Most people pray. Even if it is saying, “Oh God,” when they are surprised or hurt. But such prayers are really not effective. Real prayer is a lot more than using God’s name as an exclamation point at the end of a sentence.
“Prayer is an offering up of our desires to God for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of His mercies.” This definition gives several keys to effective prayer. First of all, you must go to God in the name of Christ. That is, you must trust Christ as the one who has paid for your sins. And you approach God wearing the robes of Christ’s goodness and righteousness. Don’t try to approach God holding up your own good works. The Bible says, “All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6). You have not earned a place before God. So go before God confessing your sins and trusting in Christ to open the door to God’s throne room.
And go before God with thankfulness. We are too quick to place our own wishes before God. We should remember that even the beating of our hearts and the ability to breathe are gifts from God. Don’t forget to thank Him. And remember, you are not to ask for things contrary to God’s will! So you had better read the Bible more to learn about God’s will. When you do that, you can pray a lot more effectively. The Bible says, “This is the confidence we have before Him, that , if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 5:14-15).
To help you understand this better, click here and listen to a message further answering the question, “What is Prayer?”