How to Pray: 10 Tips for a Better Prayer Life / by Patti Greene
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Matthew 26:41 states, “Watch and pray, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
As believers, we are all given the privilege of praying, but why do we fail at it? Sometimes we don’t want to pray or we don’t know how to pray. Satan will do all he can to stop us from praying through apathy, distractions, laziness, or sin. In our flesh, we don’t have the strength to pray as we ought to. But, God’s Holy Spirit will empower us to pray and help us in with our prayer life.
10 Tips for a Better Prayer Life
Understand there is a scriptural basis for prayer.
God specifically tells us to pray. The principle of ‘calling on God’ is mentioned multiple times in Scripture. The Bible tells us to pray explicitly and the LORD will answer our prayers and tell us great and hidden things not known (Jer. 33:3).
Use a framework when praying.
Prayer consists of many aspects—praise, worship, thanksgiving, confession, and petition. People from both the Old Testament and New Testaments prayed. Prayer unleashes the Holy Spirit and ignites a change in us. God’s people and God’s church are empowered through prayer (Phil. 4:6-7).
Understand we are called to pray.
Believers are called to pray. God can do whatever he wants to do, but he delights in working through our prayers. Praying takes discipline. It is our responsibility to pray for ourselves and for the needs of others. Sometimes we hesitate to pray because we do not believe that there will be results (1 Sam. 12:23).
God wants us to ask for what we need. The Bible mentions numerous things we can pray about for ourselves or for others such as, good health, God’s will, wisdom, and strength. Matthew 7:11b states, “How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (2 Chron. 1:11-12a).
Be bold—do not be general or half-hearted in our requests to God. God wants us to be bold in our prayers. Ask the LORD for a verse to speak especially to us. Claim God’s promises in prayer. We can start with John 15:7, John 15:16, and John 16:23-24 (Acts 4:31).
Pray the Scriptures.
Many people have discovered the power of praying Scriptures in their communication with God; thus, developing confidence in their prayers. To “pray the Scriptures,” try substituting names, pronouns, places, and circumstances into the Word of God (Heb. 4:12).
Agree in prayer.
Sometimes we pray with no results. This might be a time to call for others to pray with us. Jesus promises to be with us when two or more are gathered in his name. When united in prayer, God’s power multiples as our prayers are uplifted and intertwined in the Holy Spirit (Matt. 18:19-20).
Read the Bible in addition to praying.
2 Tim. 2:15 says to, “Study to show thyself approved unto God.” Spending time in Bible study and prayer causes our spirits to become sensitive to his leading. Succumbing to today’s culture of liberalism is easy, but when the words of God dwell within his people, we are less likely to be led astray (James 1:5).
Believe in his divine providence.
The universe is not governed by fate. God is in control of every occurrence in the universe. All that happens is because it is either his will or he allowed it. Because God is involved in everything in the world, he able to answer our prayers because he sees the big picture unfolding in our lives. (Ps. 103:19).
Pray for God’s will.
While there is no set procedure for knowing God’s will, his will never contradicts what his Word says. With Biblical guidance, prayer, counsel of mature believers, faith, glimpses from the Holy Spirit, and sometimes miraculous intervention, revelation of his will is possible (Heb. 11:8).
God Bless. And if you have any tips for readers, please comment so we can all learn together. Thank you.
Patti Greene, Member Inspirational Writers Alive
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:18
Heavenly Father, with thanksgiving, I call on your name. Teach me how to pray. Let me hear, understand, and feel your presence. Holy God, guard my steps, and let my requests be in line with your will. Let me do what is right in your sight, O Holy God.
Bisango, John. The Power of Positive Praying. Nashville: B&H, 1979.
Greene, Patti. Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer. Bloomington: WestBow, 2016.
Rogers, Adrian. “Prayer #2064”. www.youtube.com. 1 Jan 2017.
This blog is taken from the “How to Pray” section of Answer Me: Developing a heart for prayer.
Bible text verses are taken from the English Standard Version Bible. Linked verses are taken from the New American Standard Bible.
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