Each of us has prayed about situations and for other people without seeing results. When that happens, it’s easy to become discouraged. Rather than give up, we should review our lives to see if we need to alter something.

1. Our prayers must flow from a heart that is in step with God. If we want our prayers to be effective, we must be open to His Spirit and be compassionate, forgiving, and sincere as we intercede. Therefore, pray that you will have His love and compassion for others and that you will forgive fully—just as He has forgiven you (Eph. 4:32).

2. Our prayers are a link between our needs and God’s inexhaustible resources. Ask the Lord to reveal your or your loved one’s true needs and His power to meet those needs so that you can intercede in faith.

3. Identify with the need of the other person. To be truly compassionate in our supplication, we must see others through Jesus’ eyes. When we realize that people are truly hurting on the inside, our mercy for them is released, and we can intercede for them with greater zeal, understanding, and emotion.

4. Desire the highest good in the person’s life. We should pray to stay in the center of God’s will and that whomever we are praying for will do so as well. The Father knows what is absolutely best for each person and what it will take to bring him or her closer to Him.

5. Be open to meeting the person’s need. Are you willing for God to use you to meet another person’s need? Will you allow Him to glorify Himself through you? Jesus did not back away from those who were hurting, and neither should we. We are to follow His example and always remember that God blesses us so that we might bless others.

6. Persevere. We must continue praying, regardless of whether we see immediate results or not, because the longer we intercede for a situation or another person, the more tightly our hearts will be knit to God. That in itself is a comfort to those in need. Prayer binds us together with the Father and with others in love and fellowship—with a spiritual bond that lasts into eternity and will certainly be a blessing to us and to others.

Therefore, endure in your loving, compassionate, hopeful supplication for others, and always be confident that: “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16). God is listening, friend. Trust Him.