Learning to Pray

Bill Bright

Communication is a vital element in any successful relationship, including our relationship with God. He wants us to communicate with Him about our cares and concerns. He desires that we talk to Him about every area of our lives. This communication with God is called prayer.

Prayer is much more than words. It is an expression of the heart toward God. It is an experience, a relationship - not an activity. As a child of God, you are invited to come boldly before His throne. In Hebrews 4:14-16, the writer records:

"Since we have a great High Priest who has gone through the Heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us...then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need."

Because the one to whom you pray is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, you come into His presence with reverence. But He is also your loving, heavenly Father who cares for you. Therefore, you can enter into His presence with a relaxed, joyful heart, knowing that God loves you more than anyone else has ever loved you or will love you.

What Is Prayer?

Since prayer is communication between two persons, it can also be described as a dialogue. Write a sentence about the part each of these have in a dialogue between the believer and God.

  1. Prayer is the privilege of believers. (John 3:22-23 )
  2. We relate to God like children to a father. (Ephesians 2:4-8, I Peter 5:7)
  3. God wants to hear what we say. (Psalms 62:8, 65:2, Proverbs 15:8)
  4. God delights in and longs for our fellowship. (Psalm 27:8, John 4:23, Proverbs 15:8)
  5. We can talk to God about anything. (Matthew 7:7, John 16:24)
  6. Prayer can keep us from sin. (Matthew 26:41)

How to Pray

  1. What part does the Holy Spirit play in prayer? (Romans 8:26-27)
  2. What do these verses teach us about how to pray? (Psalm 145:18, Matthew 6:5-7, 21:22, Philippians 4:6)
  3. What vital elements of prayer are found in Acts 4:24-30.
  4. What are some of the promises Christ makes to you when you pray? (Matthew 6:6 , 18:20, Luke 11:9-13, John 14:13-14 )
  5. What are some of the elements that Christ included in His prayer in John 17.

Steps to Having an Effective Prayer Life

Read the following verses and explain why each step is necessary to having an effective prayer life

  1. Abide. (John 15:7 )
  2. Ask. (James 4:2-3 )
  3. Believe. (Matthew 21:22)
  4. Receive. (I John 5:14-15)

Life Application

  1. Set a time and place for your daily prayer time.
  2. Use a small notebook to help you pray effectively.
  • On page one, make a list of people whom you want to remember daily in prayer.
  • On page two, write a list of things for which you will praise and thank God. Update the list daily.
  • On page three, write the date, prayer requests, and scripture verses related to requests. Leave room to write down the answer and date for each request.
  • Each day, repeat the first two points, checking for answered prayers to record on earlier days.
  • Keep this notebook with your Bible so you can refer to it during the day to pray for and record concerns, needs, praises, or thanks that come to mind.


Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.

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