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  • Writer's pictureJohn Nolan

How To: Pray Effectively (Understanding The Simple Basics Of Prayer)

Updated: Jun 28

Prayer is universal among the nations of the world, although it is often found in different religions and practiced in different ways, the fact remains that mankind is drawn inexorably to pray. The reason for this is that man is primarily a spirit being, who lives in a body and has an eternal soul. Man came from God, and it is back toward God that we are drawn through the exercise of prayer. This blog will lay some foundations about the basic fundamentals of prayer, a foundation that I encourage every person to build upon themselves.

Lord Teach Us To Pray
Man Praying To God

Todays Scripture

In this manner, therefore, pray: 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. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one... (Matthew 6:9-13)

Understanding The Basics Of Prayer:

What is Prayer ?

(Genesis 4:26) And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.

Prayer in it's simplest form is basically calling upon God for help.

In whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, we come to God because He alone is Almighty and has the power to do things that we can not. We come seeking His assistance through the act of prayer.


Understanding The Basics Of Prayer:

Who Do We Pray To?

(John 14:6) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me

"We Pray To Our Heavenly Father God, Through Jesus Christ His Son"

Jesus Christ came to reveal God our Heavenly Father back to mankind. Mankind came from Him and walked with Him in the beginning, but through the deception of Satan in the Garden of Eden, mankind lost that daily sense of communion with God.

The inner nature of man became perverted and sinful as we fell under the control of Satan, and our thoughts and lives became selfish and carnal as that fallen nature manifested in our daily lives.

*Through Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and by yielding to His Lordship in our lives we receive forgiveness of all of our sins, are accepted back into God's family, and have access to God renewed through faith and prayer.

Through Jesus Christ we can now come into God's presence in prayer with confidence because we have our past forgiven and our conscience cleansed by the Holy Spirit.


Understanding The Basics Of Prayer:

How Do You Physically Pray

Here are some ways to pray that are found in the Bible.

(Nehemiah 1:4) So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

(Mark 11:25) “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses

Ways To Pray

(2 Kings 4:35) He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes

(Exodus 34:8) So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped

(1 Timothy 2:8) I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting

(Luke 22:41)

And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed

(Matthew 26:39) He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.


Understanding The Basics Of Prayer:

What is our Attitude in Prayer

(Psalm 24:3-5) Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation

We need to humble ourselves and prepare our hearts before we enter into God's Presence through prayer. God is not to be trifled with or treated the way we treat our fellow man, we are not on the same level as Him because He is our Creator, He is Holy, All-Knowing, All-Seeing, and Almighty. Although He welcomes us into His family as children of God, we should never forget that He deserves our worship, honor, and praise.

Asking His forgiveness and cleansing often and continually yielding our lives to Him enables His process of transformation to continue and ensures the channels of prayer stay open between us.


Understanding The Basics Of Prayer:

Simple Keys to Success in Prayer

  • Faithfulness in Prayer

(Luke 18:1) Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,

Faithfulness in prayer is a wonderful habit to develop as it transforms our hearts daily as we see God's goodness in our lives and provides many answered prayers.

  • Praying in Secret

(Matthew 6:6) But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

When we can separate ourselves from the distractions of life, we are released to enter into a beautiful relationship with our loving Heavenly Father in prayer.

  • Praying in Faith

(Hebrews 11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him

Always remember these 2 things,

  1. God is there and

  2. He wants to reward you

when you seek Him earnestly in prayer.


Understanding The Basics Of Prayer:

Some Biblical Types of Prayer

(1 Timothy 2:1)

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,

  • Supplications

Supplications ask God to supply specific benefits or needs.

  • Prayers

Prayers are respectful devotion.

  • Intercessions

Intercessions are earnest appeals made on behalf of others.

  • Giving of Thanks

Thanksgivings are expressions of gratitude for mercies received.


Understanding The Basics Of Prayer:

Aspects Of Prayer Found in 'The Lord's Prayer'

Our Father in heaven

Relationship: Is the close personal bond we continue to develop with God throughout life (Luke 12:32)

Hallowed (or Holy) be your name

Praise: Is the act of verbally thanking God for His goodness and mercy (Psalm 50:23)

Your kingdom come

Purpose: God's kingdom is partially experienced in the spiritual lives of believers now, but will eventually physically come when Jesus returns (Luke 17:21)

Your will be done

Submission: The life of every believer is to be yielded to God's will and choices for their life, no longer living for ourselves but now living for God. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

On earth as it is in heaven

Dominion: God created the earth and the heavens and therefore owns them, the rule of the earth was given to mankind but usurped through deception by Satan. God's rules in heaven and when Jesus returns will rule again on earth. (Isaiah 66:1)

Give us this day our daily bread

Provision: When man was created in the Garden of Eden God provided everything he needed for life, this level of provision is restored when we come to Christ. (Genesis 2:9)

And forgive us our debts (Sins)

Forgiveness: Even as disciples of Jesus Christ we can at times fall back into sinful actions that are not acceptable to God. When this happens we can come confidently to Jesus and receive forgiveness and cleansing afresh. (1 John 1:9)

As we forgive our debtors

Reconciliation: We are called not only to receive God's forgiveness of our sins, but also to give forgiveness to our fellow man when they sin against us personally. (Matthew 6:14-15)

And lead us not into temptation

Protection: Temptation will always be present while we live within a fallen world, but God provides a way of escape for us as His children (1 Corinthians 10:13)

But deliver us from the evil one

Deliverance: When we yield our life to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit destroys the powers of evil that had dominion over us. This same mighty power is available for all believers to deliver us from the snares that the devil sets for us in life. (John 14:30), (1 John 4:4)

I would encourage every believer to memorize the 'The Lord's Prayer' and to say it every day at the beginning of your prayer time. This is the prayer that Jesus gave to His disciples when they asked Him to teach them how to pray, and is a prayer that is filled with wisdom and understanding about how we should approach our Father in Heaven.

God Bless

John Nolan


This teaching is now also available as a Free Audiobook on our YouTube Channel


*For further study on the subject of Prayer you might also be interested in my recent Blog


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