Have you ever prayed and felt curious if God heard you—or felt like you spoke to heaven? Have you noticed the prayers of those around you being answered and thought you may have missed some secret to accentuate your prayers?
If so, you won’t be alone.
If you felt you could use a little more juice in your prayer life, enable me to share these eight effective tips for a deeper prayer life. These tips can help you reach a deeper connection to God and feel more like you are talking to a friend rather than a wall.
- Spend time getting to know God every day.
Don’t treat God like a vending machine, expecting Him to give you whatever you wanted. Seek Him through prayer and reading the Word. As you read the Bible and talk to Him, your relationship will deepen. God himself will line up your prayers with His will, and when you begin to speak to Him, He will do so. You don’t have to use fancy language, or speak in “thees” or “thous.” Just begin talking from your heart.
2. Depend on the Holy Spirit for help.
The Holy Spirit is given to us as a helper, and when we don’t know what to say, He helps us to pray. You know the heavy sighs you’re letting out at the end of a long day, or after another argument, or when you’ve heard bad news, or when you’re feeling alone, or even when you can’t put your finger on the wrong thing? These sighs are translated into prayers by the Holy Spirit to God the Father. He hears everything, he understands everything, and he also prays for you.
3. Cultivate a grateful heart.
Asking God for something is completely fine, but are you grateful for what’s going well in your life? Sometimes we forget that God is our source and our supplier, and why we even exist. It’s easy for us to be grateful for every single breath when we look at our lives from that perspective. Why then should we care about choices about our profession or any other aspect of our life?
4. Believe that you have received.
You might ask God sometimes in prayer for something you really don’t think you deserve. Or perhaps you think it’s too difficult or too unrealistic. The key to efficient prayer is to make sure that, despite how impossible it may look, you genuinely think that God will provide. Mark 11:24 states, “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and it will be yours if you think you have obtained it.”
That’s a promise.
5. Be specific in your prayers.
To make prayer valuable, you should specify definite objects for which to ask. We often ramble aimlessly in our prayers and eventually get nothing because we do not really desire anything. Do not merely pray with God for sinners in general, but always mention some in particular. Pray for someone definitely by name before the Most High. Be simple and direct when talking with God.
6. Ask for God’s will.
The Prayer of the Lord is not the only place where Jesus shaped a core of obedience and submission over his own wishes and needs to the will of God. Only hours before the crucifixion of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, he would again pray, “not my will, but your will be done.”
It can be difficult to understand how to pray or what to ask when difficult conditions occur in a world where right and wrong are often confused and the future is so unsure. But the one thing we can understand with absolute certainty is that the plan of God for those who love Him is good, and in the center of His divine will is the safest place we can be.
7. Pray for and with others.
Prayer is meant to knit God’s children together, often people we’ve never met. We share a Father, we are family, and in prayer we should bear the burdens of each other. We are then invested in the struggles and triumphs of each other. We begin to care more about the individuals for whom we pray and less about ourselves. What a lovely thing to come with the same appeals out of love and care for one another before our Father. Prayer indeed unites the church.
8. Fast and pray.
Fasting is a way to bypass the static so that you can hear more clearly from God. The most common way to fast is from food, but you can fast from social media, television, and other activities. Fasting humbles our hearts before God, and fasting and praying is about surrendering the things we seek for satisfaction in order to come closer to God, allowing God to satisfy us.