How to Practice Fervent and Earnest Prayer

It is my contention that we need more praying that is fervent and earnest.  Instead of following hours of news programs and scheduling more discussion forums and worrying in our hearts about the condition of our society, isn’t it time to pray like this?  Instead of wasting hours every day reading the latest blogs of all the leadership gurus and “you can be a success like me” people, shouldn’t we learn how to pray like this?  How do we do it?  I offer three suggestions.

Suggestion 1:  Schedule more time for fervent and earnest prayer. Set aside some prayer time that is beyond your normal praying.  Think through what you long to see and then fervently and earnestly seek God for it.  Is it the conversion of some specific souls?  God can do that.  Some years ago I was working with and mentoring Evangelist David Corn.  Together we had talked about starting a public school ministry that would allow us to conduct assemblies in schools and then subsequently conduct a local church rally that would allow us to reach teens in our public schools.  Everywhere we turned and everything we tried continually lead us to dead end streets.  However, we set aside time one evening and literally poured our hearts out to God and begged Him to do what we were unable to do.  The result was that the very next week God opened several incredible doors and we were able to lead 10 teens to Christ on a public school stage following an assembly and another 49 to Christ at the local church rally the next evening.  As we sought the Lord together during those days we saw dozens saved.  Brother Corn continues in that ministry now and  regularly sees dozens of teens come to Christ as a result.  I am firmly convinced that it was fervent and earnest prayer that changed everything.   God can work and delights to do so!  So schedule more time for prayer.

Suggestions 2:  Invite others to join you for some fervent and earnest praying.  Elijah apparently prayed alone and all of us should learn how to do that.  However, in the early church, as we see often in the book of Acts, they sought the Lord in one accord in one place.  Perhaps we should read through the book and pray for those things for which they prayed.  They prayed for power in order to win souls and God mightily answered.  They prayed for miracles and people were healed, pagans were saved, and prisoners were unusually set free.  They sought God for more laborers and the book is filled with the stories of Peter, Paul, Silas, Barnabas, and Timothy.  Multitudes were saved in city after city and these new believers began meeting together in local church congregations.  You could get the idea that as they focussed on winning souls and training believers, church planting just seemed to take care of itself!  That does seem like a novel idea huh?  Pray fervently and earnestly and with God’s power win souls and train them and assemble them together in local church congregations!  God obviously is able to do great things.

Suggestion 3:  Consider going beyond the ordinary.  Fasting would be and so would extra time.  Even scheduling special times of extended prayer concerning special needs would be.  My pastor friend, whom I mentioned in the beginning of this article, fell under deep conviction as a result of his parents and other Godly believers praying fervently and earnestly.  His wife was immediately and forever delivered from her cigarette addiction in one evening of fervent and earnest prayer that was held at a home of some Godly people.  Perhaps we can even get a glimpse of this kind of praying in the story of Jacob wrestling with the Angel of the Lord!  He spent a whole night doing so and in desperation refused to “let go” early the next morning.  The result was that the deceiving, conniving, supplanting Jacob became a prince with God.  And out of that change, we can read of a son named Joseph, one of the purist, saintliest, and mightiest men who ever lived!

It is called fervent and earnest praying.  I pray that God will increase your faith and that you too will experience the mighty miracles that result from this kind of praying!  We sure need some of those mighty miracles!  Wouldn’t you agree?


3 thoughts on “How to Practice Fervent and Earnest Prayer

  1. Bro. Young this is a really timely and inspiring post. Lynn and I are leaving tomorrow with the Waterloos for a 2 week vacation in Hawaii. It’s their 35th ministry anniversary and our 25th marriage anniversary. Anyway, I bought a special journal just a few days ago with the intent of working on upping my prayer life. I’ve dinked and dunked at prayer journaling, but wanted to really spend some time organizing it so as to aid in this area. We have many fronts for which to pray, our church family and lost souls, daughters in college, teen son, many counseling situations in our church among many other items and I want to be sure that I’m earnestly bringing them before the Lord. Thank you for the inspiration and challenge. You and Mrs. Bethlie are on my list of those going in the prayer journal! We appreciate your ministry so much!


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