Video by DLM Christian Lifestyle

Prayer is an essential part of the Christian life. God expects us to pray and wants to hear from us.

He asks us to pray about everything and promises to answer our prayers according to His will (Philippians 4:6-7, 1 John 5:14-15).

But how exactly should we pray? What does it mean to pray correctly?

In this article, I’ll explore what the Bible teaches about effective prayer. You’ll learn how to pray in a way that connects you with God and strengthens your faith.

What Does it Mean to Pray Correctly?

How to pray correctly

To pray correctly means to pray in a way that aligns with biblical principles and brings you closer to God. It means praying with the right attitude and motives.

Praying correctly isn’t about using certain words or following a specific formula.

  • It’s about having a conversation with God from an authentic place, bringing your real thoughts, needs, and emotions to Him.
  • It’s conversing with God as you would with a friend.

The Bible teaches that Christianity is simply having a relationship with God.

Through prayer, you’ll develop intimacy with our Father in Heaven, get to know His heart more, and align your life with His purposes.

As you learn to pray correctly, your prayer life will become more meaningful, effective, and rewarding.

Learn How to Pray Correctly

How To Pray

The Bible guides us on how to pray in a way that pleases God and tap into His power.

Here are several important principles for praying correctly:

1. Pray with Sincerity and Honesty

God wants you to pray from a place of authenticity. Come to Him as you really are, transparent and honest about your thoughts, struggles, fears, and desires.

Don’t try to impress God with lofty words. Simply talk to Him from your heart, openly and sincerely.

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

Psalm 145:18 (ESV)

2. Pray with Humility

Come before God with humility. Acknowledge your dependence on Him.

Recognize that you can’t accomplish anything in your own strength but you need His power to work through you.

Don’t presume to dictate your own outcomes to God. Instead, pray with an open spirit, submitting your will to His purposes.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

James 4:10 (ESV)

3. Pray with Gratitude

When you approach God in prayer, start by thanking Him for who He is and what He has done.

Express your gratitude for His love, mercy, and abundant blessings. Thank Him for answers to past prayers.

Praying with a heart of gratitude aligns us with God’s heart and reminds us of His faithfulness.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

Psalm 100:4 (ESV)

4. Pray God’s Word

Praying Scripture aligns your prayers to God’s will and makes them more powerful and effective.

When you include Bible verses in your prayers, you are praying God’s words back to Him, affirming His truth.

Some helpful verses to pray include the Psalms, the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), and Paul’s prayers for the churches.

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

John 15:7 (ESV)

5. Pray Specifically

God invites us to make our requests known to Him. Be detailed in presenting your needs and desires to God.

You may want to keep a prayer list to remind you of pending prayer requests and the prayers that God has already answered in the past.

Ask God for breakthroughs in specific areas of your life.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

6. Pray Persistently

Keep praying regularly about ongoing needs and unanswered requests. Don’t give up!

God may delay the answer, but as you persist in prayer it demonstrates that you trust His timing. Delay is not denial.

Your faithful persistence reflects the heart of God who pursues us relentlessly.

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

Luke 18:1 (NIV)

7. Pray in Jesus’ Name

Approach God boldly because Jesus’ death on the cross tore the curtain and gave us access to God’s holy presence.

Praying in Jesus’ name means coming to God based on Jesus’ work and authority, not your own merit.

It aligns your prayers with Christ’s purposes.

“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

John 16:24 (ESV)

8. Pray in the Spirit

We don’t always know what or how to pray in every situation.

The Holy Spirit helps us in prayer, interceding for us “with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26).

As you pray in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit Himself prays in and through you to accomplish God’s perfect will in your life.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”

Ephesians 6:18a (NIV)

What Should You Pray About?

What To Pray About

God invites us to pray about everything! Big or small, significant or mundane – He cares about every detail of your life.

Here are some key things you can pray about:

  • Your relationship with God – pray to know Him more, for spiritual growth.
  • Your loved ones – pray for their faith and needs.
  • Life circumstances – health, finances, decisions, challenges.
  • Your ministry – how you can advance the Gospel.
  • The world – pray for peace, justice, lost people, and leaders.
  • The church – pray for your pastor, unity, revival.

Make Prayer a Priority

Make Prayer A Priority

When should you pray? The short answer is—continually!

God wants prayer to be as natural as breathing, an ongoing conversation throughout your day.

Set aside specific times for focused prayer, but also pray on the go about anything on your mind or heart.

Key times to pray include:

  • Meals – Offer thanks and ask God’s blessing on your food.
  • Bedtime – End your day by giving thanks and praying for safety and rest.
  • Waiting – Pray whenever you’re waiting for appointments, meetings, or rides.
  • Needs as they arise – Pray in the moment about situations or decisions.
  • Worship services – Pray before, during, and after church gatherings.

“Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

How to Start Praying Correctly

Talk To The Holy Spirit

If prayer seems difficult or ineffective for you, don’t get discouraged. Praying effectively takes practice and maturity.

You can start improving your prayer life today with these simple steps:

  • Set aside regular prayer times, even if brief.
  • Find a quiet spot to minimize distractions.
  • Open your heart to God honestly and humbly.
  • Focus your mind on Him, do not let your mind wander.
  • Follow prayer guidelines based on Scripture.
  • Journal prayers to keep track of prayer requests and past answers.
  • Pray out loud to stay engaged.
  • Use prayers from Scripture or worship songs to prime your praying.
  • Team up with a prayer partner for mutual support and growth.

As you make prayer a consistent priority, you’ll begin to notice positive changes in your spiritual walk.

You’ll gain breakthroughs, intimacy with God, bold faith, and spiritual power.

Prayer is the lifeline of your relationship with God. Learning to pray correctly keeps that lifeline open, fresh, and flowing.

Key Takeaways

  • Praying correctly means conversing openly and honestly with God.
  • Guidelines for proper prayer include humility, gratitude, and persistence.
  • Pray specifically, in Jesus’ name, and in alignment with Scripture.
  • Bring everything to God in prayer – big and small.
  • Set regular prayer times but also pray continually throughout your day.
  • Developing a vibrant prayer life. It takes discipline but it’s worth the effort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I know God hears my prayers?

A. God promises that when we approach Him sincerely in Jesus’ name, He hears every word.

We can’t depend on feelings to confirm God’s response, but take it by faith that He listens attentively (1 John 5:14-15).

God also confirms His answers through changed circumstances, spiritual fruit, and the inner witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16).

Q. What if I don’t know what words to pray?

A. Don’t worry if you can’t find the “right” words – just talk openly with God.

The Holy Spirit will help you pray, often using groans or quiet promptings to express what’s on your heart.

Let your desires flow freely to God. He cares more about the attitude of your heart than polished words.

Q. How long should I pray?

A. There’s no required length for “good” prayer. Jesus gave the example of withdrawing for extended time alone with God. But He also prayed short prayers.

Whether your prayer time is 5 minutes or an hour, stay focused and engaged. It’s quality time with God that counts most.

Q. How do I keep my mind from wandering in prayer?

A. It takes practice to still your thoughts and focus during prayer time. Redirect your mind gently when it strays.

Engage your whole body by kneeling, lifting hands, and worship music. Change posture to refocus your senses. Prayer walking can also minimize mental drifting.

Q. Why does it seem like God’s not answering my prayers?

A. God may delay answering for His sovereign purposes.

If you feel your prayers aren’t being heard, examine if there are blocks on your end – unconfessed sin, lack of faith, or unforgiveness.

Prune away anything that could hinder your connection to God.

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