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How to Pray: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Pray: A Step-By-Step Guide

Pray is one of the misunderstood concepts in Christendom. Some denominations believe that we should pray quietly without raising our voices so as not to draw the attention of others.

Meanwhile, some others think that the best way to pray to communicate with God is to pray out loud.

However, whatever your belief is, you must pray. Jesus, speaking in the book of Luke 18:1, said Men always ought to pray and not faint.

Hence, this is a lucid indication that we all, as Christians, should be prayerful as long as we are still alive. It then brings us to the definition of prayer.

What is Prayer?

Prayer remains an integral part of Christianity. It’s not a magical formula to get what we want from God by merely speaking some sanctified words to Him.

Neither is it reserved for some sanctimonious holy people and to be made at certain places or times of the day. Prayer is simply a conversation with God. The most basic definition of prayer is that it is communication with God.

Life is full of ups and downs; that’s why we need God’s divine strength to pull us through life’s many challenges.

Consistency in prayer can help us achieve much more than we can ever imagine. Just as it is good to pray, it is better to know how to maximize your prayer to achieve results.

So, are you passing through any challenges? Or do you need God’s intervention in your life?

Do well to read to the end of this article as I will walk you through how to pray with power: a step-by-step guide on how to do it effectively. But before we delve in to see how to pray with power, let’s consider the different types of prayer.

Different Types of Prayer

  1. Prayer of Confession (Psalm 3:5)
  2. Thanksgiving prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  3. Prayer of guidance (Psalm 25:4-5)
  4. Adoration prayer (Psalm 148:13)
  5. Prayer of vows (1 Samuel 1:10)
  6. Healing prayer (Psalm 147:3)
  7. Prayer of intercession (Luke 23:34)
  8. Petition prayer (Philippians 4:6)
  9. Prayer for help and deliverance (Psalm 107:6)
  10. Blessing prayer (Philippians 1:9 -11)
  11. Transformation prayer ( Psalm 139:23)
  12. Prayer of quiet reflection (Psalm 63:6)

Why Do We Need to Pray?

Do you pray so you can get stuff from God? If that’s the reason you pray, I’d like you to know that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking God to bless you.

However, that is only one important reason you should pray as a Christian. There are many more significant reasons we should pray.

First, we pray because God invites us to pray (Luke 18:1). In other words, prayer is an invitation from God to us to draw near to Him and to learn more of his will for our lives.

When we understand why it’s expedient to pray, we will realize that God is inviting us into something extraordinary and mighty – that deepens our relationship with him.

Understanding why we should pray is foundational to learning how to pray.

Meanwhile, the following are some other reasons we should pray as believers:

  1. Jesus Himself prayed (Hebrews 5:7).
  2. The followers of Jesus prayed, and as his followers now, we ought to pray too (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 6:4).
  3. We pray to defeat Satan (Luke 22:31-32).
  4. To strengthen our spiritual lives (Jude 20).
  5. We pray to receive healing (James 5:14-15)
  6. To glorify God’s name (Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4).
  7. We pray to accomplish the impossible (Matthew 21:22; James 5:17-18; Mark 9:29)
  8. To receive God’s blessings (Matthew 7:7-11).
  9. We pray to overcome temptations (Matthew 26:41).
  10. To know the will of God (Luke 11:9-10).

How to Pray Powerfully and Effectively

Scattered in the scriptures are scenarios where prayer resulted in instantaneous response with the raw power of God, just as we saw in 1 Kings 18 when Elijah commanded fire to fall from heaven.

Praying with power can turn challenging situations around swiftly. Another example from the Bible is how Hannah’s life turned around when she prayed fervently to God for a son in 1 Samuel 1.

The undeniable truth is that there is an unmatchable power in prayer, and when we pray ardently, we experience this power often in our lives. This power manifest in physical healing, emotional healing, divine provisions, miracles, etc.

The disciples realized that praying with power comes with specific knowledge. Consequently, they requested that Jesus teach them how to pray.

One day Jesus was praying in a particular place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples. Luke 11:1 – You, too, like the disciples, can learn how to pray and pray with power.

Here are the steps to pray with power:

  1. Know who you are Talking to:

Firstly, you have to believe in God and that He hears you. Hebrews 11:6 – Without faith, it is impossible to please God, and anyone who draws near must believe that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

Pray is talking with God. So, you have to pray with the consciousness that you are speaking to God, who is so Mighty.

Preferably, start by acknowledging his presence as it’s stated in the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Jesus taught his disciples first to recognize the father.

And throughout the Gospels, we saw that he started by acknowledging the father for most miracles he performed.

To make it simpler, focus on the personality of the Trinity with whom you are very familiar. For example, praying to the Holy Spirit gets me results swiftly if I need direction.

I was in transit and realized I had missed my way. In haste, I brought out my cellphone to call, only to find out that my battery was too low to make any call. I muttered a word to the Holy Spirit in my confused state, reminding him that he was my Guardian.

After the short prayer, I followed the voice prompt in my heart, and surprisingly, I arrived at my destination unaided. Knowing who you are speaking with helps direct what you say.

It means that if you don’t have a relationship with God to whom you want to pray to, the first thing you need to do is acknowledge him. Next, you establish a relationship with him. Then you can come boldly before him in prayer.

  • Confess your sins:

Isaiah 59 1-2: for his hand is not short that he cannot save nor his ear heavy that he cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you, and your God and your sins have hidden his fear that he can’t hear. As much as God loves sinners, he hates sin.

You must intentionally acknowledge that you have sinned and ask Him to forgive you. The good news is that he is always ready to forgive.

Confessing your sins does not in any way make you a backslider or a person who doesn’t understand the grace of God.

But instead, it is proof that you don’t treat the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross with levity.

Jesus, when teaching his disciples how to pray, said, ” forgive us this day our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In James 5:16- confess your sins to one another and pray for the sick.

The prayer of the righteous man is powerful and effective. So, this is an essential step in getting answers to your prayers. God is ever willing to respond swiftly to a righteous man’s prayer.

  • Thank Him:

Saying “Thank You” to God for his mercies and his provision is a great way to start a prayer with God. God loves a grateful heart. When we prove to him that we are thankful for all he does for us, we urge him to do more.

God turns up for us in so many ways, and it’s only right to say thank you and to acknowledge that the things he does for us and only be done by him alone. When we pray, we owe God to thank him and praise him for his goodness and his wonders in our lives.

We can mention specific instances in our lives where he made a way where there seemed like there was none. David was called a man after God’s heart because he praised God for every little thing.

In Psalm 139:14, David says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well .”Like David, we can appreciate God for his creation and for His provisions in our lives.

Praying to God only in times of want or despair is not the way to go. Hence, we must remember that we have countless reasons to be thankful to God and that his mercies in our lives are new every morning. He deserves all of our praises.

  • Pray with Faith:

The issue of faith cannot be overemphasized in our walk with God. You can liken it to a currency if I walk into a grocery store and buy groceries worth $100. If I can’t pay the $100 at the end of my purchase, I won’t be allowed to go home with the items I bought.

So it is with faith. The currency to purchase from heaven is faith. When I had this understanding, I got things quickly when I prayed.

Mark 11:23I tell you if you say to this mountain be lifted and be cast into the sea and do not doubt in his heart. But believe what he says in his heart shall be done to them.

We often make petitions and confessions we don’t believe would be answered. The church prayed for a young man in my local assembly.

After service, I met with him to discuss a few things. After exchanging pleasantries, the first sentence from his mouth was, “I am sick. ”

Sadly, some of us are like that, brother. After prayers, we forget what we told God.

But if you want to ensure that your prayer is powerful, then you must learn to trust God to produce the best outcome from your request, even when the answer doesn’t come immediately.

  • Pray the Scriptures:

Psalms 138:2- for he magnified his word more than thy holy name. It is where many of us stumble. We do not know the word of God and pray with guesses. But I’m afraid that’s not right.

Jesus used the scriptures during his temptation ( Luke 4:1-12), and we saw how victorious he was. Likewise, we should use God’s words to pray.

So, necessity is laid on us all to know the Scriptures. Josephath leveraged this, and we saw how God showed up for him. (2 Chronicles 20).

Anytime I am in distress, I look for God’s promises related to those circumstances, which has been a bailout. In praying the scriptures, you must ensure that you fully grasp the context of what you are reading.

Let the Holy Spirit speak to you through the passage as you personalize it. By personalizing it, you put yourself in a position to receive God’s blessings as written in the scriptures.

  • Pray With Songs:

Praying with songs is a powerful way to pray. Recall that Paul and Silas were able to break free from the chains that bound them through worshipping and praising God in Acts 16. Songs are deeply linked to emotions.

They have a way of speaking to our hearts and minds when we might be too downcast or unable to speak.

In times like that, praying along to the lyrics of songs that rightly express how you feel at the moment is a superb way to communicate with God and open up your heart to him.

King David, in the Bible, wrote and sang psalms to God as prayers. He emptied his heart to the Lord on several occasions when he was in pain or praising God for his goodness.

When you are overwhelmed, listen to melodious worship and allow the words to be your voice at that moment. The music can calm your soul and help bring focus and concentration to God Almighty.

  • Pray in the Spirit:

Praying in the spirit is to pray with divine help. It’s trusting God and relying on him to hear and act. Praying in the spirit is a gift the Holy Spirit gives us due to our faith in Jesus.

And pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people (Ephesians 6:18).

  • Close in the Name of Jesus Christ:

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, and we also close our prayer by saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” Perhaps you are wondering why we do this.

I’ll tell you; it’s because Jesus is our Savior, our mediator, and eternal life. Finally, we close with a declaration of Amen.

This shows that you believe in whom you have prayed to, and you have faith that the prayers you made have been answered.

2 Corinthians 1:20 – For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him, the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Also See: Spiritual Warfare Prayers: 17 Powerful.

A pray could be as simple as this:

Dear Lord Jesus, I am grateful to you for your divine protection in my life. I am incredibly thankful for the safe trip you granted me today.

As I try to walk in your precepts and keep your ordinances, please help me always remember to pray. Dear Holy Spirit, please help me to study your word daily. Above all, teach me the things I don’t understand to grow in wisdom and knowledge.

In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Different Ways to Pray

Pray is a natural impulse of faith and one of the signs of our devotion to God. In it, we pour out our hearts in thanksgiving, Confession, adoration, petition, and intercession as we submit ourselves to God’s will.

Pray is undoubtedly a passionate affair because it involves the whole of who we are when we are at it. Meanwhile, we are at liberty to decide how we want to pray.

There is no biblical evidence to prove that praying out loud is more effective than praying silently or any other way we may wish to adopt in our prayers.

The following are some ways to pray:

  • Praying Silently:

Praying silently opens your ears and heart to God to hear him speak. It is a form of prayer where God does the talking and all you do, is listen. We often jump into prayer without giving God a chance to communicate with us.

When praying silently, surround yourself with quietness and just listen. Praying this way allows us to connect deeply with God and understand His will and Intentions for us. We can hear his answers, questions, and his directions.

Praying silently involves sitting still and quieting your mind. You let your body relax by taking deep breaths, close your eyes if the spirit directs you to, channel that quietness on the infinite presence of God within your heart. A

t this moment, you allow the spirit to lead you into God’s quiet place, where he dwells as the source of your being.

There’s no need for thoughts and words; your prayer is being there in God’s presence, feeling the quiet and never-ending love of God for as long as you are inspired to.

  • Praying Audibly:

The truth is that we don’t want to get into a habit of always praying silently and never making our prayers out loud.

Jesus provided some examples through his life and teachings of how we can communicate sincerely to God aloud. He, however, attached a condition to praying out loud.

Matthew 6:6 – Go to your room and shut the door. In other words, we are to seek privacy to pray out loud (unless we are in corporate or group prayer). Then you are allowed to be as loud as you want.

  • Crying:

While crying benefits us physically, as it relieves stress and physical and emotional pain, crying is also a form of prayer.

There are times in our lives when we are so upset that we have no words to pray. We close our eyes to pray, but we feel a lump on our throats, and we can only cry.

In those tough times, your tears can be your prayer. God understands the depth of your problem; he knows the pain behind every tear and will come to your aid.

Sometimes words are not needed in prayer. Like the Silent prayer where all you do is listen to God when you cry, your heart does the talking. God is always listening.

  • Prayer Walk:

Taking prayer walks is a great way to pray for a particular place and the people who live in or around it.

It involves taking a physical walk through your community or a place that you believe strongly needs prayer and committing it into the hands of God.

It helps you focus on your thoughts and counts as an act of service. You can intercede for an entire community during a prayer walk by asking God for the forgiveness of any sins that might stand in the way of the progress of the community.

You can take prayer walks with a friend or two and pray with them. In this case, you join your faith with theirs and pray over a specific issue, believing in God to send answers forth.

  • Pray with a Partner:

Matthew 18:19- If the two of you on Earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done by my father in heaven.

The prayer of agreement has always been efficacious. I call out friends to join me in agreement as we talk to God. And over the years, it has been giving me positive results.

You, too, have to try it. If you don’t have a prayer partner, make it a priority this year. Having a prayer partner is very helpful in certain aspects of our prayer life. One crucial area is the area of Confession.

God advises us to confess our sins to one another. Recall that the prayer of a sinner is an abomination to God.

Before we close our eyes to pray, we must first confess our sins before him and plead for his forgiveness. An available prayer partner listens to your confessions and intercedes for you while you pray for your forgiveness.

To have someone to air your feelings to will relieve you of the guilt that comes with sin. Another important reason to get a prayer partner is encouragement.

When you are weak and discouraged, a prayer partner helps you stand on your feet. When you feel too tired to pray, your partner holds your hands and prays with you. It is also a perfect exhibition of love.

The Benefits of Prayer

Prayer is intimacy with God. It goes beyond the spoken words of our mouths. We have a great privilege to access God’s throne room through it.

The beautiful part is that we can engage God daily for our protection, healing, provision, spiritual growth, and much more with it.

Below are some of the immense benefits of prayer:

  • It helps our fellowship with God:

Prayer draws us closer to God spiritually. When we constantly pray to God, we bare ourselves before him and allow Him to fill us with his spirit.

He enlightens us, and we begin to understand his words better and relate them to our daily living.

Effective communication with God helps us maintain a good relationship with him.

Just like we need to communicate often with our friends to keep the friendship going, we need to talk with God our father often, to build our faith in him and develop a strong bond with him.

  • Prayer helps to awaken the consciousness of the Holy Spirit in us:

One essential thing that prayer does is that it awakens the consciousness of the Holy Spirit in us.

It gives us the awareness that we are not alone and that God’s Spirit dwells in us. This awakening helps us obey God’s word and do the right thing.

The Holy Spirit communicates better with us when we pray often. The spirit of God is thus, able to help us flee from wrongdoing and gives a deep spiritual sense of things within and around us when we have an effective prayer life.

  • It shows our dependence on God:

Maintaining a daily prayer life is depending solely on God for answers to everything. When we pray to God, we build a relationship with him, solidifying dependence.

You realize that He alone can solve your problems and that he is never too busy; He is always available for you.

  • Creates an avenue for God to intervene in our lives:

Prayer is a means of relaying our problems and heart desires to God. When we pray to him about a situation, we ask him to take control of it.

Praying, therefore, is inviting God into our lives to intervene and turn things around. It allows us to cast all our burdens on Him and welcome him into our lives.

  • It helps reshape our lives:

Prayer helps reshape our lives in various ways. Communicating daily with God will open your eyes to what steps to take in improving your life.

When you allow God to take complete charge of your life through prayer, you open your heart to his directions and involve him in your entire decision-making.

  • Prayer is an act of obedience:

Prayer is a command from God. As followers of Christ, we are to follow his actions and behaviors.

Jesus Christ, while on Earth, Jesus often prayed to God. He commanded us in Matthew 9 to “Pray earnestly.”

  • It provides answers:

Praying to God helps us understand our purpose in life. It brings us closer to all the answers we seek concerning any aspect of our lives. When we pray, God guides us through challenging situations and helps us find peace.

Prayer boosts our confidence in God:

Doubts and worries often creep into our hearts at specific points in our lives. Prayer does for us because it pushes away all doubts and fears and increases our confidence in God.

When your heart is heavy, praying to God lightens your load and fills you with the assurance that things are turning around.

This confidence helps fight thoughts of negativity and build a positive mindset towards life, no matter what comes our way.

  1. It keeps us humble:

We admit that we are not in control of praying to God, but He is.

It reminds us that God is the answer to all our problems and that we cannot do without him. This realization helps keep us humble before God and greatly appreciate his presence in our lives.

In conclusion,

Perhaps you had questions like: what is prayer and its benefits? What is prayer, and what is its purpose? Or what is prayer, and why should we pray? I’m glad you now have all the answers to those questions.

Rest assured that you can get the same results even better as the people in biblical times. All you need to do after praying is to believe that your prayer has been answered.

Jeremiah 1:12 Then the Lord said thou hast seen well. I would hasten to perform my word.

Take advantage of the insights provided in this article: how to pray with power: a step-by-step guide and God will surely give you a speedy answer to those prayers.

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