Prayer requires opening our spirits and minds to God, and speaking to Him genuinely and sincerely. Numerous descriptions can be found in Scripture of the disposition and direction of our prayers:
- Bowing the knees before the Father (Eph. 3:14)
- Looking up to God (Psalm 5:3)
- Lifting up our soul to the Lord (Psalm 25:1)
- Pouring out our heart to God (Psalm 62:8)
- Pouring out our soul to the Lord (I Sam. 1:15)
- Calling upon the Lord (Gen. 12:8)
- Crying out to God (Psalm 27:7; 34:6)
- Drawing near to God (Psalm 73:28)
- Crying to heaven (II Chron. 32:20)
- Beseeching the Lord (Exodus 32:11)
- Seeking God (Job 8:5)
- Seeking the face of the Lord (Psalm 27:8)
- Making supplication to the Father (Job 8:5; Jer. 36:7).
In order for us to experience the blessings God has in store for us through these types of petitions, we should pray to Him earnestly. James explained: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). Consider three realities that can help us pray earnestly to God:
First, His interest in us. God loves us and wants to hear from us. Peter encouraged Christians to “[h]umble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). When everyone else has forsaken us, the Lord will stand with us and strengthen us (2 Tim. 4:16-17). David recalled the reassurance of God’s nearness through prayer: “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living” (Psalm 142:4-5). The Lord is always only a prayer away.
Second, He inclination toward us. God wants to answer our prayers. He asks us to turn over every care to Him so that He can comfort us with peace (Phil. 4:6-7). John reminded us that the Lord is waiting to respond to our requests: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15). Jesus assured every disciple: “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24).
Third, His integrity with us. The Lord is faithful and will never let us down. The Heavenly Father knows what is best for us. For example, Paul prayed for relief from difficult circumstances, and rather than removing the problem, the Lord gave Him greater strength to cope with it (read 2 Cor. 12:1-10). Similarly, Solomon asked Him for wisdom to be a capable leader ,and the Lord provided this and in addition gave him great prosperity (read 1 Kings 3:5-15). God will exceed our expectations. Paul explained that the Lord “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20).