This article will outline the basics steps a Chrisitian needs to take to pray effectively.
The very first thing that a believer must accept is the fact that he or she is righteous. This righteousness is not earned but received upon accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. This positional standing gives the believer an audience with God the Father.
The next thing that must be realized is that prayer is a conversation with the creator of heaven and earth. It is God's desire to be in relationship with His creation. Prayer affords us the opportunity to talk with the Lord. In addition, it is important to note that communication involves speaking and listening.
The next step is to pray in Faith. We must have faith in God. Hebrews 11 tells us what faith is, but more importantly it also states that we must believe that God is who He says He is and He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. We gain this faith by reading the Word of God. Find out how the Word applies to your particular situation. Ask the spirit of God to shine revelation knowledge on your situation from the viewpoint of the word of God. Jesus stated in John 15:7, (paraphrased) if you abide in me and my word abide in you, ask what you will and it will be given to you.
Jesus is saying in short: (1) Get in him - that is accomplished through salvation. (2) Get the word in you- that is accomplished by reading and gaining understanding of the word of God through personal study and teaching from a godly pastor. (3) Ask what you will- Jesus understood that if we are saved and diligently read and study the word of God, it would in turn affect our will and cause our will to be comformed to the will of God. This means that our prayers would be saturated with God's word (His will), therefore, we would not ask Him to do anything against His written will for our lives.
Next, we need to pray with the right attitude. James 5 tells us that the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. Fervency speaks of attitude. (1) Do not approach God from the attitude of demanding Him to do anything. He is sovernign, He does what He pleases (PS 115:3). Do not pray to try to manipulate God with His word.(2) Do not approach God begging, rather approach Him as His child John 1:12-13. Ask your heavenly Father from the position of His child. Approach Him to reach His heart. That is most often done through sincere, worship and devotion for Him and not what He can do for you.
Finally, believe God for the best results. This does not mean to believe him solely for what you want and prayed for, but rather, believe that He will provide you with the best answer as it relates to your walk with Him and the totality of what He has planned for your life. Rejoice in His answer.