How to Pray for What You Really Want

There are four steps to keep in mind when practicing daily prayer.

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God has given us all free will. This is a beautiful gift but one that comes with a price. We have to make our own choices. Sometimes on this journey, it can feel as though we are all alone, but we’re not. God is always with us. But first, we must ask. “Ask and you shall receive” is specifically written in the bible for a reason.

Try to make your prayer petition as specific as possible. Don’t put the change you’re asking for on others but rather on yourself. If, for example, you’re dealing with a difficult boss instead of praying for the boss to change, pray that God works through your heart so that you’re able to understand and work well with this person.

Affirm:

Prayer is energy. When we repeat a prayer or affirmation over and over, it reinforces a chemical pathway in the brain. Pagans will knot string nine times to lock in energy of a prayer request while Catholics say Novenas for nine days – a tradition that began before Christ ascended and asked his apostles to pray for nine days until Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended. So throughout many religions and beliefs, repeating and affirming our prayer has been shown to help significantly.

Affirming our prayer repeatedly also helps us to focus our energy and attract that which we’re seeking. While you’re affirming your prayer, be open to any insights or coincidences that occurs. God speaks to us in hidden ways. But if you’re open, you’ll see the guidance. Catherine Ponder (author of Dynamic Laws of Prosperity) writes how she was repeatedly praying for her son to find guidance in his career choice. Every time she would stop to pray for her son, an Air Force plane would fly low over her house. This never happened except when she was praying for her son. Therefore, it came as no surprise when her son announced that he was joining the Air Force. Be open to God’s language. You’ll receive messages through synchronicity, repetitive thoughts, dreams, sudden inspirations, and “chance” encounters.

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Yield:

This is probably the most important and hardest part of the praying process. We must yield to God’s answer and be ready to receive a no. God always answers our prayers. Always. It’s just that sometimes the answer is “yes” but quite often it’s “no” or “not now.” Being ready to yield to God’s answer takes an attitude of trust and surrender. We have to believe in God’s infinite wisdom and the mystery of his reasoning.

My friend Lucy had just come out of a tough divorce and met her old boyfriend at a high school reunion. They quickly rekindled their relationship, but something was missing. He didn’t always return her phone calls. He wasn’t forthcoming with his emotions, and they didn’t have a lot of interests in common. She kept praying and praying for God to make this relationship work but they broke up a year later. Three months after the breakup, she met a wonderful man who was everything and more that she’d ever prayed for. Had God abandoned her when she was praying for the relationship with the high school boyfriend to work? No, of course not. He just knew that someone better was waiting and would be there when Lucy was ready.

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