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Prayer is one of the most important aspects, no matter what your faith is based on. Prayer is how you build an intimate and effective relationship with God, and it’s through prayer that you strengthen your beliefs.

Prayer is more than just asking for something you need from God, but it’s communicating with Him and being intimate with the One who created this very universe. If anything, prayer is the most important habit that any of us can build.

With this being said, the following are ways on how to pray with purpose:

1.- Be transparent with your prayers

It’s God you’re talking to and if you want to effectively pray with purpose, you need to be transparent with Him.

He already knows everything about you, even your darkest thoughts. However, you should still verbally express what you’re feeling and tell Him everything. In fact, if you treat God as not just your Father in Heaven, but also as a best friend, this builds a more intimate prayer life.

Prayer isn’t just requesting what you need in life and it isn’t just about asking for a break though or miracle. Prayer is also about communicating with Him.

Tell Him about your day, your thoughts and ask for His guidance. Every person has a different way of praying, and it all comes down to where you feel most connected with God.

2.- Be direct in your prayers

The thing about effective prayers is that you need to be specific and direct. You can’t be vague when praying to God.

Even if the assumption is He most likely already knows what’s in your heart, you need to be specific in your prayers. For instance, if you’re asking for healing and recovery, be specific with which person in your life and what type of healing you want to pray for.

As mentioned above, God should also be your best friend and being direct in asking for your needs and wants in prayer is the way to effective prayer.

Think about it; How can you expect God to come through for you when you didn’t specify enough what it is you truly want?. Everyone wants a breakthrough or a miracle, but you need to specify in which area of your life and the reason behind it.

It’s okay to be vulnerable with God. Imagine your own biological father and imagine having a healthy and close relationship with him, somehow like a best friend. It’s the same way, only God has more authority.

3.- Worship and praise

Did you know that prayers aren’t necessarily what you say to God? You can pray by simply singing out your heart to God. I know that we’re raised with the misconception that prayers have to be lengthy and in words, but prayer is about how you become intimate with God.

By singing out your heart to the Lord, you’re expressing everything that can’t be said in words but can only be sung out. Prayer life isn’t something you follow by the rules, but how you feel most intimate with God.

Sometimes, it’s a much more intimate act when you worship God as an act of complete surrender of everything out of your control and after you sing, that’s when you say a short prayer. Or, your songs could be your prayer as a whole.

The general idea is that there are no rules to follow in your prayer life. This is between you and God, and nobody else.

4.- Be intentional in asking for God’s will

Prayers are obviously a way to be intimate with the Lord, but we often forget to ask for God’s input in our prayers. As we’re communicating with God about our needs and wants, don’t forget to ask for God’s will in the process.

No matter how much we want something, if it isn’t God’s will it’s never going to happen. It’s how God protects us from more pain and suffering in our lives, and that’s why not everything we pray for is granted. God hears every prayer, but it all depends on His will and His plan for you.

5.- Ask for forgiveness

Effective prayer isn’t just about the good things and isn’t just about your wants and needs. God also needs you to be humble in your prayers and ask for forgiveness for things that you did God didn’t want for you.

Asking for forgiveness from God isn’t just about saying sorry, but it’s turning your life around. The only form of forgiveness that God wants from you is the change that you’ll try your hardest to turn away from sin and to avoid breaking certain boundaries that are there for a reason.

God values the sinner that is humble rather than the perfect individual that boasts they’ve never sinned. You’re human and you’re allowed to stumble, as long as you have the humility to pray about it and turn your life around.

1John 1:19: “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness”.

6.- Pray with a friend

Pray doesn’t have to be specifically done alone. In fact, prayer is more effective when you have a friend or a loved one praying for you as well.

Prayer is the purest form of love you can give someone and by having a friend pray with you, you’re being more intimate more with God and with that friend.

Trusting someone enough to pray with you builds a more powerful prayer life and discipleship is specifically significant in building your faith. The more people pray for you, the more intimate your prayer life will be.

After all, the journey of faith is never meant to be walked alone. You need someone that helps you support in that journey, and that includes your prayer life. Whether you have someone pray for you or pray with you, it’s always nice to have someone once in a while.

7.- Read the Word of God

Whether it’s before, during or after your prayer, an effective prayer life requires that you regularly read the Word of God. It’s through His word that we’re able to know what He wants to tell us.

By reading the Word of God, we become more intimate with God and we’re closer to becoming like Jesus. By unraveling His will for us through the Word and through certain scriptures, we have a clearer understanding of our purpose in life.

It isn’t just about memorizing verses and scriptures, but you should read His word with your entire heart invested in it. Even if you memorize the verses but you don’t imprint it in your heart, then it’s all for nothing.

It’s more than just reading His word for the sake of memorizing it, the goal is to know God better. The more time we spend with someone, the more closely we feel with them, right? The same concept goes into your faith.

The more you indulge yourself reading His word, the more intimate you become with the Lord.

8.- Pray without ceasing

Even when you’re doubtful of your prayers being heard or God granting your prayers, there is so much power in every prayer to make to God.

God hears every single prayer and even when you think He’s not listening, He’s working the miracles in your life without you being aware of it; God always answers your prayers, it just isn’t always the answer you expect to hear from Him.

Ephesians 6:18: “Pray in the spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere”.

9.- Don’t forget to thank God

When it comes to prayer, we focus so much on the things we don’t have that we forget to pray about things we’re actually grateful for. We often lack contentment and we forget the many blessings that God has already provided for us.

By thanking God, you’re reminding yourself of the things you already have and you’re letting God know how much you appreciate everything that He’s done for you and everything He’s yet to do in the future.

All in all

These are the 9 ways to lead a more effective and purposeful prayer life. Always be intentional with your prayers to God and it should never feel like a routine.

Rather, it should feel like an opportunity to have an intimate relationship with God and to strengthen your faith.

Everyone has their own unique way of praying to God and it all comes down to how you’re able to express what you want freely and where you feel closest to Him.