We know that praying is a very important part of our spiritual life. It is the way we stay connected to our Creator.
But sometimes we struggle with prayer. Maybe we don’t feel like we really know how to pray, so we worry that our prayers will go unanswered. We worry that we don’t even know the prayer basics.
The Bible actually gives us lots of insight on how, when, and what to pray. Let’s take a look at some examples….
Prayer Basics: 7 Bible Verses For How, When, and What To Pray
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1 John 5:14
This verse says,“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (NIV)
This verse tells us that our prayers will indeed be heard if we are asking in accordance with God’s will. It is important to remember that when we ask for things we should ask for them only if they line up with God’s will for our lives. I used to make plans and then ask for God’s blessing. Now I ask for God to show me His will for me and then I make my plans. That is one of the biggest prayer basics there is that so many of us miss out on.
1 Chronicles 16:11
1 Chronicles 16:11 commands us to “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”
Prayer should be a constant dialog with The Lord! Some think that prayer always needs to be a long, drawn-out session, but that is not true!
Our Creator wants us to be in constant communication with us, and that looks like frequent, short prayers throughout the day. I often pray just a sentence or two asking for God to go before me in a certain situation, or to guide my words during a conversation, or to give me strength when taking on a difficult project. We need to remember to seek his face always!
James 5:13 asks us “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”
This is an important reminder to pray when we are sad and when we are happy! God doesn’t want us only coming to Him when we need something.
He wants to hear from us when things are going well too. It is just as important to pray in gratitude (if not more so) because this is our chance to thank the Lord for all he has already blessed us with, and previous prayers He has answered for us.
Mark 11:24 reminds us “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Once we have prayed it is time to activate our faith! Doubt and unbelief will stand in the way of
God going to work in our lives. Once you have asked for something in prayer start believing it so you can start receiving it!
Matthew 7:11 says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Have you ever thought ‘I’m not going to pray for that. It’s too frivolous/silly/extravagant.’ This verse reminds us that our Father wants to bless us! Perhaps you have not because you ask not, which is from another great verse about prayer. (James 4:2)
Philippians 4:6 reminds us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
We should pray with confidence. The Lord has promised that He hears us when we pray, and that our prayers will be answered if they are in accordance with His will (Which we all want to be in, right?) So don’t be anxious. Bring God your prayers, set your requests at His feet, and then carry on with the confidence that He is working things out on your behalf.
The final verse about prayer that I want to share with you is my personal favorite.
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.”
Have you ever been so confused, or heartbroken, or overwhelmed that you don’t even know what to pray anymore? I sure have. It’s not a fun place to be in. But even then we are covered.
This verse beautifully reminds us that the Holy Spirit will come to the Father on our behalf when we are too broken to do so ourselves. All we have to do is be honest with God that we don’t even know what to say, or what to pray, and ask the Holy Spirit to take it from there. What an honor and blessing that is. We are covered in prayer even when we don’t have the words.
I hope you have found these verses encouraging. Prayer doesn’t have to feel complicated. As you see above we can still come to God in prayer when we are unsure, short on time, sad, happy, overwhelmed, or tongue-tied. There is never a bad time to pray.
Pray earnestly. Pray often. Pray confidently. Your Father loves to hear from you.
Julie Sanford is a self-proclaimed ‘Jesus-y rockerchick’, wife, and mom of three who landed in her 40’s only to find them full of unexpected emotions, challenges, and major life changes.
But she learned through trial and error (mostly error!) to use it all to her advantage, and now helps other women over 40 sort out midlife. strengthen their relationship with God, find their purpose, and live a life overflowing with joy! Find more at Grace Over 40.