Every Christian should seek the answer for how to pray to God correctly and effectively. Sometimes you may be praying but the question is, are you praying in the right way? Prayers are the only best way to seek God’s help in everything we need.
It is the path to talk to God. Just like there is a way to talk to a toddler, a child, people who are older than you, there is also the right way to talk to God.
You will agree that sometimes you are taught how to talk to your boss, or how to talk in an interview. In that process, you are first told to learn and know what those people like, what pleases them, and what will turn them off.
Another good example is when you are going for a date. Friends will always advise you on what to say and what not to say so that you may not be a turn-off.
When you look at all the examples above, all you need to is to learn more about someone and the possibilities of what they like and what they don’t like before you approach them.
The same principle applies to Prayers. For you to pray correctly and effectively, you need to take your time to learn what God likes and what He doesn’t like.
Keys to effective prayer begins by first spending more time in learning how to pray effectively in line with the word of God deeply and getting to know what God says in the Bible.
There are several stories in the bible about what made God to punish his people and what pleased God and made Him bless his people. Find out all this step by step.
The Bible is vast and deep. You can never learn all this in a day. The Holy Spirit also plays a major role in scripture translation. Different people get different translations by the power of the Holy Spirit depending on the situation they are in.
God treats us all as his children and learning to pray for beginners should never be underestimated since it is the only way they are supposed to talk to God.
I have seen cases where some people pray until they feel like God is not answering their prayers. The reason is, they don’t get the prayers answered in time as they wish.
You really need to understand that God works in his own unique ways and you can never dictate when or where you want your prayers to be answered. The greatest thing is to Trust and obey God as we are told in the Bible. The Israelites suffered and the Lord answered their prayers at the right time.
The Lord was waiting for the Egyptians to get close so that by the time the Israelites will cross the waters, the Egyptians will be swallowed by the same waters. This is a good example that God knows the right time to answer your prayers.
Just because you want an immediate answer does not mean you should push God and even start judging God.
Remember, God knows what will happen tomorrow, He knows your situation before it happened and the same Lord knows the best way to deliver you permanently from your sorrows if you trust in Him and make your prayers with passion.
How to pray according to the Bible
When we look at the bible, there is a beautiful Guide that Jesus uses to teach us how to pray. You can pray with the exact words. But did you ever know that our Lord’s prayer is also a structure of how we should pray? Jesus used this to teach us how to talk to God our father.
Why don’t we pray the most well-known prayer in the world that Jesus said after this manner all who follow me should pray in this way do you all know what it Is, It in the book of Matthew 6:9-13.
Did you know that he didn’t ask us to repeat that prayer neither was it the same words we should always use but rather he said to follow this pattern after this manner? What I mean is, it is more of a structure of how we should pray.
Did you know that the Lord’s Prayer is actually a beautiful framework? it starts out well.
Let’s just say the first line that goes like this “our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name”. Let us stop at that and look at it. Do you know what that just was, all prayers first start out by focusing on who God and acknowledging His position.
He’s our Father, he’s in heaven and he is hallowed. Then the second part of the prayer is what Martin Luther called the terrible petition. The next line is, “thy kingdom come”. Now the first part is saying I want to focus on who you are.
Do you know what the second petition is telling you? When it says thy kingdom come, it is basically saying that God I want you to control me. That’s why Martin Luther said it’s terrible. He said, do you understand that if you ask God to control you, He’s going to change your life.
so the Lord’s Prayer is focused. Acknowledge God on who He is then let him control your life and trust that you are safe in His hands just like you trust a pilot on a plane.
You don’t need to see the pilot while you are seated at the back, you know the flight is risky but you trust the pilot. Do the same with God. Let God fly you through this life for that is what he does best if you board His Plane.
The thirst portion in the Lord’s Prayer says that “thy will be done” do you know what that is? that means that you should be asking God to lead you. It means that you should let Gods will be done at his pace as long as you trust in Him. You are putting God in charge and giving him power since you trust he will never fail you.
Up to that point, we notice that Jesus through the Lord’s prayer is guiding us in three steps.
- First is focus me
- Control me
- To lead me
Now the middle petition of the prayer states that “give us this day our daily bread” that means that you are asking God to supply. Notice it’s in the middle.
Up to this point, Christians should note that we don’t ask God for stuff until we first have focused on who He is, worshiped him, surrendered to him, and said I want to do your will.
That’s why Jesus said anything you asked my name I’ll do. You don’t ask until you get to the middle of the prayer after already focused on God, submitted to him and followed him. Only then, he will give you everything that you pray for.
Most people don’t want to submit, follow and do all that. They just want to say I want this; I want this job or this grade or this person or whatever.
The last three steps of our Lord’s prayer are fascinating. It says, “forgive us”. Jesus says here that “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.
What is that, well that cleanses me, Lord. I don’t want to have any unconfessed, broken relationships or sins in my life. Cleanse me. This stage is basically translating that you should ask God to purify you after acknowledging his position and submitting to hi will and accepting that he should control you.
The next petition number six is “and lead us”. This is important when you want to pray effectively and correctly. It says “and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”. That basically means that you are asking God’s protection.
“Protect me from temptation, protect me from the evil one Satan”. Do you see why the Lord’s Prayer is not just some words that we should mumble and leave it at that?
It is actually a perfect way to pray and it is the best way for beginners to learn to pray. It actually is a very effective way to pray to God and have our prayers accepted.
The Lord’s prayer is actually inviting God to;
- Focus Me On Who He Is
- To Control My Life
- To Lead Me Through Life as He’s Leading Me,
- Supply Me
- Cleanse Me Constantly So I Don’t Grieve Him
- Protect Me
Then what’s the ending of the Lord’s Prayer, here it is, “for vine is the kingdom and the power for ever amen” – Do you know what that one is, that’s the best part of the prayer. The ending, the seventh petition is the best. It basically is translating to “empty me so you get all the glory”.
You are giving the Lord all the glory and honor and willing to submit to him fully. Here is a list of things you are actually confessing. You are telling God that;
- Yours is the kingdom
- Yours is the power
- Yours is the glory
- it’s not about me
- It’s not what I want
- It’s not whether I enjoy life or not
It’s about the fact that God is magnified. So empty me, in this case, is like saying, I want to be humble before you. Those are the keys to effective prayer and if you take your time to adjust to it, read, digest and understand how the structure works, you can never go wrong in your prayers.
The beautiful thing about the Christian faith is that God gives us the power to go before Him anytime. It is up to us to learn how to talk to God and pray correctly so that our prayers are effective. Answered prayers are what we all aim to get whenever we go before God.
What Is the Right Way to Pray?
I have confidence when I’m praying when I know that I’m praying according to his will. And how do I know if I’m praying according to his will? The answer is when my prayers, beloved ones, listen now, are lining up with Scripture.
“The Bible tells us in the Book of 1 John, chapter 5, verse 14, these words: This is the confidence we have before Him, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. This really is a word that all Christians should have at heart”
First John, 5:14: This is the confidence we have before Him, if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. So whenever I’m praying, I’m always monitoring my heart and my prayers to make sure that they’re aligning with the truth.
And how do I know the truth? The Bible tells me. A lot of times people will come and ask me to pray for them about things. In many cases, I find that other people are asked to pray, they just pray with words that will make the person that has asked them for prayer feel good.
But, those types of players don’t always move the heart of God. If somebody that’s not living for God, that’s living in outright rebellion, that has not in any way brought themselves under the subjection of Jesus Christ comes up to you and asks you to pray for them, you should first analyze them.
You know, all these different things in their life which are terrible that they want to be blessed. You can’t just ask God to bless them and bless them and bless them unless they first, beloved, come to a place of repentance.
Jesus said, repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus said, unless you repent, you’ll perish. So we have to figure out when we have requests like this, how we can pray in such a way that first of all is pleasing to the Lord and aligns with truth.
What do I do in that situation? often times I’ll say, okay Lord, how can I pray about this in a way that first of all pleases you? And then remember the Bible says Jesus said that God causes his sun, meaning the sunshine, to fall on the good and the bad alike.
So I say, okay Lord, this person that’s in front of me asking me for prayer, they may not be living for you fully yet, but you’re such a good God that you can bless anybody. So I’ll say Lord, your Word says that you cause the sun to shine on the good and bad alike, and so I ask you to bless so and so.
Then what I’ll do is to also weave into the prayer a call that God would move in their life and bring them into a deep relationship with God. That their life would be transformed.
But I’m always monitoring my prayer life, whether it’s praying for myself or praying for others, to make sure, beloved ones, that the prayers that I’m praying are according to truth and line up with the Word of God.
Because if we’re just praying about things that we want for ourselves or other people that don’t align with truth, then we can’t really have confidence that those prayers are will be answered. It is very important to note all this while looking to pray the right way for effective prayers that are answered.
The Bible says if we pray for anything according to his will, we know that he’ll hear us and that he’ll answer. So once again this is the second part of the series.
I have talked about some basic concepts in the past about this in relation to what is above. I brought up, for example, that the most common traditional Jewish word for prayer is the word Tefilah.
It has to do with putting our self in a proper relationship with God as we lift our heart and voice to him. And that’s what I was kind of just describing. When I’m in a situation where people are asking me to pray for something, I’m not just going to pray in a way that makes them feel good.
But I will first of all pray in a way that I feel like my heart is aligned with truth. See the problem is some of us, getting back to that point is, we act like we’re praying. Let’s say that for example, somebody asks us to pray for them and we begin to start praying for them.
A lot of times what’s happening is that the prayers that are being prayed are not really being prayed to God, but they’re actually being prayed to make the person that you’re praying for feel good.
In other words, someone says, well, you know, would you ask God to bless me in this, or would you ask God to do this for me? And the person that’s praying for them sometimes isn’t first of all thinking about God when they’re praying, but rather they’re thinking about what words can they say that will make the person that just asked them to pray to feel good.
What words can they say, they’re asking themselves, that will comfort this person. That isn’t really prayer because it’s not really being directed to God. It looks like it’s being directed to God. The person’s eyes might be closed.
They might act like they’re praying, but it’s not really prayer because truly the focus of their heart is on just speaking words of pleasantries that will make the person feel good.
So we’re looking at Biblical prayers, prayers that are founded in truth, prayers that are concerned with having right posture before God, that they’re really prayers.
Again the Hebrew word for prayer, Tefilah has to do with putting ourselves in the right posture before our Holy Father, that God’s is not going to honor prayers that look pious, but really aren’t directed to him.
We find in, for example, when we see pictures of people, Orthodox Jewish people at the Wailing Wall, the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
A lot of times you’ll see the kind of moving their body in a style that is called Davening, and again it’s an attempt to put oneself in the right posture before God because the Scripture tells us in the Book of Proverbs that the Spirit of the Lord within man is like a candle or as a flame.
So the concept is, you know, God’s spirits in me, he’s alive. He’s like a flame, and so I’m going to reflect that, that my whole body, all my bones will reflect that.
Again it’s an attempt to put oneself in a proper posture before a holy God; because unless we have a right posture before him with our heart and our words, the prayer isn’t really effective.
It’s not deep calling to deep. We’re not really connecting to the divine and to the holy in a way that is going to move him and avail much. When we see these Orthodox Jewish people at the Western Wall going and moving in the style that is called Davening.
The word Davening has to do with intention. So the focus is that when we’re going like this the Spirit of the Lord within man is like a flame and it causes all our bones to move, what is taking place there is we’re always putting our self in the right posture.
It’s putting our self in the right focus. And so another concept in traditional Judaism that’s associated with prayer is this concept of Davening and it comes from the thought of being focused on God and putting all our, get it now, intention into him and on him.
Again it’s the exact opposite of just acting like we’re praying when really we’re not really praying to God, we’re just looking like we’re praying to God. When we Daven, we’re actually putting all our focus and we’re meditating and thinking on God. We’re putting all of our energy into him.
And so reviewing then, putting ourselves in a proper posture of prayer has to do with having a heart that’s rightly aligned to him in the right posture, and focusing on him when we’re praying. I talked about the first example of prayer in the Hebrew Bible.
It’s in the Book of Genesis that we call in Hebrew, Bereshit. And in Genesis, chapter 4, verse 25 and 26, the episode that we’ve come to in the Biblical narrative is that Adam and Eve’s son, Cain, killed his brother, Abel. And so Adam and Eve had lost their son, Abel.
So they conceived again in, you know, in an effort to replace Abel, and they, Eve gave birth to Seth. And then Seth had a son, and Seth’s son’s name was Enosh. So Enosh then was Adam and Eve’s, grandchild.
At this time the Bible says, in the Book of Genesis, chapter 4: 25 and 26: At this time men began to call on the name of the Lord. This is just really interesting to see the first mention of prayer in Scripture.
“Verse 25: Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him. To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh”
Now get it, then men began to call upon the name of the Lord. I just love them, just that knowledge. Wow, this is the first place in the Bible we read about men beginning to call upon the name of the Lord.
So we are going to study now in the Biblical narrative, the prayers of men and women that had a deep walk with God.
Right Way to Pray Effectively
Through this we can learn how to pray in such a way that matters, deep calling to deep; not praying about superficial things. You know, there was a song years ago, it was kind of a comical song, but kind of sacrilegious.
It was about this guy that was praying for the Lord to buy him a car, the song went something like this. “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz. My friends all have Porsche’s.” let’s stop there since I don’t want to take away from our point here.
Some people are praying for things that don’t move God. Some people are praying for things that are not the things that God’s concerned about. And so we want to study the prayer life of people that had a deep walk with God. Because by doing this, it will help us to learn how to pray in such a way that we can move God’s heart.
“First John, 5:14, again says this: This is the confidence we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And knowing beloved ones, that he hears us we also have confidence that he will grant those requests”
We looked last week at Psalm number 51, and we’re going to continue in Psalm number 51 today. Psalm 51 was written by David. Now the Bible tells us in Acts, 13, that David was a man who was after God’s own heart. God said in the Book of Samuel concerning David, that David was a man after his own heart.
Remember when Samuel was going to anoint Jesse’s sons, one of them to be the king. And you know he kept going from the oldest to the youngest, and then Samuel was like, why did you anoint David?
I mean, he’s just a shepherd boy. What do you see in him? And remember what God said to Samuel? God said, a man looks on the outside but God looks on the heart.
So God saw something in David’s heart. Of course, I want to say that God’s the one that made David the way that he was. But David’s heart was pure before the Lord. That’s why Jesus said, in Revelation, he was the offspring of David.
So it is important to study David’s prayer life because this is the prayer life of someone that knew God. By seeing how he related to God, and by examining how he petitioned God, it’s going to help us to know what’s important to God.
What we should be focusing on and when we’re praying according to His will, we know that he hears us with surety to grant us our desires.
In verse number 1, David said: Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving kindness. Psalm 51:1, David said: Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your loving kindness. It’s about knowing God’s disposition towards you.
He desires to be favorable to you because he loves you. In verse number 2, David said this:
“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin” Let’s continue with verse number 6: Behold, you desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out my iniquities.
I want to focus on this deep longing in David to be washed of his sin. Wash me, he said, and I shall be clean. Wash me with hyssop.
Beloved ones, if we’re not washed inside, get this now, if we’re not cleansed on the inside, we can’t know God. The Bible says, who shall ascend to the house of the Lord but he that has clean hands and a pure heart.
In other words, what God is saying here is that we can’t walk in fellowship with him unless we have clean hands and a pure heart. Unless our nature is purified, we can’t walk with God. It’s called the law of similarity, that the more we become like Jesus, the more that we’re washed on the inside.
Jesus said, “blessed are the pure in spirit for they shall see God.” The more we’re washed, and cleansed, and purified on the inside, the more we are connected to Jesus. You see, we need to know a Jesus that is not just far away somewhere up there in the sky at the right hand of God, which he is.
But we need to know a Jesus that’s here, that’s now, that’s in us; Christ in you, the hope of glory. So we’re not going to know him in us, we’re not going to know him with us the way that will bring us into deep satisfaction, get it now unless we’re washed on the inside.
This is so important. To be forgiven takes place in an instant. The instant we receive Jesus we’re legally forgiven. But to be washed is a process. The Bible says to be transformed. It’s a process, cleansing old ways of thinking, old ways of relating. Let me read that again for you: Wash me
“Thoroughly, David said, from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. Continuing on: Behold, you desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part, you will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
Make me hear joy. And so, again, this is a prayer that we should constantly be lifting up to the Lord: Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit in me. Let’s just pray to the Lord right now through that song that we used to sing.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. This is deep calling to deep because as we’re washed and cleansed, and as his clean heart is created within us, we’re brought into deep intimacy with Jesus.”
And deep intimacy with Jesus is a thing that will satisfy us. The things on the outside, although they’re blessings, they can never satisfy.
You see, Jesus said, beloved one, life consists not in the abundance of things. The only thing that will bring us satisfaction is when we become like Jesus because then we’ll know him.
Eternal life is about a relationship. And so when we look at this man of God’s heart, when we look at David’s heart, first of all, we find he has confidence in who God is, that God has goodwill for him, that God desires to bless him.
Remember the Lord said, I know the plan I have for you, says the Lord; plans to bless you and to give you a future and a hope. So David knew God in this way. He knew that this was who God was. He didn’t think that God was far away, but he thought that Lord was kind of towards him.
So he said, Lord, be gracious to me according to Your loving kindness. And then he began to pour out his heart. He said, Lord, create in me a clean heart. He said, wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me, cleanse me.
One of the ways that God cleanses us is when we’re willing to allow him to cleanse us. In other words, we have to cooperate with God’s sanctifying process. We have to become aware, get it now, of what we’re thinking and what we’re saying and be in a constant state of examining ourselves.
- You see, we have a choice as to whether we’re going to put ourselves in God’s beam of light upon our lives. Many people are running from the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and the Bible says it’s the goodness of God that leads to repentance.
- So it’s the conviction of the Holy Spirit that is God’s kindness to cause us to become aware of our sin so we can look up to him and say, have mercy, O God, and wash me, and cleanse me, and give me a clean heart, God. I see that this evil is in my heart. I see this selfish ambition in my heart. I see this pride in my heart.
- I see this jealousy in my heart. O God, I know it’s wrong, forgive me, wash me, cleanse me.
- When we put ourselves in this posture, the Bible says, he’s faithful to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So David said, cleanse me but we also have to realize that to be cleansed has to do with our cooperating with the Holy Spirit.
- David said cleanse me, but the Bible also says if we confess our sins He’s faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. So this should be a deep longing of our heart.
I’m telling you, beloved, the truths that I’m speaking to you of, these are realities that are matters of eternal life. These truths will change you. This type of focus in your prayer life will bring about transformation.
It will bring you into deep waters in your walk with God in terms of knowing Jesus and the river of living water that will come forth from your life as you’re walking in a state, beloved, of being cleansed and purified.
The next verse in the Psalm we’re going to look at after David asked God to cleanse him was, he says, and joy is going to break forth in me. You see, as we long and hunger for God, as we cooperate with him and ask him to cleanse us, as we willingly repent, you know what happens? Joy breaks forth in us.
Jesus’s goodness is released from our innermost being. The Bible said a river of living water will spring forth from our innermost being. I’m telling you the truth.
I want to be a blessing to you and that which I’m sharing with your heart today, if you’ll meditate on it and put it into practice in your life, God is going to change you and transform you.
Everything that we pray about is important, but let’s not focus on the superficial things. Let’s focus on the deepest things.
The deepest things, beloved, have to do with matters of the heart. It is out of this that we learn how to pray to God correctly and effectively in the right way so that our prayers can be answered.
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