7 Basic Steps to Successful Fasting and Prayer

6 Vital Questions About Prayer

By Bill Bright

Q: What Is Prayer?

Simply put, prayer is communicating with God. Real prayer is expressing our devotion to our heavenly Father, inviting Him to talk to us as we talk to Him.

Q: Who Can Pray?

Anyone can pray, but only those who walk in faith and obedience to Christ can expect to receive answers to their prayers.

Contact with God begins when we receive Jesus into our lives as Savior and Lord (John 14:6). Praying with a clean heart is also vital to successful prayer. We cannot expect God to answer our prayers if there is any unconfessed sin in our life or if we are harboring an unforgiving spirit (Psalm 66:18; Mark 11:25). For God to answer our prayers, we must have a believing heart and ask according to His will (Matthew 9:29; 21:22; 1 John 5:14,15).

Q: Why Are We to Pray?

God's Word commands us to pray (Luke 18:1; Acts 6:4; Mark 14:38; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; 1 Timothy 2:1,2).

We pray to have fellowship with God, receive spiritual nurture and strength to live a victorious life, and maintain boldness for a vital witness for Christ.

Prayer releases God's great power to change the course of nature, people, and nations.

Q: To Whom Do We Pray?

We pray to the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. when we pray to the Father, our prayers are accepted by Jesus Christ and interpreted to God the Father by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26, 27,34).

Q: When Should We Pray?

God's Word commands us to "Pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We can be in prayer throughout the day, expressing and demonstrating our devotion to God as we go about our daily tasks.

It is not always necessary to be on our knees, or even in a quiet room to pray. God wants us to be in touch with Him constantly wherever we are. We can pray in the car, while washing the dishes, or while walking down the street.

Q: What Should We Include in Our Prayers?

Although prayer cannot be reduced to a formula, certain basic elements should be included in our communication with God: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (ACTS).

A-Adoration

To adore God is to worship and praise Him, to honor and exalt Him in our heart and mind and with our lips.

C-Confession

When our discipline of prayer begins with adoration, the Holy Spirit has opportunity to reveal any sin in our life that needs to be confessed.

T-Thanksgiving

An attitude of thanksgiving to God, for who He is and for the benefits we enjoy because we belong to Him, enables us to recognize that He controls all things - not just the blessings, but the problems and adversities as well. As we approach God with a thankful heart, He becomes strong on our behalf.

S-Supplication

Supplication includes petition for our own needs and intercession for others. Pray that your inner person may be renewed, always sensitive to and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Pray for others - your spouse, your children, your parents, neighbors, and friends; our nation and those in authority over us. Pray for the salvation of souls, for a daily opportunity to introduce others to Christ and to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.