Essentials For Prayer

As you pray, here are a few key things that will help you:

  1. Choose a time.
    • Mark 1:35 35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.1

  2. Select a quiet place, pray privately.
    • Matt 6:6 6But 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.2

  3. Pray specifically and succinctly.
    • Matthew 6:7 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.3

  4. Have an attitude of expectation.
    • Psalm 5:3 3In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.4

  5. Use a journal, write down what God tells you.

  6. Focus on God and not your problem.
    • Matthew 6:33 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.5

  7. Make prayer your first choice and not your last chance.
    • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.6

  8. Let your prayer be filled with praise.
    • Psalm 34:1-3 1I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. 2My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.3Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.7

  9. Pray from an attitude of humility.
    • Luke 18:9-14 9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”8

  10. Pray consistently.
    • Luke 18:1-8 1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ ” 6And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”9

  11. Be led of the Holy Spirit in your prayer.
    • Romans 8:26-27 26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.10

  12. Pray from a burdened and sincere heart.

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1Mark 1:35, NIV.
2 Matthew 6:6, NIV.
3 Matthew 6:7, NIV.
4 Psalm 5:3, NIV.
5 Matthew 6:33, NIV.
6 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV.
7 Psalms 34:1-3, NIV.
8 Luke 18:9-14, NIV.
9 Luke 18:1-8, NIV.