How to make prayers of request.
Improve chances of success with prayers.
Faith and trust in God are important.
Bible-based methods to apply.
Importantly, please read the introductory article, “Prayers of request” to this subsection of the website (with the same title) before going on. It presents an overview of why and how we pray.
And look, it may be best if you read all of the articles in this subsection – before putting any of their guidance to use. That approach will ensure you do not take any of the Bible-based advice out of context, which might weaken your results.
(To read about the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website please click here.)
Obviously, if prayers can actually work, i.e. God can answer them, then it must be a good idea to use well tested methods to get results. And this particular article offers guidance in that regard.
Please note that the Heading for this article does not contain the words “only” or “correct”. But I have presented advice here based on related Bible verses, my lengthy personal experiences and the experiences of other committed Christians with whom I have discussed prayer. I ask that you read on in that context.
Let’s get into it then …
2. HOW DO WE START?
It is certainly useful, before commencing prayers of request to get into the best mood possible: relax and open yourself to the situation. A quiet place to pray is always an advantage. Of course this is not always possible, particularly if praying ‘on the run’.
We should next set our mind on God’s greatness. We do this for three reasons. Firstly, it is right to acknowledge the great power of the God we are praying to. Secondly, it lessens our mindset on our perceived needs. Finally, it increases the power of our prayer when we accept his greatness.
It is normal for many of us Christians to pray to God the Father: “Our Father in heaven”, “Heavenly Father” or even “Father God”. An explanation of Christianity’s “Holy Trinity” is presented in the article of that name. “God the Father” is explained there, as is “Jesus the Son of God” and the “Holy Spirit”. Remember though, that Christians only believe in one God, just as Jews and Muslims do.
3. CHOOSING OUR WORDS
Importantly, how do we ask things of God? Well, again from my experience, we just need to keep it simple.
We just ask for what is needed!
There’s no need to start with, “If you don’t mind …” etc. And there’s no need either to choose every single word carefully. God knows exactly what we want before we say it, of course, but he needs to hear us ask. That way he can make it clear, through answered prayers, that he is present in our lives and that he really does love us.
4. ASK IN FAITH AND TRUST
Certainly, when praying, stronger faith means a greater chance of success. “Faith” here simply equals “confidence in God and his power” when praying. We TRUST in him. As Jesus himself said, “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” [Mark 11:23] That is a pretty clear statement about faith-filled prayer isn’t it?
In our mind’s eye, as we pray, we should endeavour to see the positive outcome of our request. Again in relation to our faith in the power of prayer, in Jesus’ own words, “… believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” In effect we are opening the situation in question completely to God’s boundless power through our prayer; faithfully trusting in his willingness to assist!
Of course this advice is to be understood again in the context of other Bible-based guidance that follows in this article.
Now, beginner Christians may not be able to muster the level of faith that experienced Christians should possess, but I am sure that God takes that into account.
5. PRAY OFTEN
If the issue being prayed for is important enough in your life, then it is also a good idea to pray for it regularly as well. Even Jesus himself was known to do so [Matthew 26:43].
6. GROUP PRAYERS
An additional way of increasing the power of prayer is through ‘group prayer’. Two or more people constitutes a group, and the more involved the better. One person leads with prayer. Verbal support or ‘affirmation’ from other participant/s is also a good idea as it amplifies faith and confidence in the process, i.e. it adds greater power. (Prayers in church services fit into this category of course.)
Also, to my mind, group prayer works well because God can, by answering these prayers, touch the hearts of a whole bunch of people. By answering one group prayer, he can demonstrate that he is lovingly present within the life of each person in that group.
7. NO OBSESSIONS
However, beware of an unhealthy obsession or preoccupation with the object of prayer. That can lead to poor results.
In effect the object of prayer then becomes a ‘false idol’. As such, it is of greater importance to us than the God on whom we are reliant for results. And then, logically, it isn’t going to work!
8. WRAPPING IT UP
Most Christians finish their prayers of request with the words, “In Jesus’ name, Amen”.
Why add the words, “In Jesus’ name”? Well, he suggested we make our requests that way in John 15:16 (in the Bible’s New Testament). And he included the words, “ … No one comes to the Father except through me …” in John 14:6.
Finally, the word, “Amen” means something like, “May it happen” or “I really mean this”.
Let me please also say that my suggested advice above doesn’t always have to be in place to ensure the success of prayers. (We do have a loving God after all.) For example, a personal request for inner strength in the face of physical, emotional or spiritual pain always has a high chance of success no matter how we ask for it. Please see the article, “God during hard times” for more on this.
BUT … But still … not all prayers will succeed. Without doubt, from my lengthy experience with prayer, there are circumstances that can stand in the way of success. And when considered, these circumstances should become obvious to us.
So next, let us look at “Prayers that may fail“.
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