipotent Father. “…our father who art in heaven.” It is important to recognise that God is not like your earthly father with flaws and limitations. Your heavenly father is the Almighty God. The heaven of heavens cannot contain His glory (1 Kings 8:27). His power, majesty and dominion know no bound.
- Come by the covenant of the blood and name of Jesus. Approach God with full understanding of Christ’s redemptive work at Calvary that gave us access into God’s inner sanctuary (Hebrews 6:19-20). Pray in the name of Jesus.
- Enter into His presence with praise. Praise and worship is the protocol for entering into the presence of God (Psalm 100:4-5). Your ability to prioritize praise and worship reveals dedication, which is the secret to divine exploits.
- Humble yourself before His majestic presence. Humility is a seed for mercy. Confess your sins to Him (Psalm 66:18). Tell Him about your struggles and weaknesses. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6; 2 Chronicles 7:14
- Pray scripturally. Ask according to His Will. God does nothing outside His Will. The will of God is the mind of God. The mind of God is His word–the Bible. Examine your motives. If you ask with wrong motives, no amount of fasting and paying will make God answer your prayer (James 4:3). Furthermore, identify a specific promise in the bible that is related to your request and present it to God in prayer (Isaiah 43:26). The word of God is impregnated with the miraculous.
- Pray expectantly. Expect answers in faith. Faith is confidence in God. Faith is to consider Him faithful who has promised (Hebrews 11:11). Doubt displeases God, but faith pleases Him (Hebrews 11:6).Answered prayers are what happens when God is pleased. Doubts sabotages miracles (James: 6-7). Faith is a divine authorization for the miraculous. Be specific (Mark 11:22-24) and avoid unnecessary repetitions (Matthew 6:7). Be clear and straight-forward (Ecclesiastes 5:2).
- Rely on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows the mind of God. He will guide, strengthen and interceded on your behalf according to the will of God (1 Corinthians 2:10; Romans 8:26-27; Ephesians 6:18).