How to ask God for help through prayer.
Successfully ask God for things.
“Prayers of request” as explained in the Bible.
Importantly, please read the introductory article to this section of the website, “God’s presence in our lives” before going on, if you have not already. It explains the various methods, available to us, that we can use to engage/ connect with God in our lives. And how our lives can be positively transformed as a result! It also tries to put those available methods, and our overall relationship with God, in perspective.
(To read about the ‘who’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ of this website please click here.)
This particular article is an intro to the subsection titled, “Praying for things”. The subsection is placed in the “God in our lives” section of the website. Please see the Menu Bar above.
2. HOW ‘PRAYERS OF REQUEST’ FIT IN
Without doubt, prayer is one of the ‘foundation blocks’ of Christian faith. As in any relationship, communication is a must. Time should be set aside to talk with God. But look, this may feel unusual at first. And I write that with due regard to how I felt about it when I was a beginner Christian!
As mentioned already, this subsection is about ‘prayers of request’. Yes, it’s about how to ask God for things that you, and other people you know, might need. Mind you, there other ways of connecting with God through prayer, e.g. “Mature prayer”. And that relates to ‘relationship building’ stuff, I must add. It is explained in a separate article later in this “God in life” section.
3. WHEN TO MAKE PRAYERS OF REQUEST
But getting back to the point, we can use ‘prayers of request’ to ask for God’s help in all areas of our lives. For example, prayers requesting assistance, from God, for both ourselves and others can be applied to our spiritual direction, doubts challenging our faith, personal relationships, family conflicts, health problems, struggles in life, education and work issues, ‘bad personal habits’, buying essential assets etc.
Simply put, God’s power can be applied to almost any genuine need, or difficulty, faced in life!
But I must add that we will NOT justifiably get everything we ask for. Yes, the subject is complicated … as expected by you I am sure. Of course, if prayers are not successful then our ‘belief in God’ may be weakened. So, it is at least useful for us to have some understanding, based on sound Bible-based knowledge, before beginning the practise. And I do get to that later.
4. IN SYNC WITH GOD?
I can say with complete confidence, based on my own experience, that answers to prayers definitely can positively influence our lives and the lives of others when we use them ‘appropriately’. I have seen some incredible stuff come off through prayer during my thirty plus years of evaluating Christian faith at use in life. Yes, their results really do offer strong evidence of God’s presence in our lives.
Although it sounds a bit selfish to use faith to gain assistance from God for ourselves in our day-to-day lives through prayers of request, it has two positive results. Firstly, it allows God to prove his unconditional love for us. He can make life a lot more purposeful and contented for us as a result. Secondly, by proving his presence is there, within our lives, enables both our own ‘belief and faith‘ to grow.
So, open your mind to the likelihood that our loving God awaits your requests for assistance – both for yourself and for others – and I do not believe you will be disappointed in the long term. From the New Testament:
So I say to you: Ask and it shall be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives;
he who seeks finds;
and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
You do not have, because you do not ask God.
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Remember though, as I keep advising, prayers must be ‘appropriate’. And there is plenty of Bible-based guidance, in this regard, within this subsection.
Now, the Lord knows exactly what we really ‘need’ in life, and when. So if our lives are in sync with his ‘vision’ for us, i.e. ‘God’s will‘, they really can be positively transformed. Our prayers of request should take these points into account.
5. KEEPING TRACK OF PRAYERS
So “ask and you shall receive” is the Bible’s promise – although ‘conditions apply’ as explained in those following articles.
Now as you would guess, when I started out using prayers decades ago, I did not know everything the Bible had to say about it. (Mind you I did at least try to ‘read up’ about it a bit.) And I was also a ‘bit slack’ in my approach. For a starter I often forgot exactly what I had prayed for, so I didn’t know what God had or hadn’t done for me as such. When I did come to hear about ‘prayer journals’ … well!
Prayer journals are useful to track discussions with God, and are a great idea for beginner Christians. Prayer requests should firstly be ‘stated and dated’. Then later-on we use these ‘journals’ to log God’s eventual response.
6. FOLLOWING ARTICLES
As I wrote earlier, we may not get everything we ask for through our prayers. That is for very good reasons. The following articles in this subsection offer suggestions, based on relevant Bible verses, to improve the success of your prayers:
These Bible-based understandings of mine are supported by my lengthy experience and evaluation. As usual I have discussed all manner of prayer with experienced fellow Christians and clergy on ‘my advisory team‘.
I really do recommend that you read all of the articles in this subsection on “Praying for things” – before putting any of their guidance to use. And that approach will make sure you do not take any of the Bible-based advice out of context, which might weaken your results.
Please continue to the next article, “Best way to pray for things”.