When praying to God, it’s important to do it in the right way. I don’t mean to put a bunch of rules, but rather, to have the right attitude and belief. God loves to interact with His children, and prayer is the main way to do this. His Will is for His believers to be blessed and live abundantly, but His Will is also that His followers remain loyal and respectful to Him.
Praying is something that should be done daily, as there is always someone in need somewhere. Praying isn’t only done for ourselves, but is meant to be done for all situations and people. God expects us to pray intercessory prayers and to pray for blessings for other people, even our enemies. But, of course, God expects us to pray for our own needs and our household and our family members.
Related: How To Grow Your Faith In God
All throughout the bible people prayed. Jesus prayed and Elijah prayed and Abraham prayed. Today is no different for us. We must pray and develop our relationship with God. Following God is about a relationship and not slavery. He doesn’t want us as His robots, but He wants us as loyal and loving children. He wants us to choose to talk to Him and praise Him and tell others about Him. When we do develop a great relationship with Him, our spiritual walk is also much better.
In this article, I want to discuss a few steps we must take when praying. The outcome of our prayers lies fully in the hands of God, but there are some things that we can do to prepare. I believe that these are things that God would expect us to do when we pray.
Also, we want to receive that which we pray for in the shortest time possible, and if we are praying for something that we aren’t in the right position to receive, then God may not be able to grant our requests right away.
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3 steps that God expects us to take when praying
Here are three steps to take when we pray and after we’ve prayed that will help us be in the right position to receive our request:
- Have faith that you will receive what you pray for
- Do what you can to prepare to receive
- Remember your prayers and be watchful
When you pray, have faith that you will receive it
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Faith is something that is necessary as a Christian. Without faith, you won’t be saved; without faith, your prayers may not be answered; without faith, you may not be very strong in the Lord. It is through faith that God blessed Abraham and it was through faith that Elijah shut off the rain for three and a half years and it was through faith that Jesus multiplied the bread and fish and fed five thousand men.
As you kneel down to pray, go to God expecting that He can and will answer your prayer. God is a great and powerful God who created everything that exists. Even the man-made stuff was made with the mind and creativity that God made. So, when you pray, believe that this is possible for God.
In most instances, a believer and follower of Jesus isn’t going to pray overly selfish prayers. The character of God is about being selfless and loving and a good steward, and these promote good living and health and being a blessing to others. God wants you to have desires in your heart, and more so, He wants you to have the desires in your heart.
So, if you are going to God to pray for something that you know would be in line with His character and is something that would be beneficial, then it’s important that you do this with an attitude of faith. Believe that God will answer the prayer and believe that it’s as good as done.
Here is a clip from Tara’s favorite movie, “Facing the Giants“ to drive the point home about having so much faith that God will answer that you make preparations to receive it after you’ve prayed. This one goes with both this first point and the next.
After you pray, start doing what you know to do
And he said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ For thus says the LORD: ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.’”
God was speaking through Elisha here, and God was ordering the army to prepare the ditches to hold the water. Had they said, “We see no clouds or wind or chance of rain; we’ll wait until the signs are there,” there would be no ditches to fill up.
God doesn’t want you trying to use your own mind to figure out how He will provide or answer your prayers. He wants you to faithfully trust Him to do what He does in His own way and timing. God wants you to pray to Him and then go forth and do what you know to do to make provisions to accept the blessing that you are praying for. Otherwise, God may say, “You ask for water but don’t even hold a cup.”
When I had learned about an opportunity in Fort McMurray back in late 2012, we prayed and starting preparing to move. God moved quickly. In a short time we were fully packed, sold our home, and were on the road to a new adventure.
If you are praying for a job, you can prepare by handing out as many resumes as possible and studying interview questions; if you are praying for God to heal your relationship, start by correcting your own attitudes and habits that may play a role in why the relationship is struggling; if you are praying for a financial breakthrough, make sure that you have a well written budget and that you have put an end to loose spending or overspending.
Sometimes there isn’t much we can do to prepare, but if we look hard enough, we will often find something. In my case, I pray for financial increase and a home-based income where we don’t have to go to an office and do the 9-5 thing. So, instead of just hoping that God will magically make it all happen, I do what I know to do; My wife and I continue to build this blog and I continue to write books. By doing this, I am in a position where God can provide us with new income through my writing, and the more I write, the greater my chances are of this happening.
If you do what you can do, God will do what you can’t do.
Another great option for journeling while you study the bible is the Trust in the Lord, Bible Journeling kit by Sara from theHolyMess.com. You can sign up for her Free Bible Journaling Printables here including step-by-step instructions to get you started.
Be watchful of the things you have prayed for
What I mean here is to be aware of what you have prayed for and keep watch for them to come to fruition. I say this because sometimes people throw so many prayers to God and can’t remember half of them. If it is important and worth praying for, you should remember them.
Another bonus to this method is that it helps build faith; when you are low in faith, you can review this list and you can see all the items that are checked and be reminded that God does answer prayers.
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart”
This verse is one that shows that persistence can pay off. If you go to the Lord in prayer about something that is important, keep praying about it. Don’t stop asking the Lord to answer the prayer. Another verse backs this up;
“pray without ceasing”
The idea is that praying is not a do it and forget it kind of thing. Praying earnestly and praying without ceasing is what God expects you to do. Remembering prayers is necessary as when we constantly remember what we prayed to God for, we are expectant. Not only this, but also remembering the answered prayers helps build a testimony.
Praying is a learning process
When I consider the prayers that I prayed twenty years ago compared to now, they are night and day different. Today, when I pray, I have a different regard for the God I am praying to. The things I pray for are necessary and I do so in a direct fashion. My prayers aren’t filled with eloquent words, nor are they complex. Short and simple and with expectation.
I do my best to be mindful of my prayers; is it pleasing to God? Is it necessary for me? Am I prepared to receive this?
Just by asking these few simple questions before I pray, my prayers are more in line with getting answered. God tells us to pray about anything and everything, so, if it’s on your heart, pray about it. God can handle it. God won’t generally give you something that will hurt you or set you back. So, if something you pray for isn’t according to His Will or if it isn’t good for you, God will often make that known to you in time.
How many times have you later found out that something you prayed for turned out to be a disappointment or a negative thing? Aren’t you glad in these instances that God doesn’t answer every prayer immediately?
I encourage you to pray, and to pray everyday. Pray about anything that is on your heart, because it very well could be God Himself who has put it there. God’s blessings are activated through faith and obedience. Praying and believing and going out and preparing to receive cover both faith and obedience.
Spiritual maturity is seen when you pray for God’s Will to be done and actually mean it. Of course, you want your prayer to be answered, but you want even more for a blessing then a curse. So, be in the mindset when you pray that God knows better than you, and be expectant of Him to return or answer in a way that is most beneficial.
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, click here to send in your prayer request. My wife and I would love to pray for you.