Most people believe in prayer. Research has shown that over 80% of the American population has some degree of confidence in the power of prayer, and practice prayer at times.
Sadly, very few people have thought much about how to pray. Prayer to most is quick words spoken to God in a moment of pain or need, hoping that it might help. For many, prayer is more like wishing for something rather than actually asking God for something or seeking God's wisdom about something with confidence and assurance of answers.
How do we pray in a way that works? We must get some “prayer education.” We have to discover the way to pray.
One of Jesus’ disciples understood this need for “prayer education.” He requested some prayer lessons from Jesus:
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray … ” — Luke 11:1 (NLT)
What does the Bible say about the right way to pray?
According to the Bible, a powerful prayer life happens when we:
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. — Psalms 5:3 (NLT)
O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. — Psalm 62:8 (NLT)
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. — Luke 18:1 (NLT)
And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. — Ephesians 5:20 (NLT)
Pray with a surrendered will and a clean heart.
He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” — Matthew 26:39 (NLT)
If I had not confessed the sin in my heart the Lord would not have listened. — Psalms 66:18 (NLT)
Pray with the right motives.
… You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. — James 4:2-3 (NLT)
Pray expecting an answer.
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. — Matthew 7:7-11 (NLT)
Practice prayer God's way and you will see His works in your life!