How to Pray
Prayer, simply put, is communication with God. It is a heart-to-heart talk with your heavenly Father.
Jesus was so effective in his prayer life that his disciples asked him to teach them how to pray. So he taught what is popularly known as the Lord’s Prayer, which has powerful tips on how to pray.
One day he was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Master, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” So he said, “When you pray, say, Father…” Luke 11:1-2 MSG
The starting point of effective prayer is being aware of your relationship with your Father and your access to Him. He is not just the great Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Consuming Fire or the King of kings. He is your Daddy and His love for you is unimaginable. You may feel like you aren’t worth much. You may feel like God is a distant Entity who is barely concerned about the minute details of your life. That’s not true, He is your Daddy and not one hair on your head falls to the ground without His knowledge!
Every time I read John 17, I cannot get over the ease with which Jesus spoke to his Father. He made prayer appear so easy, like a rich conversation with a dearly beloved friend. All through the gospels, Jesus made loving references to His Father over and over again.
I grew up in a closely knit family. Any of us children could walk up to dad and mum and just have a chat without any apprehension or fear of rejection. On a particular day, I mentioned to my dad that I had wanted to discuss some urgent things with him but noticed he was busy in meetings so I just walked away. He responded very quickly, “Son, you are more important to me than any meeting. Come to me anytime you need to talk to me”. God says the same thing to you, “Son/ daughter, you are more important to Me than anything else. You are VIP and are accepted in the beloved”. (Ephesians 1:6). You may feel like a failure, you may have made mistakes (everyone has), you may feel unworthy but He says “Come to Me, let’s talk, I know you, I will fix you”.
“Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” Hebrews 4:14-16 MSG
A second consideration in prayer is the need to pray according to His will.
…”When ye pray, say….your will be done on earth…” Luke 11:2 NKJV
When you pray, you have to be full of His will – His word. Real prayer reminds God of what He said. It makes demands on the integrity of God’s word and compels Him to be true to what He said. Real prayer tells God,”Lord you said this, now do what you said you would do”.
“And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.” I John 5:14 MSG
There is a confidence that comes from reminding God about something He said, and knowing that He cannot but be true to what He said. When you pray that way, God hears and when he hears, it is as good as done. God actually doesn’t hear every prayer but he hears the prayers of the person that knows and prays his will.
A third important consideration is found in James 5:16 AMP:
“The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].”
For prayer to be effective, it has to be honest and come from the heart. It isn’t just blurting out words from your lips to sound super spiritual or ecclesiastical. Real prayer is pouring out your heart to God. You may feel like you don’t even know how to do that. You probably hit a brick wall when you try to pray or don’t even like praying. You can just open up your heart to Him this way, “God, I don’t feel like praying right now, in fact I don’t enjoy praying. I don’t know what to do about it. Can you please help me out?”
In the Bible, Hannah needed a child and “prayed to God and cried and cried…” (1 Samuel 1: 10 MSG). Her lips moved but her words were barely audible. That simple, yet fervent, heartfelt prayer birthed a miracle that changed her life and also a whole nation! Heartfelt and fervent praying means your heart connects with God and lays hold of the thing you are praying for and would not let go till it happens.
“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord…” Lamentations 2:19 NKJV
Pour out whatever is on your heart before God. I remember one time, I was at a place where I really needed God to move some things on my behalf. It was a very tough situation and it was almost wearing me out. I locked myself in and poured out my heart. “God, if you were where I am now and I was where You are, I would help you sort this out. Dad, I need you to intervene in this matter.” I poured out my soul to the Lord day by day and literally locked myself into Him. He stepped in and intervened marvelously!
So seize the moment and talk to your heavenly Father now. Remind Him of what He said and do it with all your heart. I assure you, your life will never remain the same!
PS: If you have a question on prayer or any other issue, please send us an email or Whatsapp +2348091000078.
By Babajide Adeyemi