Getting The Most Out of Your Prayer Time: How To Pray Effectively

          Prayer is vital in our walk with God, it is our lifeline in communication with Him. In a way, we should view God as our closest friend and confidant, constantly in contact with Him, running to Him in all things. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, ” Pray without ceasing,”. It is good and important to go to Him in all things, great and small, however there should also be an order to prayer: thanksgiving, repentance, and requests. I believe praying in this manner allows us to become more effective and meaningful in our prayer.
          So, when praying we should begin with thanking God for all that He has done for us, for our life and the many blessings in it and the list can go on and on. It is always good to start off our prayer time in a state of thanksgiving and gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It is His will that we rejoice always and pray in a state of thanksgiving and gratitude. Therefore we should always start out our prayer with thanksgiving. Our God is so very good to us, shouldn’t He be acknowledged for all His greatness, love and provision for us?
          Repentance is vital in our salvation because repentance is realizing our sins, turning from them, and dedicating ourselves back to God. Without repentance we are living in our sins. When we live our lived this way God can not recognize us as His children. 1 John 1: 9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Acts 3:19 says, “repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,”. Because we are all born sinners and sin til the day we die, we are constantly in need of repenting. Therefore anytime we pray we should repent of our sins, even if we only prayed an hour ago we have sinned since the last time that we prayed. Therefore, we should make repentance a habit in our prayers.
         And finally, we should make our requests known to Him, the only one who can answer us and grant us the desires of our heart. Our requests should be known to Him last because if we ask things of God we should ask Him in a humble Spirit that is in a thankful and repentant state. Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
           Prayer with order and purpose can completely change how our prayer time feels and can even give more meaning to this special time with God. So in closing, I would like to pray:
          ” Dear God, thank you so much for sending your son to earth so that He could live out a sinless life and be The Example for us. Thank you for having such a deep love for us, your children, that you would allow for your only Son to die on the cross and take on the sin of the world. Thank you for raising Him up from the grave three days later so that we might have a living God. Thank you for your Spirit that you have given to us that helps guide us in life and allow  us to strive for what we never would on our own: a life that strives to glorify You and to aspire to a life of holiness. God thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed upon me in life and for entrusting me with them.
          God, I am so sorry for all of the sin in my life, I am sorry for so often turning my back on what you say is good and living for myself. God, I am such a terrible sinner and so selfish. God I come to you now with  a heart full of sorrow for the hurt and pain I have caused you, for it was not my intent, please forgive me. God, allow your Spirit in me so that I will focus my eyes, mind and heart upon what is true, good, and noble and turn from anything that is not. Have your way in my Lord, mold me in to who you would have me become in you.
          God,  I pray that you might show yourself to my friends and family who do not know you. I pray that, if it be your will, that you might  convict them of their ways and allow them to come to you and believe. I pray for my friends and family  who believe but have fallen away, May you draw them back to yourself Lord and  make their path straight. I pray for family and friends who are sick or struggling with their health, whether it be mental or physical. I pray that if it be your will that you might heal them God, if anyone can heal them it is you. I pray for their nurses and doctors that you might give them wisdom in how to provide their care. Lord, I pray that if it is not your will that they be healed I pray you would give  them the peace and comfort that only you can provide.
For it is in your ever powerful and mighty name we pray,

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