First, if we want God to take notice of our prayers, we must be in Covenant relationship with him by understanding, believing, and obeying the gospel preached by his Son Jesus Christ and his apostles.
To obey the gospel, we must:
1. Repent of our sinful way of life (change the way that we live)
2. Be baptised by immersion in water into Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of all our past sins.
3. Live a new life by the commandments of Jesus Christ.
By baptism into Jesus Christ we become adopted sons and daughters of God and can pray to him as ‘our Father’.
Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them to pray:
Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. 5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
We are to offer our prayers through Jesus:
John 16:23… Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full… 27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
Jesus acts as an intercessor with God on behalf of those who obey him.
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
We must persist in prayer:
Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Paul instructs the Roman believers
Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
And those in Philippi:
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And those in Thessalonica:
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
The caveat is that what we pray for must be in accordance with the will of God.
1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
This means that we cannot always have what we want.
Jesus for example wanted the ‘cup’ of crucifixion to be taken from him but God refused.
Matthew 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Paul for example prayed that his ‘thorn in the flesh’ might be healed, but was refused.
2 Corinthians 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Paul learned to accept infirmity.
It can be the same with us – infirmity is a test of faith.
In Christ we can have confidence that whatever we experience in this life (good or bad) it will work for good for our eternal salvation.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Like Jesus our approach should be ‘not as I will, but as thou wilt’
Recognising that God cares for his children.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
I hope you find this helpful.