23 Essential Things to Learn about Prayer
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Prayer is such an important thing, & it’s easy to get confused when we hear different things about it from different people. Below is a list of Super Important Things to Learn about Prayer, & all of the items are based off of Scripture.
- Prayer is . . . crying out to heaven, falling to your knees before the Father, pouring out your soul to the Lord, seeking God’s favor, & drawing near to God.
And, in order to do any of these things, we clearly have to talk to God.
It’s taking the time to communicate & enjoy our intimate relationship with our Abba Father.
Think about the word Father for a minute – if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, then we are family! What a privilege it is to be able to call God our Father!
2 Chronicles 32:20 says, “King Hezekiah & the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this.”
Ephesians 3:14 says, “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees & pray to the Father.”
1 Samuel 1:15 says, “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD.”
Exodus 32:11a says, “But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God.”
Psalm 73:28 says, “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.”
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- We are to make our requests known to God.
We don’t need to be shy about asking God for the things we want.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer & petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
- We are to believe we have received whatever we’ve asked for in prayer.
We can trust & know that God will respond. He always does what’s best for us.
Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, & it will be yours.
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- We are to be constant in prayer.
God is interested in the details of our lives. We can & should be continually talking to Him.
And . . . I don’t care what they (who is “they” anyway?!) say about people talking to themselves, I sometimes talk to God when I’m alone, & a person who saw or heard me might think I’m crazy or talking to myself. 😂
There will never come a time when we’ll say, “Okay, we can stop praying now.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray continually, & Ephesians 6:18 says, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers & requests.
With this in mind, be alert & always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
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- The Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Romans 8:26 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
I think this is SO neat because the Holy Spirit is our helper! When we don’t know what to say or how to express something, He’s there to help us.
It is a relief to know that the effectiveness of our prayers doesn’t depend on how well we do it!
- God isn’t looking for many words and/or fancy words.
God isn’t keeping track of how many words we say or how many “big” words we say. What He cares about is hearing from us & that we want to be close to Him.
Matthew 6:7 says, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”
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- We should pray for each other.
This reminds me of Philippians 2:3 because it says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
We need to be praying for everyone we can think of, not just ourselves & our families.
It can be easy to be consumed in our own world & not be aware or think about all the things that are going on outside of our families or close circle of friends.
- We are to pray for kings & for all who are in high positions.
Yes, this means we should pray for The President & all others who have some level of power or authority. I think the more responsibility one has, the more they need prayer!
1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession & thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings & all those in authority, that we may live peaceful & quiet lives in all godliness & holiness.
- Jesus gave us a model prayer in Matthew Chapter 6, verses 9-13 & in Luke Chapter 2, verses 2-6, the one many of us are familiar with, that says,
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, & forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
The 1st step is to praise our Father. The 2nd step is to admit that we need forgiveness, which means we are sinners. The 3rd step, the last thing we are to do, is ask for the things we desire.
- We are to pray for our enemies.
Yeah, this one can be hard. It’s easy to pray for the people who are nice to us, the people we love. You know what, though?
If we sincerely pray for someone we’re not crazy about, things start to change. It’s difficult to pray for & hate someone at the same time.
- Jesus made prayer a priority.
He was constantly praying – He prayed by Himself, in front of others, before healing, after healing, before making important decisions, before a meal, after a meal, to do His Father’s will, etc.
Obviously, it was very important to Jesus to spend time (& not just 5 minutes) talking to His Father.
Luke 6:12 says, “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, & spent the night praying to God.”
Luke 5:16 says, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places & prayed.”
- The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
I think this is very encouraging to read! If we’re trying to live right, with God’s help, of course, then our prayers are very powerful!
James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other & pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful & effective.”
- We can pray anytime, anywhere, aloud or silently & about anything.
It doesn’t matter where, when, or how we pray. Nothing is too big or small to bring before God.
I’ve always loved pasta so when I was a child, I would pray & thank God for “big macaroni & little macaroni.” 👱♀️
When something doesn’t go the way we expected, God can handle our anger and/or frustration. God knows how we feel anyway, so why not talk to Him about it?
Below are just some of the times we can & ought to pray. Click on any of the links to see prayers you can use to guide your conversation with God.
When we need Forgiveness, Before Class, After Class, Before Work, When we or someone we love needs Healing, When we need Strength & Hope, When we or someone we love needs Protection, Sunday Morning, Monday Morning, Tuesday Morning, Wednesday Morning, Thursday Morning, Friday Morning, When you would like to say a Birthday Prayer, When you would like to say a Good Morning Sunday Blessing over your friend or loved one, When you would like to say a Psalm 91 Prayer (prayer of safety)
- We can come boldly before the throne.
I really like this because it means we don’t need to be scared or timid to come to our Father, we can have confidence in approaching Him with anything.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, & find grace to help in time of need.”
- We are to be humble in prayer.
It’s not a time to be showy, prideful, to try to make ourselves look good to others. We should be focusing only on God.
Humble means to have or show a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance. If we humble ourselves, we will be exalted.
Matthew 6:5-6 says, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues & on the street corners to be seen by others.
Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door & pray to your Father, who is unseen.
Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Luke 18:10-14 tells the story of two men went up to the temple to pray, one was a Pharisee & the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood by himself & prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week & give a tenth of all I get.’
But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast & said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, & those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “if my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves & pray & seek My face & turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, & I will forgive their sin & will heal their land.”
- God hears if we ask anything that is His will.
It’s important that our will is in alignment with God’s will. If we are in the habit of reading His word & spending time in prayer, then we should want what God wants.
1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
- If we haven’t forgiven someone, we should forgive them so God will forgive us.
Yep, another difficult one! We may want to hold a grudge or think that someone doesn’t deserve to be forgiven, but . . . God won’t forgive us if we refuse to forgive someone.
We have been forgiven of SO much! If God could sacrifice His Son on the cross for us, we should make the decision to forgive (it is a decision, not a feeling).
- We should pray when we’re in trouble.
I think this one is pretty easy. For a lot of us, I think it comes naturally to ask God for help when we need it or don’t know what to do.
But . . . if we notice that this is the only time (or mostly the only time) we’re talking to our Father, then something is wrong.
James 5:13 says, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”
- We should pray so we won’t fall into temptation.
If prayer helps me not fall into temptation, then this is another reason I want to pray!
The moment we think we’re safe, that we’re not going to be tempted, is the time we’re most vulnerable to fall into one of Satan’s traps.
Matthew 26:41 says, ““Watch & pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- The prayer of the upright pleases God, He hears the prayers of the righteous.
It gives God pleasure to hear from us. We can know that He actually hears us & that He is always available!
We don’t have to leave a voicemail & wait for Him to get back to us. 🙂
When you have a relationship with someone, you want to hear from them regularly, not just when they need help.
Proverbs 15:8 says, “The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases Him.”
Proverbs 15:29 says, ““The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayers of the righteous.”
- God will answer the prayer of one who is in need.
Psalm 102:17 says, “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; He will not despise their plea.”
To be destitute means you don’t have the things you need. We can be sure that God will answer when the people who don’t have the basic necessities pray.
- We should be faithful & devoted to prayer.
If we are in a relationship with someone, we should be talking to them on a regular basis. To be faithful & devoted means to be loyal & stand firm.
God doesn’t keep track of how long we pray, but if we enjoy something, we don’t usually hurry through it.
We may be in the habit of not taking our time when we pray, but I believe we’re missing out on blessings when we do it that way. We need to be passionate about prayer!
Colossians 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful & thankful.”
Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
- We should continually pray & never give up.
Luke 18:1 says, “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray & not give up.”
We already covered being constant in prayer in #4, but we didn’t discuss never giving up. Even though we will feel like throwing in the towel at times, we need to hang in there.
When my depression was at its worst in March of 2021, the song below was an encouragement to me in that very difficult time.
Now that we’ve reached the end of the list, what do you think? Is there a specific thing that speaks to you? Have you felt convicted by a certain one?
As you can see, there are many things to learn about prayer. I have much to learn & many areas to grow in. 🙂
Learn about Prayer: List of Essential Things
I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
Thank you, and it is my prayer that you have a very blessed day! ❤
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