Updated: Mar 8, 2019
I’m about to be really honest… So there’s your fair warning. I want to share some info with you that I wish someone would have come down off their high and holy horse and shared with me a long time ago. A lot of people may want to pray, but they just don’t know how. Even if you’ve grown up in a church, it can seem like praying is a skill that you have to be perfect at for God to hear you or accept your prayer as valid. How many times have you heard people say, “Just pray about it” as if everyone should automatically know how to do that, and silently in the back of your mind you’re crying out, “HOW?! HELP!” Well here are 6 real life tips for helping you learn how to pray effectively.
1. Make the time. Yes, I know you’re busy (blah, blah, blah) we all are. But the problem with the prayer life of a lot of people is that they simply don’t make the time for it. Your desire to even want to talk to God is pleasing to Him. God is more concerned about us spending time with Him than whether we are doing and saying all the right things.
It’s kind of like visiting your grandparents. It doesn’t matter if you guys sit in silence on the porch or watch bad TV, what means the most is that you made the time for them.
And how many of you got rewarded during that time spent with them. Did they take you out to dinner? Or shopping? Or even slid you some cash?! It’s the same way with God, but only better!! He will reward you for the time you spend with Him. Just imagine the rewards that God, RULER OF ALL THINGS, can bring into your life!
God yearns to hear our voices and to have our attention. It means so much to Him for us to carve out a part of our day just to focus on Him.
I found so much freedom in something I once read from Joyce Meyer. It simply said… “Prayer doesn’t have to be long to be powerful. All that matters is that our prayers are Spirit-led, heart-filled, and spoken in true faith.”
Which brings me to my next tip…
2. Speak from your heart, not your religion. When you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over)…Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:7-8)
I don’t know how you’ll feel about this but I’m about to tell you something that isn’t said a lot:
God doesn’t care what your religion is. He just doesn’t…. and that’s Bible, I’m not making that up. (See Acts 10:28,34-35 & 11:17)
There was a time when, if you needed something from God, you had to kill a bunch of animals, burn up a bunch of stuff on a sacred alter, go to a priest, tell Him all of your secret, embarrassing, shameful business and ask for forgiveness so then he could go to God on your behalf. TooMuch.com!
Well because Jesus thought you were worth dying for, all of that is unnecessary now. Hallelujah! We now have His Spirit on the inside of us. Because of this, we don’t have to make sure every single rule of religion is in place to access Him. All we have to do is call His name and be sincere. So forget the “for art thou’s” and religiosity of it all and just tell him what’s in your heart. Don’t feel like you have to perform for Him. This is the freedom that Jesus died to give us!
3. Pray the Word
The most powerful and effective prayers we can pray are scriptures. Praying the Word of God puts God in remembrance of His promises to you and ensures that you are praying about things that He cares about and wants for you. God values the Word even over His own name. If He deems it necessary to elevate it over even Himself then we should be quoting the Bible like our lives depend on it! Because it pretty much does.