March 1 "So he left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words." Matthew 26:44 Do you get discouraged in prayer? Do you let a little voice tell you that you've prayed and prayed and nothing happened, so why not just give it up? Friend, don't fall for that lie, for indeed it is a lie, a lie rooted in the enemy's agenda against you. Think about it. Jesus, the Son of God, is portrayed in this passage giving us an example of how to pray. I heard someone say that he prays once and considers it done. I heartily disagree. That's just not how prayer works. Jesus himself prayed three times in this one scene. He prayed repeatedly on the same night, repeating the same words. What does that suggest about prayer? There is a Scripture that has been brought back to mind again and again lately, and I've started praying it every day: "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous one avails much." James 5:16 How does our prayer become effective and fervent? I believe it can only be as one surrenders to the Spirit of God and allows him to lead it. Do you have a burden? Something you've been praying for for a long time? Are you discouraged? Friend, if your burden concerns a loved one, a son or daughter, husband or wife, a close friend or associate, whoever is on your heart, remember one of the most important things you must understand before you engage in this kind of prayer: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies..." Ephesians 6:12 That passage clearly states that if we approach our problem by confronting the person we're praying for, we're going to lose the battle because the Word of God states emphatically that the real enemy is the hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies, demonic spirits sent to discourage you, to stop you, to attack you in many ways especially if you're being effective in your walk before the Lord. In other words, don't engage your son or daughter or husband or wife, they are not the enemy. In order to deal with the real enemy, it MUST be led by the Spirit of God. That's where the prayer must come in, "Lord LEAD me into effective, fervent prayer," and then act only as he leads you. Do not argue with your loved one. Speak only to the Lord, because the battle MUST be won in prayer or you'll fall flat on your face. Take up the shield of faith and stand before the Throne of Grace to obtain MERCY AND GRACE to help in your need (Hebrews 4:16). God is faithful. If you're surrendered to him completely, He will lead you to victory. Pray with me: Father God, I come before the Throne of Grace in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and I pray in his Name. I bring to you this burden, this request which I've prayed for with no apparent success. I'm seeking to be taught by you how to enter into that kind of prayer that is "effective and fervent." I surrender my ways to your ways, and ask you to LEAD me into that effective, fervent prayer that will avail much. Show me HOW to pray, Father. Let your Holy Spirit LEAD me into the effective, fervent prayer that can only be empowered by you. I surrender all to you, my body, my soul, my mind, my emotions, my spirit, and ask you to take over. Let it all flow from you. Teach me, Lord, in this most important element of our walk with you. I'm willing to be taught. Tell me when to pray, when to pray in the Spirit, when to fight, when to be quiet, what to ask for and how to ask, teach me all I need to know so that I may be led into the effective, fervent prayer that your Word speaks of, which will avail much. In Jesus's Name I ask.