What would be a summary of prayer?

Question: “What would be a summary of prayer? Prayer can be confusing and complex or it can be simple and direct.  How do we make it simple and effective?”

Bible Answers

Man has no power within himself to fulfill any prayer. Only God can fulfill a prayer and He will only do so when the prayer is within His will and conditions. If a prayer is within God’s will, then God wants to bless us and it is a certainty as long as we do not interfere with His will by failing to fulfilling His conditions.

Knowing God’s will

There are only two possibilities for knowing God’s will.

The first, and the approach Jesus used, is being led by the Holy Spirit.  When the Holy Spirit gives us direction, and we obey, we can be assured that it is the will of God and normally will be quickly fulfilled.

The second, and the approach most Christians use, is believing that it is God’s will because God’s Word says if they ask, in Jesus name, and don’t doubt, but believe, they will receive.  This approach does have several primary conditions.  They are:

Primary Conditions


To receive, we need to first approach God humbly with respect, free of sins and unforgiveness,  asking the Holy Spirit for His guidance, and then praying in assurance of God, His Word, and His love.  We end our prayer with thanksgiving and confidence that God will answer our prayer, trusting Him that He will bring good out of our problems in the appropriate time.


Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1). Keep praying until you have an assurance in your heart.

And when you pray, do not concentrate on telling God your problems and concerns, and don’t tell Him how you want Him to solve your problems (very presumptuous), but pray the solution you are looking for.  For example, if your house is in foreclosure, do not go on and on about not having any money, they are going to take my house, my family is going to be homeless on the street, its winter and we will freeze to death.  Why concentrate on the negative.  God already knows these possibilities. Rather pray for the solution, money to bring your mortgage current and then start thanking God for providing the money.  Thanking God for providing what you have asked for before you receive it is showing great confidence and faith in God and His Word.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).  

A long-time friend of mine, Gary Jones, has a little different approach to praying for his needs.  Rather than asking God to tell him what to do, he prays, “Lord, make your will very clear for me.”  He says that this approach always works for him, that in the Lord's timing, God always makes it very clear to him.

I like this approach because it offers three advantages.

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