Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was in the law. He replied with the answer — we must love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and mind.
The way to God’s heart is not a secret if you read David’s love for Him in Psalms. In order for us to have a deep, intimate relationship like David, prayer is the most important tool for Christians.
Learning how to pray effectively will deepen our connection with the Lord.
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:36-37 NIV
The Importance of an Effective Prayer Life
Why is it so important to have an effective prayer life? It draws you closer to a love that you’ve never known before.
Do you ever feel lonely or rejected? Speak to the Lord through prayer with praise, psalms, hymns, and gratefulness for your blessings. It will lift your spirits and you will forget all about those negative feelings of loneliness and rejection.
Instead, you will notice a wonderful presence of love, gentleness, and kindness.
Let’s look at my past prayer life as an example. My relationship with the Lord was at the most, lukewarm, during my early Christian years.
However, when I became a mother, I wanted to be a role model for my child and started a regimen of quiet time. I would use this special time each day to read the Bible and pray to the Lord.
I was determined for my child to NOT have a ‘lukewarm’ mother or a ‘watered down’ Christian role model.
Having a prayer routine in my daily schedule not only transformed my outlook as a mother, it also transformed my marriage, my life, and all of my relationships in a positive, fulfilling way.
When we establish special time with Him, He provides an abundance of blessings spiritually, physically, and mentally. It’s incredible how often we forget the benefits of an effective prayer life.
Are you looking for some tools and tips to boost your prayer life? If so, be sure to visit our Prayer Resources Library where you’ll find everything you need to become a powerful prayer warrior!
How to Pray Effectively
So, you want to get started but are not sure how to begin. How do we begin a routine of praying every day? I’m sure you are busy and overwhelmed with the tasks at hand many times.
- Find a quiet space
- Acknowledge God
- Ask His will to be done
- Pray for our needs
- Ask for protection from evil
- Ask for forgiveness and forgive others
The good news is — it’s actually quite simple to get started, yet, it can be mentally challenging to consistently finish. The distractions we are bombarded with every minute of the day keep the negative noise fresh in our minds.
Let’s look at Matthew 6:5-14 as a blueprint for praying based on what Jesus said in the Bible.
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
While it is appropriate to recite the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew, it is not intended for us to say aloud but use as a prayer example.
We know this from Matthew 6:9 when Jesus says, “Pray then like this.” Here are the steps on how to get started with praying effectively using Jesus’ answer as the model prayer outline.
Find A Prayer Room
First, determine the best place and time in your home or living space where you can be alone and it’s quiet. Avoid areas with a lot of “traffic” and distractions.
In other words, use a closet or safe space where no one can find you except God.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6 NIV
Now as you begin to pray, acknowledge God for who He is. He is honored and holy and deserves respect with his sovereign deity. The Lord has many wonderful and amazing names like Almighty God, Wonderful
Counselor, Elohim, Abba, Alpha and Omega, and much more. God’s names reveal His character and attributes that are good and pure.
Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious. Psalm 66:2 NIV
Ask His Will to Be Done
Acknowledging that God is sovereign allows us to easily submit to His will and keep His commandments. Jesus shows in verse 10 that we should ask only for His will, not our own. This makes us true servants of the Lord.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 NIV
Pray for Our Needs
As we get closer to the finish line, Jesus instructs us to pray for our needs including food and forgiveness. Food is necessary for us to grow physically and forgiveness is needed for us to grow spiritually as we stay humble and within the Lord’s direction.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 NIV
Protect Us from Evil
Next, we are to pray that God would preserve us from the temptations of the flesh and keep us safe from sinful situations where the devil is doing his evil work. There is a dark spiritual world behind the scenes, always working against us.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Forgive One Another
As Jesus’ model prayer wraps up, it’s imperative that we forgive others as God forgives us. If we do not accept someone’s apology when they have sinned against us, He will do the same to us and not forgive our trespasses against Him.
An Effective Prayer Life Brings You Closer to God
Whether you are a beginner or seasoned Christian, learning how to pray based on the Bible will allow you to know and understand God’s will for your life.
He has a plan and a purpose for everyone, including you! Learning how to pray effectively will ultimately lead you to an ultra-close and deep relationship with the Lord.