HOW TO BEGIN
If you are not sure how to pray, don't despair! Everyone had to begin sometime. Just talk with God respectfully but openly. Talk with Him as your Father. Jesus taught us to pray, "Our Father ...". Recognize God as a loving Father. Recognize Jesus as a Friend and a Brother. Recognize the Holy Spirit as your Comforter and Guide. Come to the Father in Jesus' name (John 14:6; Hebrews 10:19). Begin your prayer with confession of your unconfessed sins. In this way the blood of Jesus cleanses us and prepares us to really relate to God. "Enter his gates with thanksgiving..." (Psalm 100:4). Thank God for forgiving your sins, for coming into your life, for making you His child. Then just talk with God, asking Him for whatever you need. Thank Him and praise Him for His answer. Spend time also asking for His Spirit to help you to pray. Talk to the Holy Spirit. Tell Him you want to know Him. "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us..." (Romans 8:26). The Holy Spirit will guide you into all the truth (John 16:13) and He will teach you to pray.
PREPARING YOURSELF TO PRAY
1. Prepare your heart for fellowship with God (Psalm 24:3-5)
- Confess known sin in your life (1 John 1:6-9; 1 John 3:21-22; Hebrews 10:19)
- Forgive all who have offended or hurt you (Mark 11:25-26)
- See yourself then as dead to sin and sinless in the eyes of God. (Romans 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
2. Have a purpose in prayer. Know what you are going to pray about. It is difficult to pray fervently without knowing what you want or desire from God. We should have a clear-cut, well-defined idea about what we are asking God for.
Jesus told us to ask, seek and knock. (Matthew 7:7). In asking, we must be definite. In seeking, our goal is to know God and commune with Him. In knocking (intercession) we must understand what the Lord wants to do and pray the Word for that thing.
3. Know what the Word of God says regarding the thing you are praying for.
We must renew our minds with the Word so that we know God's will on the matter without a doubt. God's will is to do what He promises in the Word. By meditating on the Word and letting it transform our hearts as we renew our mind in it, we prepare ourselves to pray in faith. If we don't know what the Word says, there is a good chance that doubt will enter, and if we doubt we cannot expect to receive from God (James 1:6,7)