10 Guidelines for Effective Prayer – Part 1

Posted on in Relationships, The Spirit with 5 Comments

a man praying before a mealPrayer is such an important part of our relationship with God, that I wanted to share some guidelines that I believe will help. Now, I have no idea on how many people pray every day, how often throughout the day, or even the quality of their prayer. But, prayer is about communication, and without effective communication you have no relationship.

Can you imagine trying to have a close relationship with someone and rarely if ever talking to them. Or how great of a relationship would we have with our children or spouses if we talked to them for only 5 or 10 minutes once a day, and ignored them the rest of the time?

You’d be amazed at how many people I’ve heard say, “I really don’t have much time to pray”. Really? Prayer isn’t something we find time to do; it is something we need to make time to do. Without regular prayer your relationship with God will be limited.

So following are the guidelines that I believe will help make your prayer life better.

1. Set aside a few minutes every day just thinking or meditating on God’s will and His Word. This in itself will begin making your mind more spiritually in tune with God.

Let’s look at a few examples of this from the Psalms:

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 4:4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
Psalm 63:6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
Psalm 77:12 I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.

2. Pray to God as if He was your very best friend. Don’t use lofty words; just speak from your heart. Tell God everything that’s on your mind, He will understand. Keep your prayer conversational as if you were sitting down having a heart to heart with someone. A good format for prayer is the model prayer.

Matt. 6:9-13 9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.

An important point about the model prayer, it is a model. It’s not something God wants us to say word for word, over and over. It is an example of the way and types of things we should pray about. Also be sure you’re praying for others.

3. Pray as you go through your day. Just stop and close your eyes, whenever you get the chance, to shut out the world, and whisper little one minute prayers. The more you do this every day, the closer you will feel to God. You can even pray while you’re driving, just don’t shut your eyes. 🙂

Even in a busy world, we should be able to find a minute here and there throughout the day to communicate with God. If we truly are God’s people, we must make time for God and not fit Him in when it’s convenient. God deserves our first and our best!

4. Don’t ask for things for yourself every time you pray. Be sure to be praying for other people, as well as, your community, our country, our leaders, the soldiers in harm’s way, Christians who are being persecuted in other countries, and so on.

Much of your prayer time should be devoted to giving thanks to God for all the blessings in life.

Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

5. Pray in faith, believing that God answers sincere prayer. So often we pray hoping God will answer, but without faith prayer becomes impotent. So, when you ask God to put a hedge around you and your family, ask Him in faith and He will honor your prayer. Look at Job.

Job 1:10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.

Psalm 91:11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
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You can look forward to part 2 of this post within the next day or two. Have a prayerful and fantastic day!

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