Prayer

Powerful Prayers: Getting Past the Gimmees

Family praying together
Image credit: Doidam 10 / Shutterstock.com

We all want to pray powerful prayers, but have you ever found yourself praying more as though you were giving God a To-Do list? I’ve sure done it!

Lord, gimme this or that. Amen.

The needs around us sometimes feel all-consuming, and although we know what to pray about, we end up praying amiss, or it becomes so hard to know what to do about it.

No worries, friend. God wants us to bring our requests to Him. It’s good to ask our Heavenly Father for the things we want and need.

A MODEL FOR POWERFUL PRAYERS

Yet even though God wants us to bring our requests to Him, He teaches us that prayer is about so much more.

When Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer, He gave us a model for our prayers that involves more than asking for the things we need and want.

There is no more powerful way to pray than to follow the guidance of our Master and Savior!

POWERFUL PRAYERS ARE ABOUT OUR ATTITUDES

The Lord’s prayer teaches us that powerful prayers center on the attitudes God desires and the format in which we should pray.

Are we approaching our great and awesome God in a spirit of humility? Are there people we need to forgive as He’s forgiven us? Do our prayers include God’s desires and agenda, or only our own? 

These are some of the heart attitudes that the Lord wants us to have as we pray. So often, I find myself having to pray for help to have these attitudes, as should we all.

THE ACROSTIC P.R.A.Y. CAN HELP

The word PRAY forms a simple acrostic that’s based on the Lord’s prayer. It can serve as a reminder to help us pray more powerful prayers in keeping with the teachings of Jesus.

P IS FOR PRAISE

Starting a prayer with praise is a good way to remind ourselves who we’re approaching. Yes, for the believer in Christ, God is our Heavenly Father. Yet, at the same time, He is also the God of the Universe.

King David said:

A simple prayer of praise and thanksgiving from the heart is so pleasing to our God!

R IS FOR REPENT

Repentance is a change of mind that leads to a change in behavior. It’s agreeing with God that an attitude or behavior violates his standards and is sinful.

Believers in Christ are already forgiven because of our faith, but we still sin and need to seek cleansing. When we do this, God responds with complete forgiveness:

A IS FOR ASK

God invites his children to ask for our daily needs and to seek His help in all things:

Often, though, we can be so consumed by the physical and practical needs around us that we forget to pray for spiritual needs.

Yet praying for spiritual needs is praying according to the heartbeat of God. He loves every single human being that He created and desires for each one to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

At some point, powerful prayers must include praying for those who don’t know Jesus yet. It’s also so important to remember to include prayer for our own spiritual growth and that of others. Aligning ourselves with God’s agenda means remembering that He wants to conform all believers to the image of Christ.

Y IS FOR YIELD

The Lord Jesus teaches us that we need to approach God in humility with a willingness to yield our desires to His will. He modeled this for us when facing the cross, and prayed:

This is so much easier if we remember that God is infinitely wise and loving at the same time. He sees the bigger picture and the greater good through the lens of eternity. In a way, we can’t begin to see or understand! At the same time, we can trust that He loves us beyond anything we can think or imagine and wants only the very best for us.

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Susan is a mother of four beautiful babies and a born-again Christian. She took over Hope No Matter What in 2024 and enjoys sharing her knowledge of the goodness and faithfulness of God. Her passion is to bring hope and encouragement to others, and she prays that by sharing her knowledge and personal story, she can inspire others to find enlightenment in God's word.