How To Pray Better – Fundamentals

How to pray better

Do you break out in a cold sweat in fear of being asked to pray in front of others? Me too, but flexing my prayer muscle is getting easier with practice. Yours can too!

Let’s jump in and explore how to pray better with insights and techniques that can help you gain dominion over your prayer life.

How to Pray Better?

It’s important to understand the fundamental purpose of prayer:

  • Prayer is a means of communication with God the Father
  • Prayer is a way to express gratitude for your life
  • Prayer is a form of self-reflection

Types of Prayer

Prayer is not a one-size-fits-all activity. Different types of prayer serve different purposes. Here are a few common types of prayer:

Petitionary PrayerAsking God for something in prayer.
Thanksgiving PrayerExpressing gratitude for your blessings in prayer.
Intercessory PrayerPraying on behalf of others.
Contemplative PrayerSilently experiencing the presence of God.
Types of Prayers

Petitionary Prayer

These are prayers in which you ask for something, such as guidance, healing, or assistance with a particular issue.

The things we ask for should glorify God because that’s our purpose. He designed us to worship Him, so there’s no room for selfish prayers. We should focus on obedience, and let Him worry about our success.

Thanksgiving Prayer

Expressing gratitude for the blessings in your life, big or small. This can be challenging in a world full of secular bucket list posts on social media.

Everyone seems to be focused on showing off their idolatry skills instead of their righteous lifestyles.

Living a life that leads to salvation through Jesus is a winning lotto ticket. There’s no reason to covet someone’s fake life on Instagram or TikTok.

There’s nothing greater for us than being a redeemed child of God. Amen?

Give thanks to God

Intercessory Prayer

Intercession is praying on behalf of others, and asking for God’s intervention in their lives.

  • We plead and beg our Father to do a work in someone’s life so that they can come under His grace like us.
  • We pray for the sick to give them more time to repent and accept Jesus.
  • We pray for the church so that God will embolden and equip the saints to spread the Gospel of Jesus.

Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative prayer is a prayer that focuses on experiencing the presence of the divine. The goal is to fill yourself with an awareness of God, His word, or some aspect of transformation that you want to see within yourself.

Just sit with Him quietly and work it out in His presence.

Focus on God's presence in Prayer

Each type of prayer has benefits, so understanding these types can help you choose the right approach for your specific need.

Establishing a Prayer Routine

Consistent prayer is key to getting better, so establish a routine that works for you. This can be time that you set aside each morning or even specific moments throughout the day.

Regularity in your prayer practice helps you develop a deeper connection with God, and opens you up for faster transformation by the Holy Spirit.

Consider creating a dedicated space for prayer that’s free from distractions. This space should be peaceful and foster a spiritual connection.

Overcoming Common Prayer Challenges

Prayer can be challenging when you’re easily distracted or struggle to maintain focus.

Some common obstacles to becoming a prayer warrior include:

  1. Distraction: It’s normal. Acknowledge the distraction, let it go, and refocus on your prayer.
  2. Lack of Focus: Use prayer beads, candles, or the Bible to maintain your focus. Limit your options by keeping your phone, watch, and other items out of sight during prayer times.
  3. Monotony: Consider changing your approach if you feel that your prayers have become routine and uninspiring.
    • Use multiple prayer locations and rotate through them.
    • Keep a journal, track your progress, and expand your prayer list.
    • Incorporate Scripture memorization into your routine.

Techniques to Deepen Your Prayer Life

Consider incorporating techniques that deepen your prayer experience:

  1. Meditation: Integrate meditation into your prayer routine to cultivate a sense of connection with God.
  2. Prayer Journal: Keep a prayer journal to record your thoughts, feelings, and experiences during and after prayer. This can provide valuable insights into your spiritual journey.
  3. Mindfulness: Practice being fully present in the moment during prayer, rather than letting your mind wander.
Praying with a prayer journal.

The Power of Gratitude in Prayer

Gratitude can transform your prayer life by helping you focus on the positives in your life and foster a sense of contentment. Express gratitude for your blessings regardless of how big or small they are.

I also try to remember all the moments that I’m ungrateful so that I can work through them during prayer. This means that I repent for being ungrateful at work when given a task that I do not want.

Learning to be grateful will help us both to experience more joy in life.

Building a Personal Connection

Remember that prayer is a personal journey. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Focus on building a personal relationship with God. He’s knows as “God among us” for a reason.

He knows everything, so just be honest and open about your thoughts, feelings, and desires.

Community and Group Prayer

Don’t underestimate the power of community and group prayer. Sharing your spiritual journey with others can be life changing.

Group prayer

Praying aloud is a tough task for an introvert like me, but I’ve cracked the ice. I haven’t broken through yet, but it’s a positive work in progress. Here’s how I worked up to it:

  • I began audibly praying while alone to get used to my voice, tone, and flow.
  • The next leap was to pray at meals aloud at the dinner table.
  • Now I am working on praying in study group on Wednesday nights. My Pastor is in the group too, so no pressure! I’m sure he gets tired of being expected to pray all the time though, so it’ll be a blessing to him.

Practice makes better. At the risk of sounding cliche–if I can do it…

Dealing with Dry Spells and Doubts

Experiencing doubt or spiritual dryness in your prayer life is normal. It’s essential to be patient and gentle with yourself. Doubt is a natural part of the spiritual journey and can lead to deeper insights and growth.

Push through–don’t give up.

Praying better involves understanding the purpose of prayer, learning the different types of prayer, and embracing techniques that deepen your relationship with God.

Additional Resources–affiliate links

  • Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer —Max Lucado
  • Pray First: The Transformative Power of a Life Built on Prayer —Chris Hodges
  • Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge —Mark Batterson

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