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1 Act upon your faith so you can believe whether or not you understand that God is the creator of the universe, is your Heavenly Father, and is an important part of your daily life. It is essential to develop effective, regular prayer habits so you can be filled with the Holy Spirit.
2 You can begin your prayer by saying "Dear God", "Dear Lord", "Heavenly Father". From here, begin thanking and praising God for all of the good things in your life, be specific.
Here is an example: "Dear God, Thank you for my family; that my Dad is doing better and will soon be out of the hospital and thank you for helping me make it on to the varsity volleyball team."
3 Say whatever is appropriate for you and your situation. There are no specific words or prayer that you have to say. You can thank Him, you can ask Him for things, but you do not have to say any specific words! Say what expresses your praise, your needs, desires and ask for the will of God to be done.
4 Ask God to forgive but first forgive others so God can forgive your sins. Unforgiving of others may prevent the Lord from honoring your prayers for forgiveness. First ask yourself, "Do I have anything against another that I need to settle?" Make it right, and confess the wrong deed. Again ask yourself, "Was I mean to anyone, did I lie, cheat, steal, or disobey my parents?" Ask God to forgive you for anything that you did wrong that day.
5 Pray in the Spirit and in the understanding -- 1 Corinthians 14:14. Praying in the Spirit is a great way to pray to Jesus.
6 Name the sins you know that you have committed, and then ask forgiveness for the ones you've forgotten or omitted. Ask the Lord to reveal your sins to you. Remember that confession is your agreeing with God that you are a sinner. So it is not just about saying, "Lord I am sorry or I confess that I stole such and such." It is also necessary that you confess that you stole because you are a thief. It is about putting yourself in a place of humility where God can change your character and make you like His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. His character is the one that satisfies the requirements of the Law of God.
7 Tell God how much you love and adore Him. If you are new to being a Christian, this may seem hard for you to do and will take time; it is OK to feel uncertain during this part of the prayer. You may sing a song of praise. Thank Him everyday for saving an undeserving person as yourself... Thank Him for the cross, thank Him for sending Christ to die for us and make us right with Himself.
8 Ask God to help you with things that may not be going well in your life (i.e., help Jane to stop fighting with Amy, and please help Joe to come and learn about your kindness and forgiveness." (praying for Grades and money is not considered to be a selfish prayer as it may be the right thing for you to receive))
9 Ask Him for his guidance and protection throughout the day and night, thank Him for every day and you will start to recognize when He is blessing you, e.g. giving you more patience or supplying your daily needs.
10 Ask Him for wisdom and discernment. The Bible says "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." (James 1:5-8 NIV) If you don't understand His word, the Holy Spirit will help you. Read the Bible in context; remember, our own personal interpretation doesn't matter... What matters is what the author intends for it to mean.
11 End your prayers possibly by saying, "Thank you God, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.", "In Jesus' name, Amen" "Thank you" or just any way you believe appropriate. He will answer them whether or not you end your prayer, i.e.: Pray without ceasing... Be in a spirit of prayer... When you don't feel like praying, pray (more).
12 Talk to God just as you would your earthly father; it is important to God for you to remember that -- He is easy to talk to. He is Supreme and He is owner of all things, but He remains your Heavenly Father who "will deny you no good thing". He knows His own and enjoys listening as: "He is that He is!" Moses said that: "'I am that I am' has sent me." "He is all and in all..." -- nothing is beyond His reach.
Then you and your friends can tell unbelievers about the Christ and the Father to prove God is real to them by the Holy Spirit so that you yourself and they can preach the message of forgiveness in Christ and being made right with God by grace through faith, not of yourself. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one can come to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)
Most importantly, remember that God's will be done. Have the attitude of a servant, and desire God's will and not your own. He is not a "genie in a bottle".
13 Consider this acronym for prayer "A.C.T.S.": Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
So, ACTS means: Talk to him, telling him how much you love him; confess your sins, and thank him for what he has done for you that you could never repay, and pray for the needs of others.
God hears all your prayers and answers. Read these examples of answers for your encouragement.
It can be easier to pray in a quiet area to avoid distractions, but you can pray anywhere, anytime.
If you are new to praying this way, do not be dismayed. Our father in heaven does not care if you are awkward. He knows your heart. What matters is the sincerity and faith you express.
Do not use too many words or repetitions, keep it simple and to the point, as the Bible says: "God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words." (Ecclesiastes 5:2-3)
Say "Dear lord" and ask to be blessed and protected.
Turn the Psalms (or any portion of Scripture you like) into prayers to The Lord. You will be hitting the mark every time because it will be the will of God!
God hears all of our prayers, and he will answer us. It may not be in the way that we expected or wanted, but it will be in the way we needed.
Pray, "that which is not as though it were." Which means to exercise your faith to expect the blessings for which you asked, and praise God for such things in advance, like: "I praise you and thank you for supplying all of my/our health and financial needs, knowing that all good things come from You, our Lord."
Closing your eyes and kneeling is not a requirement. Try to rid yourself of distractions, as it is hard to have sincere prayer when you are paying attention to something else in the room.
When you pray, thank the Lord for helping you and guiding you through your difficulties. Do not make non-trusting demands or even murmurs against His [perfect] will, to: Receive His best for your worst.