Praise and thank the Lord before presenting your request to Him.
Psalm 95:2: Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Psalm 100:4: Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
Philippians 4:6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Be specific and ask for what you need.
Matthew 7:7–8: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 21:22: And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
John 16:24: Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
James 4:2b: You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
Pray in Jesus’ name.
John 14:13–14: And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
John 16:23: And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
Prayer also includes you listening to God.
Numbers 9:8: And Moses said to them, “Stand still, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.”
1 Samuel 3:9–10: Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”
1 Kings 19:11–12: Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
Pray in faith.
Matthew 21:21–22: So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Mark 11:24: Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Romans 4:21: And being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Hebrews 11:6: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
James 1:5–7: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.
Obey God and do His will.
John 9:31: Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.
John 15:7: If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
1 John 3:22: And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
Submit yourself to God and pray according to His will.
Psalm 143:10: Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.
Matthew 6:10: Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Luke 22:42: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
John 5:30: I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
1 John 5:14: Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Daniel 9:18b: O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.
Luke 18:10–14: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
James 4:6: But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Remind God of His promises when praying.
Genesis 32:6–12: Then the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” 7 So Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies. 8 And he said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the other company which is left will escape.” 9 Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. 11 Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children. 12 For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”
Nehemiah 1:4–11: So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said: “I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, 6 please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8 Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; 9 but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ 10 Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. 11 O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”
I can take my telescope and look millions of miles into space; but I can lay my telescope aside, go into my room and shut the door, and while in earnest prayer I see more of Heaven and get closer to God than I can when assisted by all the telescopes and material agencies on earth.—Isaac Newton
The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.—C.S. Lewis