Prayer is a call for help to a divine entity. That divine entity we believe is GOD! Since there is only one GOD, there should be no confusion who you pray to. Therefore, this guide is to assist you in seeking GOD for answers to your prayers. With proper prayer comes proper answer, which helps you avoid doubt and confusion on why a prayer wasn't answered.
First, it's best to realize that GOD is LOVE! In the Holy Bible, we see countless demonstrations of His awesome love unfolding for His people. Sometimes GOD appeared to be totally loving, apprehending such a great heart, and there were times when He was firm. That's the way GOD is, He is fair and loving, but also firm and just. So, when you come to GOD, you must first know that He is love, therefore you must come in love to Him.
Having a heart of love for GOD is one of the first steps in prayer. This is based out of knowing who He is, believing in Him, loving Him, and knowing that He has the power to answer your prayer. If you go to GOD with a heart of shame, don't expect a lot of results. This is because when GOD sees that you're shameful, it means that you will stop believing in Him or turn away from Him if He doesn't fulfill your prayer(s).
People fall away all the time because of unanswered prayer. These people who quit their relationship with GOD are people who have a heart of shame. They put GOD in a box, make Him seem smaller that what He really is. They manipulate Him or use Him like a crutch, because either they don't know any better - or they just expect GOD to do everything for them. GOD is not a crutch for you. GOD is not a God who is to be controlled by you. GOD wants your heart to be loving after Him, because He too has a loving heart after you. GOD loves YOU!
People tend to rely on the five physical senses to detect the results of His answers to prayer. We try to make sure He is doing His job, and whether He is "out there" or not. But, this is incorrect. We're to believe that He has the power to answer our prayers, and we shouldn't hold it against GOD, when He doesn't answer prayer.
When GOD doesn't answer prayer for you, it's best to look within yourself, and evaluate how you prayed, whether it was according to GOD's will (which is His Word, the Bible), and whether your approach was correct.
Evaluating yourself in the way you pray is important, because when GOD doesn't answer prayer for you, you will recognize what you're doing incorrectly in prayer, and how to improve. THEN, you will start getting prayers answered all the time, because you're doing it within His will for your life, doing it out of a heart of worship and love for Him, and staying true to His Word (The Bible).
There are several guidelines you must follow, if you want to become a better prayer person and embrace the power of prayer:
1. The Word of GOD
Following His Word when praying can get some real results. Jesus said, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7). The Bible has thousands of promises, which include wealth and prosperity, wisdom, and health.
Finding the right promises/answers for your situation could take some time, but it's well worth the effort. There are many books, which you can find in a Christian book store, that are usually aimed at providing all the research for you. These books are usually labeled somewhere on the book "promises" or "answers". A book store staff member could certainly help.
Other Bible verses to reference:
"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight" (1 John 3:22). What commandments? The commandments to love one another...see Mark 12:28-34.
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him" (1 John 5:14-15).
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2).
2. Applying faith
Start confessing faith (believing that He is already working for your good) before you see any results of your prayers. Believe that you will receive when you pray. Act as if it is already done. Being afraid to confess or act before you have it is to also have doubt.
Reference scriptures: James 2:14-24, James 3:11-17, Romans 3:4, and Hebrews 4:11-16.
3. Refuse to doubt
By rejecting doubt, you put a stop to all lies of our enemy, the Devil. He will try to convince you that GOD is not working for your good, and will cause you to stop believing that GOD is doing anything for you. But, you need to say in your heart that no matter what, I know GOD is for me - not against me. Believe that He is ABLE, and He WILL help, and that He has ALREADY HELPED.
It's all about setting your mind to only believe in GOD without doubt, rejecting any unbelief, and letting all thoughts obey Him.
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Testify of what you believe and what GOD has done for you. When GOD answers a prayer for you, testify what He has done. Make it known that GOD has helped you!
"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).
5. Having a heart of love
Faith is at its greatest function when it works with the love of GOD. Also, don't be afraid to love others and do kindly for other people.
Giving to others is excellent. It doesn't have to be money. Helping someone with prayer, for example healing, can reinforce your faith that you too believe in healing. By having a heart to see lives changed, you can also have a heart to see yourself changed as well. This goes for other things as well...if you need money, then give money. If you need clothes, give clothes. The way you give, it shall be given (most of the time more) back to you.
Galatians 5:6, 1 John 4:12, Luke 6:38, James 5:16, Mark 4:14-29, and Acts 20:35.
There are many different types of prayers. Should it matter what you pray about? Not really. Prayer is basically, you talking to GOD, and in some cases, Him answering. GOD answers prayers directly, if you're open and receptive to His voice, or indirectly. Most people submit their prayer to GOD, and hope that He has heard and is willing to answer it.But, don't contain yourself and don't contain GOD to a box. Pray about anything and everything. We've listed some types of prayers below to give you an example.
1. Prayer for healing
When you get hurt, get sick, or have some kind of ailment - praying to GOD is usually one of the first steps. Especially when you first recognize symptoms, is when you should pray to GOD, and admit that the condition is nothing or no big deal. That no matter what has occurred so far, it shall not dominate over you.
See our health & healing page for more info.
2. Prayer for someone else
Praying for another person is another common way to pray. By agreeing with that person you're praying for, that they will have answered prayer, you're also showing GOD that you too believe in prayer.
Don't pray for other people because you feel you have to, though. Do it because you genuinely want to. Praying for another person is a chance to make a difference in their life.
In addition, by giving a prayer for that person, you increase your faith, which brings recognition of blessing from GOD. The Lord GOD sees that you give, therefore you shall be rewarded.
3. Prayer of thanksgiving/praise
This is the single greatest act of Worship, potentially, that we can make when it comes to GOD providing for our needs. By telling GOD how great He is and thanking Him for His blessings and answered prayer on your life - you are giving Him worship and recognizing who He is. He is the greatest of all, the most powerful, and everything we need.
Need something to back up these statements...simply read the book of Psalms. You will see thousands of words of praise directed toward GOD.
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6).
"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name" (Hebrews 13:15).
4. Prayer of agreement to GOD's Word
By praying according to the will of GOD, you have the ability to pray in agreement with His Word.
For example, cover every circumstance in life by praying in agreement with Matthew 18:18-20, "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Or how about for finances? "We hereby agree, according to Philippians 4:19 and Matthew 18:19 as follows: 'Father, we see in Your Word that You will supply all our needs according to Your riches in glory. We are in agreement that our financial need is met according to Your Word. We believe and receive __________________ (be specific). We agree on this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.'"
Other scripture references:
Mark 11:25-26, Matthew 6:9-12, and John 16:24.
MORE SCRIPTURE ABOUT PRAYER:
1 John 3:22-23
1 John 5:14-15
1 John 5:4
1 Thessalonians 5:17