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How to Pray for Beginners: A Complete Guide

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If someone asked me how to pray for beginners, I would say you just need to talk to God as you would a friend. There really is no wrong way to pray. You can’t get a D- as a grade when praying. Instead, God just wants you to feel a connection with Him; He wants to have a relationship with you.

The Lord delights in our prayers.

Proverbs 15:8

Maybe you are thinking, “Why would God want a relationship with me? I’m nobody special!” Incorrect! God sees each of us as special; He even said in the beginning that He created us in His own image. We are a part of Him.

Since He sees us as part of who He is, He values us, even when we don’t believe in ourselves. We may have moments of hopelessness or apathy and wonder what the point of it all is, but God knows.

He knows what’s going to happen before it happens. He has a purpose for each and every one of us. So, there is a reason for everything. You just have to have faith that God is the master planner of everything.

When you talk to Him in prayer, just realize that you are speaking to the Creator and all-knowing Power of everything. You may be wondering how to pray to something that great! That’s a great question!

The answer to that question, or the best answer I can give you, and the answer to many more, will be revealed in this article!

Before You Pray

Think about the relationship you have with God. What is your mindset before prayer? Do you want to reach a personal goal? Are your intentions selfish?

Think about that as you decide what you want to talk about with God. It’s only natural to be selfish, to seek what you want, and to ask for what you think you need.

However, it’s also a good idea to think good thoughts, the good things in your life, not just how you wish things could be. Think about those who are less fortunate than you, those who don’t have the privileges you do. 

Often, our hearts and minds can be molded into beautiful things if we open ourselves up to new experiences and people.

James 4:3 explains that we should have the right motives, not just want something because it gives us pleasure.

Make sure your mind is focused on what’s important – both the good and the bad – when you prepare yourself for prayer. Then, pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)!

How to Start a Prayer

Sometimes, it’s only “getting started” that’s tough. Once we get past our initial fears, obstacles, and hesitations, we can pray with our hearts, openly and honestly.

If you need to know how to start a prayer, you can say one of these things as you are addressing God:

  • Dear Father
  • Dear Lord
  • My Lord
  • Dear Heavenly Father
  • Dear God
  • Our Father who art in Heaven

Or just speak out in whatever way that comes most natural to you. You might just begin talking out loud, discussing your thoughts and feelings.

Psalms 141:2 speaks of praying with raised hands. If that helps you get started, go for it! Do what makes you comfortable, so you will want to repeat this action as often as possible.

Remember, after some practice doing this over and again, praying will become natural to you, and you will be a pro! 

Seek, and you shall find; Knock, and the door shall open. In other words, God will listen and answer our prayers on His terms, but He is there for you every single day! Start your day with a conversation with God, and God’s answers will guide you throughout the day.

How to Pray for Beginners: A Complete Guide

Step One: Talk about what you are grateful for.

It might help to begin your prayer by talking about the blessings you have received. Talk about the beauty you have seen God do in the lives of others. If you feel hopeless and very sorry yourself, you might want to get involved in helping others – those less fortunate.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

Colossians 4:2

Once you change the lives of those in need, you will truly see what blessings are, and your life will forever be changed for the good!

Step Two: Talk about your relationship with God.

If your walk with the Lord is strong right now, tell Him how blessed you feel to have Him in your life. Talk about your walk with Him.

If you are unsure about your relationship with God, ask Him to speak to you about the plan He has for your life. Talk about your uncertainties and insecurities.

Ask God to reveal Himself in only the ways that He can. Talk to Him about your spiritual needs.

Where do you need love and encouragement? Where do you need more courage in your life?

The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayers of the righteous.

Proverbs 15:19

Step Three: Confess your sins.

Sin is a normal part of life; the only person who never sinned was Jesus. We aren’t perfect. You can talk to God about your thoughts on sin and what it means. Where do you need direction in your life?

For the sins that you have committed and will commit, talk to God and ask for forgiveness. Confess what you’ve done and ask for mercy from God.

But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

1 John 1:9

Step Four: List your prayer requests.

Maybe you have a laundry list of people that you know need help, or perhaps you know of a group or organization that is struggling. If you have promised others that you will pray for them, now is the time to bring them up to God.

Tell Him that you know that His will is what is best but that you would like for certain things to happen in life. You can explain that you don’t understand His greater plan, but you request His help for those involved in these situations.

In other words, you are letting God know that you understand He is in charge and will do what is right, even if we don’t understand His plan. Sometimes, you just have to have faith that God’s plan is greater than our understanding.

I urge you to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.

1 Timothy 2:1

Step Five: Ask for your heart’s desire.

Yes, you can ask for what you wish. It doesn’t mean you will get those things, but it does mean that you will get your wishes off your chest.

Once you have presented these requests to the Lord, they can be out of your hands and off your mind. Let Him be in control.

This part of your prayer should be the easiest part to do because we are naturally selfish creatures, so we have a list of wants and needs. It’s usually in the forefront of our minds at all times.

What do you want more than anything? What do you need His help with? Talk freely about your deepest desires and any needs you wish you had fulfilled.

Ask for guidance on these issues as you close out your prayer. Explain that you do not know the answers, so you need help making the wisest decisions.

You can close your prayer by saying, “Amen” or “In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” Just speak from the heart, and the words will come naturally.

Jeremiah 29:12 reminds us that when we pray, God listens.

How to Pray for Someone

When you say, “I’ll pray for you,” you often mean, “I will think of you during this difficult time.” Maybe you have an active prayer life and do mean it when you say you will do it.

However, I think it’s normal to just say that you will pray for that person without truly meaning it, but maybe that’s just me. Now that I have an active prayer life, when I say that, I do mean it.

But it’s easy to forget to pray for someone when you have other things on your mind and want to talk to God about those things. Perhaps, you should make a list of those you plan to pray for. You could write the date, person, and request in a prayer journal.

Follow up with those people, too. Find out if their situation improved or if there is anything you can do to help them during their time of need. Prayer may be the number one way you can help them but let them decide if there is some other way you can assist.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

James 5:16

How to Pray According to Jesus Christ

The Bible talks about prayer a lot! Of course, we can follow the example of Jesus when He teaches us how to pray in Luke 11. When asked how to pray by His disciples, Jesus said to pray like this (CEV):

Father, may Your name be kept holy.

May Your Kingdom come soon.

Give us each day the food we need,

And forgive us our sins,

As we forgive those who sin against us.

And don’t let us yield to temptation.

In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus Christ says that we are to praise God in private, but pray out loud, saying the following (a variation of the Bible verse above):

“Our Father which art in heaven, 

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Deliver us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. 

Amen.”

Sometimes, just reading God’s word, the Bible, can provide you with the means you need to communicate with God.

How to Pray According to the Bible

In my study Bible, Thrive, there is a prayer next to the Bible verses of the Lord’s prayer. It’s a prayer, asking God to open my heart with thanks for all the goodness I have from Him. The request is to get rid of any doubt I have so that I can open my gifts from God.

I found that to be a touching, selfless prayer, as it is asking the Lord to help me let go of my doubts so that I can openly and gladly accept the many gifts He gives me every single day.

Jesus teaches more about prayer in Matthew 6:5 and encourages people to not be hypocritical and showy with prayer. Instead, feel free to go to a private place to speak to God, your Father. You can say short prayers. He knows your heart’s desire, but you should want to share it with Him from the depths of your soul.

Romans 8:26 encourages you to allow the Holy Spirit to speak for you when you don’t know what to say. God knows what you are trying to say, even if you can’t find the right words. He knows your intentions.

In Ephesians 1:18, Paul speaks beautifully. He says that he prays that light will enter their hearts, so they will understand the hope given to them by God, which will help them discover the glorious blessings that await them. That’s another soulful prayer.

An Example of a Simple Prayer

Dear God,

Right now, I am feeling [overwhelmed]. I am so grateful for [all the blessings You have given me]. Please show me Your path and help me in ways only You know how to. Forgive me for my sins and help me when I struggle.

Amen.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we pray?

If we follow the example of Jesus, we should always pray and never give up (Luke 18:1). In fact, Ephesians 6:18 instructs us to never stop praying. If your heart is always in prayer, you will be blessed. There is no wrong time to pray to your Father in heaven.

Can you explain how to start a prayer?

You can say something formal like, “Dear Heavenly Father,” to start a prayer, or you can just start talking. If you pray many times a day, you may want to just talk to God as you would a friend. That’s often how I pray. I start praying by saying, “God, here’s what’s weighing on my mind…”

How do you pray?

Prayer can be a very personal thing to some people. For me, it was more of a public thing growing up, so learning how to pray alone was challenging. Open your heart, and don’t be self-conscious or shy. God wants to hear from you! Just speak your mind, and the words will flow freely.

Can you explain how to pray effectively?

There isn’t a right or wrong way to pray. Certainly, if your mind is not in the right space, you may want to wait until another time, but it’s better to pray with a cluttered mind than to not pray at all. Jesus tells us to have faith and pray without ceasing; keep your heart right when you speak to God.

How should we pray?

Jesus spent a long time in prayer; Luke 6:12 says He spent the whole night alone in prayer. Romans 12:12 says to never stop praying. When you pray, let your hope of what the future holds bless you. When you are mistreated, ask God to bless those people, Romans explains.

To Sum Things Up

I hope you learned that the secret to learning how to pray for beginners is to just be yourself and talk to God with all your heart. Speak what your soul tells you to say.

How do you believe we should pray? How did you learn how to pray? What did you learn from this article? I’d love to hear from you!

Please comment below this article and help me grow this blog by sharing this blog post on your social media channels!

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.

Philippians 4:6