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How To Pray Effectively: 12 Proven Steps

How To Pray Effectively: 12 Proven Steps

God has made a vast amount of power available to us through prayer. However, it is one thing to pray and another thing to pray effectively. God releases His power mightily when we commit ourselves to pray effectively.

To be effective in prayer, we must first learn to pray confidently, knowing that God listens and will act accordingly.

Have you been praying without receiving answers? It is most likely you have not been praying effective prayers. You will discover how to pray effectively through the insights I have provided in this article.

You will also experience the unlimited privilege and extraordinary power of effective prayer. But first, let’s see the factors that cause prayers to be ineffective.

Why Are Some Prayers Ineffective?

The Bible in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV) says – Pray without ceasing. This means that God will always answer each time we call upon Him. But the question is, why are some prayers ineffective? Why do some of our prayers go unanswered?

I will provide you with a list of the factors that can make the prayers of a Christian ineffective below.

  1. The Absence of An Intimate Relationship with God.

An intimate relationship with God is the first thing required to make your prayer effective. After all, He is the one you present your supplications to.

If He isn’t your Father, then you have no right to ask Him for anything. Asking without first accepting His gift of salvation and becoming intimate with Him will only make your prayer ineffective and go unanswered.

2. Faithlessness.

Mark 11:24 (NIV) Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Matthew 21:22 (NIV) also says – If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

Faith is a crucial element required for effective prayers and receiving anything we request from God. Many of us pray but often, when we do, our hearts are full of doubts.

We second-guess everything, from feeling unworthy to ask God for our needs to expressing doubt over God’s ability to grant the answers we need, especially when we need those answers.

James 1:6-7  (NIV) – But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7: That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

  1. Unforgiveness.

Matthew 6:14–15 (NIV) – For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15: But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to our prayers is unforgiveness. Many of us knowingly and unknowingly harbor bitterness, grudges, and unforgiveness in our hearts. These hinder prayers greatly.

4. Sin.

Isaiah 59:2 (NIV) – Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 2: But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear.

Sin makes prayers very ineffective. It also makes us vulnerable to the devil’s attack. On the contrary, living a holy life is one of the ways to make your prayers effective and receive answers.

  1. Praying Amiss.

James 4:3 (NIV) – When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

The knowledge of God’s Word and the assistance of the Holy Spirit helps us pray guided prayers – praying according to God’s will, not our selfish motives or ignorance. But a prayer offered in error or ignorance will likely be amiss and ineffective.

How To Pray Effectively

  1. Begin By Adoring God.

By adoration, I mean to worship God for who He is instead of what He has done for you.

In adoration, we verbalize our worship, reverence, praise, and exaltation of God. So, express your love for God with your words, honoring Him for just who is.

2. Confess Your Sins and Repent from Them.

As you begin your prayer by worshiping and adoring God, the Holy Spirit will bring to your mind any sin in you need to confess and repent from.

To confess means “To agree with.” In other words, you agree with God concerning your sin, that it is indeed sin. After confession, sincerely repent from it. Also, promise God you will not return to it.

3. Offer Thankful Praise.

Giving God thanks expresses faith, and God loves faith and delights in it because it is the only thing He can’t give Himself.

In giving thanks, we verbally express our appreciation and gratitude for what God has done and is currently doing. When you thank God, you are telling God, “I trust you completely.”

  1. Ask – Tell God What You Want.

Philippians 4:6 says, be anxious for nothing. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (KJV). Supplication is telling God your requests.

Matthew 7:7,8 also says, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened (KJV).

So, bring your request before God – tell Him what you want. You can pray for everything that concerns your life and the lives of anyone you would like to commit to God. Over the years, I have learned to really ask and ask big because I have received answers to many of my prayers.

The times I asked for small things, God granted them. Even when I thought I was greedy and asked Him for things I thought were too much, God granted those requests. That made me stop asking for little things.

It has also taught me to trust God more. As a result of the dumbfounding answers I have received each time I make massive requests, I have learned to ask and ask for significant things. Indeed we serve a BIG God who can grant big requests.

We only limit ourselves when we make small requests or ask in fear or express doubt when we do. So, I urge you to tell God exactly what you need when praying to Him.

However, you must be careful not to ask with the wrong motive; that would be praying amiss, and that will be an ineffective prayer.

  1. Study Scripture and Pray with Verses That Strike A Cord in Your Heart.

First, a good knowledge of the Bible helps us pray effectively. Secondly, praying Scriptures remains one of the most effective ways to pray. Have you ever conversed with someone who kept talking without stopping to hear your opinion?

We do the same thing to our Father in Heaven when we pray without studying His word – the easiest place He speaks to us. The Bible is His eternal letter of love and wisdom to us.

Studying Scripture helps us to know God. This, in turn, brings life to our prayer and aligns it perfectly with God’s will. If you want to have effective conversations with God, study His word.

Each time you are at it, stop and pray over any verse you find striking or that ministers to your heart. More so, this will make you familiar with many Scriptures that you can pray with even when you are not studying the  Bible.

The book of Psalms has many verses we can use to express our heart’s content to God.

Also See: How to Pray: A Step-By-Step Guide.

  1. Pray in Tongues.

One of the most incredible ways to offer effective prayers is to pray in tongues. The reason praying in tongues makes your prayer highly effective is that you can never pray amiss with tongues.

If you are baptized in the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues, incorporate tongues into your prayer each time you pray.

Praying in tongues helps me focus on God when I pray; it enables me to pray result-yielding prayers, and most of all, I pray longer when I pray in tongues.

  1. Be Proactive in Your Prayer.

Prayer grows dull when we allow it to become a mere mental exercise. You don’t have to sit or kneel quietly while praying. God, who is creative, also made us creative beings.

So, be proactive and creative in your prayer. To achieve this, you can walk around or pace back and forth when praying. You can also have a cool gospel song that ministers deeply to you playing in the background while you are praying.

Pray aloud; this will help you keep your mind completely focused on God.

8. Pray in a Simple Manner.

You might think you have to pray with passionate and persuasive words for God to hear you. But the truth is that one of the most effective ways to pray is to pray in a simple manner – requiring little or no effort.

In as much as there is time to bombard Heaven with passionate and persuasive words, simple words like “Lord, I love you,” “strengthen me today,” “please heal my child,” etc., are words that are straight from the heart and God delights to hear such.

  1. Believe God for Answers with All Your Heart.

Matthew 21:22 (NIV) – If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Faith is believing you will receive when you ask. So, when you pray, trust God’s ability to grant your request to the latter.

Do not give room in your heart for an iota of doubt. Instead, have faith and do not stop trusting that God will bring a manifestation of what you have requested. Regardless of how long it takes before He gives you an answer, don’t stop believing.

10. Persist in Prayer.

God is not a vending machine that dispenses what we ask for. We don’t enter our request and expect an answer immediately.

As much as God wants to answer our prayers, He is equally interested in forming relationships with us and shaping our hearts. So, pray and keep praying until you have received, in full, what you have been asking for.

God has big plans for every one of us. He works on a larger scale than you can comprehend. It may take some time for Him to orchestrate everything He needs to put in place for the answer you want.

So, persist in your prayer; you may not see what God is doing now. But believe that He is working everything out for your good, and keep praying. Have faith that He is at work in your life, and in His perfect timing, He will do what you seek for His own glory.

  1. Be Expectant.

Prayer becomes even more exciting when we have prayed, and it is time to wait expectantly on God for answers. After you have prayed, stay expectant to receive from God because He will, indeed.

  1. Abide in God.

In John 15:7, Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (NIV). Abiding is the key to effective supplication.

Often, we pray, and after some time, some of us abandon God and go their way, especially when the answers to prayers don’t seem to be forthcoming.

However, you should abide in Him while believing every single jot of His promises, especially the promise to answer your prayers. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.


Now that you know how to pray effectively, you can begin afresh with a renewed prayer life. As you pray, be expectant and watch out for answers.

He might answer differently from what you expect. But rest assured, His answer will always be far better than what you expect.

So, believe in your prayers and that God listens to every of your word. Believe He has the power to do all things, including answering your prayers and granting all your heart’s desires.

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