"I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me." Galatians 2:20
HOW TO PRAY Effectively: 12 Keys

If you’ve ever felt frustrated that your prayers seem to be unanswered by God. With this blog post, may you be encouraged to discover the 12 keys that God says “These are the kind of prayers that I’m going to hear I’m going to listen to, and I’m going to answer.” Because it is actually His desire, His pleasure to answer the prayers of His children.

And with these 12 keys, the first four have to do with our attitude. The next seven keys have to do with what we actually pray for. And the last one is the warning that Jesus gives regarding prayer.

If you implement all these things into your life and how you pray and seek God, you will see answers from God because He wants us to pray that way.

#1: Do Not Pray Like the Hypocrites

And here’s the first key in Matthew 6 starting in verse 5, Jesus says, “When you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men.”

The first thing is in the attitude. When we pray, we’re not trying to put up a show and show people how great, how spiritual we are. No! We’re not going to be like hypocrites standing in the corner and be like, “Oh God, I pray. I’m like this most righteous man.”

Jesus doesn’t do that! Why?

#2: Pray to Your Father in a Secret Place

Because He says, number two, here’s the second key, He says “Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.” because they want people to applaud them. “But you, as true children of God, when you pray, go into your room and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:5-6)

Just this verse alone has so much richness to it. He says that the Father who in the secret place. So many times we pray and say,

“Oh God, You’re great in heaven.”

“Oh, we don’t know where You are.”

“I don’t know if You even know what I’m going through down here.”

but you know what Jesus says here? Jesus says that your Father is in the secret place, whether you’re putting a towel over your head, whether you’re locking your door in your room, or wherever you’re going in a hotel that you’re on a business trip or something.

Wherever that place is when you say “God, I close the door. I seek You. This is my secret place right now.”  It says that the Father who is in heaven is also in a secret place with you.

How amazing is that God, the Father, is with you in a secret place? You no longer have to yell as if He doesn’t hear you. “Oh, God! Oh, we pray!” Sometimes, I understand, yes, we go into the spirit when we’re praying and interceding, and travailing. I understand that. But don’t make it like this thing that you have to yell and that God’s not there. He’s already there when you set your mind to seek Him in a secret place.

Because when you do that, Jesus says, He will reward you openly when you’re seeking Him only and not trying to make a show out of it.

#3: Do Not Use Vain Repetitions

Number three, Jesus says, “When you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathens do. For they think that they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them.” (Matthew 6:7)

Sometimes people say, “Well, see? We shouldn’t pray in tongues. Because when you pray in tongues, you’re making these vain repetitions.” But what they don’t understand is when you pray in tongues, you are actually praying through the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit gives you syllables that you don’t even understand what’s going on in your private prayer language.

In 1 Corinthians 14:2 you should pray in tongues, you should pray a lot in tongues. Because the Holy Spirit is speaking through you. Jesus is saying, don’t be like,

“Oh God, give me a car.”

“Oh God, give me a house.”

“Oh God, give me a job.”

Right? You don’t keep on over and over and over again. Say it a hundred times as if God doesn’t understand your needs. Why?

#4: The Father Already Knows Before You Even Ask

Because the fourth key of the attitude Jesus says is “For your Father knows the things before you even ask.” (Matthew 6:8)

God already knows what you need. Just like your children. Before they come to you, you kind of know what they’re going to ask for, but you listen to them anyway.  And so it is important not just in what we say, but in our attitude.

The first four keys, Jesus deals with the attitude we have to seek Him in private, only seeking Him, only to be pleasing Him, only wanting a reward from Him, and knowing that He’s a good Father and that He wants to give us good gifts before even asking them.

We know that He already knows what we need. And with that attitude knowing that He’s good, knowing that He wants to answer our prayer, knowing that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, as Him being an audience of one only, with these in mind when we pray, then we know that our prayers will be answered.

And so the next seven keys, Jesus tells us what to pray after knowing the attitude that we should have in prayer.

#5: Pray to the Father in Heaven

The fifth key Jesus says is to pray “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:9)

Jesus is reminding us when we pray, pray to your Father in heaven, not just some any random person, some any random god, but pray to your Father in heaven. Who is what? Hallowed be Your name. Holy is Your name. Your name is to be revered, to be feared to be given honor and glory and praise because You deserve it, Father.

So instead of coming into your prayer class and be like,

“Oh God, oh I need this.”

“Oh, this is crisis. “

“Oh, this is a problem.”

Do you not think that God knows that? God knows all the problems that you have. God knows other crises that there are to be had. Sometimes when I encounter certain situations, I’m like, “You know what God. This is not a surprise to You. You already know that this was going to happen before it happens. So God, I just quiet myself before You and I pray and I seek Your face and I ask you for Your help.”

And because before we even ask Him for His help, let us acknowledge that He is God. The bible says to enter into His courts with praise and thanksgiving. Give praise to God, give thanks to Him for what He’s given you, what He’s done in your life. Start praising Him.

When you do that, your attitude of prayer will totally shift.

#6. The Will of God is Not Yet Fully Fulfilled on Earth

Because number six, Jesus says pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Did you know that the will of God in heaven is not fully fulfilled here on earth yet?

How do we know that? Because there’s sin. In heaven, there’s no sin. Jesus makes us ambassadors of him. We repent and trust in Him and His blood washes us clean. And so today, we want to pray “God, let Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. We want to do Your will. We want to seek Your righteousness. We want to see the way that things are in heaven to be on earth. If there’s no sickness in heaven, we don’t want to see sickness here on earth. If there’s no sin in heaven, we don’t want to see sin here on earth. Let Your will be done here on earth. Lord, use us to be ambassadors of change. Let us be the ones who will heal the sick, cast out demons, preach the gospel so that people will know of Your great love, will know of Your great transformation. So that they can walk on the narrow path that leads to life when they see You, God. Let Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”

#7: Give Us Today Our Daily Bread

Number seven, pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)

God is not against us asking Him for things that we need. He’s the one who actually provided for the Israelites day by day. The manna every single day He provided for them.

He’s not going to be like, “Oh, I forgot to give manna today, they’re going to starve to death.” No! God is faithful. He knows what we need. Jesus says that the very number of our hairs are numbered. How can you actually count how many hairs? There’s no way anyone can measure naturally, but God knows them because He knows us intricately and even cares for the little sparrows, little birds.

How much more will he care for you and I? Jesus says, if you have a need, present it to God and say “God, thank you. I thank You that You already know what I need before I ask You. So give me this day my daily bread.”

You have to believe that you have already received it because we have a good Father who wants to give us good gifts and who wants to give us His kingdom.

#8: Ask for Forgiveness and Repent

Number eight, Jesus says to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)

God, forgive us for our sins today. Help us to repent. God, if there are certain things in my life that are not pleasing to You, Holy Spirit, convict me. I repent. Help me to turn away. Help me do certain things, put certain measures in place so that I don’t go back to that path. And help me to walk into a life that pleases You. Forgive my sin, Lord, I thank You, lord, that You’re just, You’re faithful. That if I confess my sin and turn to You, you’re faithful to forgive me of all unrighteousness and cleanse me of all the uncleanliness. (1 John 1:9)

And God, as You’ve forgiven me of my sin, my debt towards You, help me to also forgive others who have also wronged me and sinned against me. Because as You forgive me, I also will forgive others.

That’s what Jesus said.

#9: Do Not Lead Us Into Temptation

Number nine, Jesus says, “Do not lead us into temptation.” (Matthew 6:13)

We know that on this earth there’s the devil. The devil is always trying to go tempt people, to have them go into sin, go against God the same way that he tempted Eve and Adam in the garden of Eden. Today, he’s trying to tempt them, to have them draw them away from God.

God, I just prayed every single day. Lead me not into temptation but help me to stay close to You so that I can walk on Your narrow path and not be drawn away with the enticing things of this world, and the lust of the eyes, and the temptation of the world. Help us to stay on the narrow path that pleases You, God.

#10: Deliver Us From Evil

Number 10, Jesus says, “Deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:13)

Sometimes people mix these two verses together: Do not lead us into temptation and deliver us from the evil one as if it’s the same thing. They’re different!

Even though you believe God, even though you’re walking on this path, sometimes you can be oppressed by the devil, and sometimes you can be demonized. Christians can be demonized. Sometimes you’re wondering why you have depression and suicidal thoughts, or anxiety and stress. It feels like you can’t even control it or certain urges and pulses and sins that you want to do and you feel like you can’t control it.

Those are demonic oppressions trying to come against you. You need deliverance from that. You need to be free from that. That’s why you can say, “God, deliver me from the evil one because you have set me free, you give me power and authority to trample over scorpions and serpents and nothing shall by any means harm me.”

You have that authority in Jesus Christ to overcome the wicked one. And if you need deliverance, go and put it in the comment section. I love to pray for you as well because deliverance is the children bred to be delivered from the attack of the evil one. And to walk in the path that God has called us to live in victory and not in bondage.

#11: Pray for the Kingdom That is to Come

Number 11, Jesus says, “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13) we want to remind ourselves as we close out the prayer, that we’re praying for a kingdom that is to come. Even though we’re living on this earth and there’s an earthly kingdom, we don’t live for this earthly kingdom!

We live for an everlasting kingdom that is incorruptible, whose name is the Prince of peace and the Lord of lords and King of kings. And one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. We live for that kingdom! And not for this kingdom here on earth.

And just talking about that makes our hearts joyful.

#12: Forgive Others

But here’s the most important thing. After Jesus taught his disciples the attitude of prayer and what to pray, He gives his warning which is key number 12.

Jesus says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)

But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. What a solemn warning. Let this sink in. And Jesus is not talking about some kind of lip service, “Oh, I forgive you.” and then deep inside you’re holding this grudge, you’re holding this bitterness.

You’re always thinking in your mind, mulling it over and over again about how you can do bad to this person.

“I wish to get justice.”

“I wish someone would find out the bad that they’ve done. The hurt they have done caused me.”

Jesus is saying, no, don’t do that. The same way that I have forgiven you, go and forgive other people because you’re walking on that path that I’ve called you to live. Release the bitterness, release the hurt. Because the more you hold onto this bitterness, the more you hold onto this unforgiveness. Your hand is clenched like this.

God can’t give you anything else. He can’t give you his grace. He can’t give you his blessing. He can’t give you salvation if you clench your fist like this. But if you say, “God, I release it. I release it and I bless him. I uplift your name. I praise You. I bless your name because the same way You have forgiven me. The same way You bless me. I forgive that person and even bless them. I’ll bless those who curse me because You have told me to do that. To pray for those who spitefully use me and to bless and love my enemies.”

It’s not easy to do. But by the power of God, we can do that because certainly if we have received such great mercy, such grace, and forgiveness from God, we today need to extend this mercy to others. We don’t want to miss out at the end of life that we walked the entire life as a Christian doing all the Christian things at the end, we miss heaven because we will not forgive someone.

We don’t want to do that because that is the promise of God. If we forgive others, God will forgive us. If we don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive us. And so if you’re paralyzed, seem to be stuck, make sure you go and follow and do these 12 keys that Jesus has given us in His word.

Because when you do that, it is the promise of God. “Heaven and earth can pass away but His word will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)

When you pray the way that God wants you to pray, you will get results. And know this. God wants you to have results in your prayers and in my prayers because we have a job to do here on earth.

Go and share this with other people who need to hear it.

Until next time.

God bless you!

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