I don’t know anyone who prays just to pray. The people I know pray to be heard. They pray to God so that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit hears them, answers their prayers, takes away their worries, and blesses them with abundance of health, love and prosperity. Before I share the five steps to my own effective prayers, there’s one important thing to remember. There are absolutely no wrong prayers.  Even if you are the most selfish person and have (up until now) only prayed for yourself, God loves you and He listens. God is a God of love and mercy. Our unrighteousness, He never holds against us. In 1 John 1:19 He says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins…” Never worry that He won’t listen.  He will always be there to listen, and answer.  The problem with praying isn’t that God may not listen, the problem is that we worry or wonder we aren’t praying the right way. The five steps I will share with you came from decades of praying; my grandma’s direction; hearing prayer warriors pray beautiful, simple prayers; and by studying God’s word as I pursued a Master’s degree in Christian Leadership.

Every single night, without fail, my grandma sat at the edge of her bed in the dark of her room, talking.  Sometimes I would stand outside her room, and eavesdrop.  Before I knew she was praying to God, I wondered who she was talking with–it sounded like she was having a conversation in the dark, by herself. She spoke in a soft voice. Sometimes she cried, sometimes she laughed, and sometimes she joked.  What I learned from hearing her prayers is that God was very close to her.  He was someone she knew intimately, and trusted wholeheartedly. Her prayers were easy. My grandma’s prayers always included a few minutes of blessing God for His grace and mercy. She exalted him for his lovingkindness. She asked for forgiveness; shared her worries; asked for continued blessings for her family; and then for her. I didn’t realize there was an order to her prayers, until much later.

Here’s my recommendation for a pray you can rest assured will be heard. First, exalt God for the loving Father He is. He loves that. In Psalm 46:10, God says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Tell Him how much you marvel at the home He’s created for you, and the beauty that surrounds you, everywhere you walk and look. Second, thank Him for His blessings.  This is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the little and big miracles you witness every day of your life—the back pain that disappears, the $300 unexpected refund, the car that takes you to work, and that you get to work on time every day despite our crazy traffic. Third, ask for blessings for the people in your life. These are the only three things God expects–exalt Him; love Him; and love others. In Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied to his disciples: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.” (38) “This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) “And the second is, Love your neighbor as yourself.’” The fourth component of your prayer is to ask for blessings, for yourself.  God expects you to ask for big, big, big things. He is the giver of all good things, and when you ask, He knows you understand His power, and love for you. In John 15:16 Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” The last and final component of your prayer is to ask for forgiveness.  Let Him know you know your sins, Yet regardless of your sins, you know He loves you. He knows that your love for Him encourages you to work toward righteousness.

God will always hear your prayers, no matter what kind of prayer you pray. But, when you pray according to the words of the Bible, you can rest assured, in that very fact. I hope these tips have helped you!  I’m becoming an expert on love and relationships because of the many times I’ve failed. If you’d like to read about my journey in my raw and candid story, check out my books, Candy Canes and Coke, and Rescued By A God I Didn’t Know.  If you’re reading this article on my website, then you can click on books, but if you’re not, you can go to www.alohamomi.org. God Bless!