There may be something you want to ask God for, but you don’t know how to approach the question. God hears your prayers, but he doesn’t always give you exactly what you asked for. It is important to praise God and ask for forgiveness of your sins before asking Him to give you what you want. Ask God to do His will. Also, be honest and specific when you ask Him for what you want. Be patient and believe that God will act.
God will hear your prayers whether you follow Him or not, but He is more likely to answer those who are close to Him. If you have not yet started reading God’s Word and following Jesus, this is a good step before you ask anything of Him. Learn to hear and obey what he asks of you. That doesn’t mean He won’t grant your wish if you’re not a follower. It just means that if you have a relationship with Him, you will be able to communicate better with Him. Think about the difference between a stranger and your best friend. If a friend asks you to lend him some money, and if a stranger asks you on the street, you are more likely to give your friend some. It’s not a perfect comparison, but it’s similar.
When you approach God in prayer, you should not ask anything directly from Him. It is better to praise and thank Him for what He has already done. Praise Him for being loving and powerful. Thank Him for guiding and blessing you. Beginning this way, God shows that He is more than someone you ask for things. Praise and thanks must be sincere, not a tactic to smear God on the beard so that you can ask for what you want. You must really mean what you pray. Begin by saying, “God, it’s amazing how well you’ve cared for and supported me. I am grateful that you are strong and never turn away from me.”
When you have a relationship with God, it is important to make sure that you are on good terms with Him. If you are constantly in sin or have recently committed sins, you are separated from God. You must confess these things and turn away from them. This is how the broken connection to God is repaired. The reason this is important is that sin is going against what God wants you to do. When you sin, you separate yourself from God. Confession and repentance is simply telling God that you know you have sinned, that you are sorry, and that you want to change. Pray to God “I’m sorry I was so rude to my neighbor, I know you love him too and I should treat him the way you want me to treat him. I will work harder to be patient and kind to him.”
As you confess and repent, you are asking God to forgive you for those sins. Asking for forgiveness is the step that follows confession. When God has forgiven you, the lines of communication between you and God will be much more open. There is no specific prayer of forgiveness that you must pray. Tell God you’re sorry and that you want Him to forgive you for wronging Him. Pray “God, I’m sorry I lied about what I did last night. I shouldn’t have done that. Please forgive my dishonesty.”
When you are angry or have hurt someone, it is difficult to offer an honest prayer to God. Take a minute to think about your relationships that are out of whack and make an effort to fix that first. Solving problems with others opens you up to asking God for something. It’s not enough to think about what you did wrong without making an effort to fix it. Get in touch with the person and seek reconciliation before going to God. Apologize to her or forgive her depending on what’s wrong between you.
If you live for God, there could be evil opposing you and holding you back from God. Pray that God will cast out any spirits trying to keep you distant and distracted from God. Spiritual warfare keeps you from communicating effectively with God. It might be worth your time to learn more about what spiritual warfare is and how it can affect our life of prayer and life with God. Pray “God, I feel like there’s evil all around me. Please correct these spirits in Jesus name. Don’t let her come between us. Tell them they have no power over me.”
God knows everything you think and feel, so there’s no point in hiding. When you ask for what you want, you must be completely honest about your thoughts and feelings. Honesty will open God’s ears to your prayer.
Tell God what you want or need and ask Him to provide it for you. Be specific with your request. Although God knows what you want and need, He wants you to ask Him for it. God can answer vague prayers, but praying specifically creates a deeper connection between you and Him. Speaking specifically does not guarantee that God will answer your request as you want Him to. He might have other plans for you. Tell God, “I’m in dire need of rent money this month because of my medical bills. Please allow me a few extra hours at work so I can pay my rent.” Remember that God will not give you anything that goes against His will. Listen to your heart and consult the Bible to see if what you are asking is against His will.
While you may have many specific things that you want from God, it is also a good thing to pray for His will to be done in your life. Ask Him to move and use you how He wants, not just how you want. Ask Him to help you want the things He wants for you. Praying like this has many benefits. Even if you know exactly what you want, God could have more in store for you than you would ever ask for. If you only ask for what you want, you could be missing out on a greater blessing. Tell God, “Lord, I really want to start a new job this month, but I know You may have more in store for me during that time. I pray that you will reveal your plans to me even if they are not exactly what I want.”
When you ask God for something, you probably want Him to act quickly. Being honest with God means telling Him you want Him to act quickly. He acts in his own time, so it might not happen as quickly as you want it to. It’s good to ask Him to hurry up, though, because that way you’ll be honest about what you want.
The Bible teaches us that the name of Jesus Christ is powerful. Whenever you pray, but especially when you ask for something, end the prayer with, “I ask this in Jesus’ name.” By doing so, you are acknowledging that God is acting through Jesus and that Jesus is powerful. This is not like speaking magic words, and it should not be used as a way of taking advantage of God’s blessing. It’s just a way of showing that you are submitting to God’s will through Christ.
Remember that God has a different concept of time than you have. If He doesn’t answer as quickly as you hoped, you shouldn’t give up on Him. Wait for His timing and remember that there might be a reason He isn’t responding as quickly as you want Him to.
While waiting for God’s answer to your prayer, you must keep honoring Him and giving Him your praise. It’s important to be grateful and worshipful even if you haven’t got what you want yet. If you only praise Him when He does what you want, your praise may not be sincere.
If you don’t believe that God has the power to act, your prayer loses power. You must believe that He heard you and will do according to His will. If your request fits into His plan, then He will grant you what you want, but remember that God doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to.