You want to ask God for something, but you’re not sure how to go about it. God hears your prayers, but he does not always grant you exactly what you request. Before you ask God to give you what you want, you must first praise Him and seek forgiveness for your sins. Request that God work in the way that He desires. Also, when you ask Him for something, be honest and specific. Be patient and trust that God will intervene.
Part 1 Connecting with God
1. Establish a relationship with God. God will hear your prayers whether or not you follow Him, but those who are close to Him are more likely to receive an answer. If you haven’t started reading God’s Word and following Jesus, that’s a good place to start before asking Him for something. Learn to listen to what He says and to do what He says.
This is not to say that if you are not a follower, He will not grant your request. It simply means that if you have a relationship with Him, you will be able to communicate with Him more effectively.
Consider the distinction between a stranger and your best friend. If a friend asks for money and a stranger on the street asks, you are more likely to give to your friend. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it’s close.
2. First and foremost, praise and thank God. When you come to God in prayer, don’t just ask for something. It is preferable to praise and thank Him for what He has already accomplished. Praise Him for being both loving and powerful. Thank you for allowing Him to guide and bless you. Beginning in this manner demonstrates to God that He is more than just someone to whom you make requests.
Praise and thanksgiving must be genuine, not a ruse to appease God so you can ask for what you want. You must be sincere in your prayers.
Begin by saying, “God, it’s incredible how well you’ve taken care of me and provided for me.” I’m thankful for your strength and that you never abandon me.”
3. Recognize and repent of your sin. After you’ve established a relationship with God, it’s critical to maintain good relations with Him. You are separated from God if you are living in sin or have recently committed sins. You must confess and turn away from those things. This will repair the severed connection with God.
This is significant because sin is defined as going against what God desires from you. When you sin, you cut yourself off from God.
To confess and repent simply means to acknowledge to God that you have sinned, that you are sorry, and that you wish to change.
“I’m sorry I was so rude to my neighbour,” say to God. I know you love him, and I should treat him the way you want. I’ll try harder to be patient and kind to him.”
4. Solicit God’s forgiveness. In addition to confessing and repenting, ask God to forgive you for your sins. Confession must be followed by the step of seeking forgiveness. Once God has forgiven you, the lines of communication between you and God will be much more open.
There is no specific forgiveness prayer that you must pray. Tell God you’re sorry and that you’d like Him to forgive you for wronging Him.
“God, I’m sorry for lying about what I did last night,” you say. That was a mistake on my part. Please accept my apologies for my dishonesty.”
5. Make amends with those who have wronged you. It is difficult to pray an honest prayer to God if you are angry or have hurt someone. Take a moment to consider any relationships that are out of sync and make an effort to repair them first. Resolving problems with others increases your chances of receiving a response from God.
It is not enough to consider what is wrong if you do not make an effort to correct it. Before going to God, contact the person and seek reconciliation.
Apologize or forgive them, depending on what has gone wrong between you.
6. Pray for protection from any evil that may be around you. If you live for God, you may have evil working against you, keeping you from God. Pray for the removal of any spirits that seek to keep you distant and distracted from God. Spiritual warfare will prevent you from effectively communicating with God.
It might be worthwhile for you to learn more about spiritual warfare and how it can affect your prayer life and how you live for God.
“God, I feel like there is evil all around me,” you pray. Please rebuke these spirits in Jesus’ name. Do not let them stand in our way. Tell them they have no control over me.”
Part 2 Praying for What You Want
1. Be open and honest with God about your emotions. There is no point in hiding because God knows everything you think and feel. Be completely honest about your thoughts and feelings as you ask for what you want. Honesty will allow God to hear your prayers.
2. Ask God for exactly what you want. Tell God what you want or need and request that He provide it for you. Make your request as specific as possible. God knows what you want and need, but He wants you to ask Him for it. God can answer vague prayers, but being specific strengthens your relationship with Him.
Being specific does not guarantee that God will respond to your request in the manner you desire. He might have different plans for you.
Say to God, “I’m struggling to pay my rent this month because of doctor bills.” Please allow me to work some extra hours at work so I can pay my rent.”
Remember that God will not give you anything that is contrary to His will. Examine your heart and the Bible to see if what you are requesting is contrary to God’s will.
3. Invite God to work in the ways He desires. Although you may have many specific requests for God, it is also a good idea to pray for His will to be done in your life. Ask Him to move and use you however He sees fit, not just how you see fit. Ask Him to assist you in obtaining the things that He desires for you.
There are numerous advantages to praying in this manner. Although you may know exactly what you want, God may have much more in store for you than you could ever imagine. If you only ask for what you want, you may miss out on a greater blessing.
“Lord, I really want to start a new job this month, but I know you might have something else in store for me during this time,” you say to God. I beg you to show me your plans, even if they aren’t exactly what I want.”
4. Request that God respond to your request as soon as possible. If you’re asking God for something, you’re probably hoping for a quick response. Being truthful with God entails telling Him that you want Him to move quickly. He operates on His own timetable, so it may not occur at the rate you desire. It is still appropriate to request that He hurry because you are being forthright about your desires.
5. Finish with “In Jesus’ name.” According to the Bible, the name of Jesus Christ is powerful. Every time you pray, but especially when you ask for something, end with the phrase, “I pray this in Jesus’ name.” This recognises that God works through Jesus and that Jesus is powerful.
This is not the same as saying magic words, and it should not be used to take advantage of God’s blessings. It is simply a way of demonstrating your submission to God’s will through Christ.
Part 3 Waiting for God to Answer Your Prayer
1. Be patient while you wait for God to work. Remember that God operates on a different timetable than you. Do not give up on Him if He does not respond as quickly as you had hoped. Wait on His timing and keep in mind that there may be a reason He does not respond as quickly as you would like.
2. Continue to extol Him. While you wait for God’s response to your prayer, you must continue to honour and praise Him. Even if you haven’t gotten what you want, it’s important to be thankful and worshipful. If you only praise Him when He does what you want, your praise may be hollow.
3. Have faith that God will do what He says He will do. If you don’t believe God has the power to act, your prayer will be ineffective. You must believe that He has heard you and that He will act in accordance with His will. If your request fits His plan, He will grant it; however, keep in mind that God does not always respond in the way you expect Him to.
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