Prepare your heart before prayer.
Pray from a position of confidence. Often, we may not feel like we’re worthy to have our prayers answered because we know we’re not perfect. We did lose our temper. We still let the odd curse word out. Our motives aren’t always pure. Why would God listen to us? Remember, you are in Christ. Never focus on how unworthy you are. Instead, focus on how worthy Jesus is. Meditate on these scriptures:
Hebrews 9:13-14, The Living Bible: “And if under the old system the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of young cows could cleanse men’s bodies from sin, just think how much more surely the blood of Christ will transform our lives and hearts. His sacrifice frees us from the worry of having to obey the old rules and makes us want to serve the living God. For by the help of the eternal Holy Spirit, Christ willingly gave himself to God to die for our sins—he being perfect, without a single sin or fault.”
Hebrews 9:15, The Living Bible: “Christ came with this new agreement so that all who are invited may come and have forever all the wonders God has promised them.”
Hebrews 10:12-14, The Living Bible: “But Christ gave himself to God for our sins as one sacrifice for all time and then sat down in the place of highest honor at God’s right hand, waiting for his enemies to be laid under his feet. For by that one offering he made forever perfect in the sight of God all those whom he is making holy.”
Prepare your soul before prayer.
Yes, Jesus died for our sins. However, that does not give us the right to practice sin. Hebrews 10:26 says: “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.” (New Living Translation) Confess your sins to the Lord and ask for forgiveness. Then, submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit who will help you resist temptation.
Prepare your mind before prayer.
Pray from a position of faith. Remember, God wants to and will answer your prayers. Your mind will fight you on this. As you begin to pray, suddenly you recall every reason why what you’re asking for is impossible: How can God get that much money to me? My diagnosis is too bleak–that disease is incurable. There’s no way I’ll get the promotion—I’m the least qualified. Clear your mind of negative thinking. Here are just a few strategies and scriptures to get you started…
>>Dismiss every doubt. I’ll tell you what God told me: “Valerie, I can fix anything. I’m God.” This agrees with the scripture, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
>>The best way to build your faith is to hear the Word of God (more than the bad reports, more than the skeptics).Review the miracles of Jesus when you find your faith faltering.
>>Remind yourself of all the prayers God has already answered. Why do we forget so quickly?
>>Use your mind to imagine (get a vision) the will of God coming to pass. Imagine yourself getting married. Imagine yourself accomplishing your dream. Hebrews 11:1 says:“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.” (The Living Bible)
>>Don’t use your mind for wrongful (vain/illegal) imagination. Illegal/wrongful imaginations include fantasizing about anything that goes against God’s Word–adultery, fornication, theft, envy, revenge, self-pity, etc. That’s being double-minded. If you really love God, then focus on things that please him. James 1:6-8 says: “Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. (New Living Translation)
>>Forgive anyone who has offended you. Mark 11:24-28 says: “Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it’s yours! But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you your sins too.” (The Living Bible)
Preparing your heart, soul and mind for prayer may seem overwhelming. But, it’s really not if we learn to become like a child again. Children are bold. Children believe Daddy can do anything. Children never stop asking for things. Children forgive and forget easily. Children love to please their father. Your Father in Heaven wants to delight you too.
Matthew 7:11, King James Version
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”