When you’re learning how to pray it can be overwhelming. How do I pray according to the Bible? How do I teach myself how to pray? After all, you want to “get it right,” especially for beginners. But prayer doesn’t need to be hard, friend. I want to show you what has made a huge impact in my daily prayer life. Follow these 4 steps and your prayer life will be transformed!

beginner's guide to learn how to pray - woman praying outside in a grassy area

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the perfect Christian and I don’t have it all together spiritually. (Really, who does?!) What I do know is that when I learn a valuable tool that helps me grow in my walk with the Lord I absolutely have to share it with you!

I’ve found that one of the keys to living a life with joy and peace is to have an effective prayer life. Not only has learning how to pray helped me grow in my walk with the Lord but it’s also helped me combat fear and worry in my life!

How do I teach myself to pray?

Prayer has been something I overthink and made way too hard, but I’m learning that it doesn’t have to be hard.

Prayer is simply having a conversation with the Lord like we would a friend.

We don’t have to have a set time of day to pray. The Lord’s available anytime for us to talk to Him. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing.

As you’re walking through your day and think of something you want to talk to Him about, stop and pray.

When a friend comes to mind that’s struggling, stop and pray.

At the end of your quiet time with Him, stop and pray.

The good news is, prayers can be short and/or long. Much like a mom wants to hear from her child, our heavenly Father wants to hear from us.

What are the different ways to pray?

These are just a handful of ways you can pray. (Keep reading because I’m going to show you my favorite way below.)

And if you’re wondering where in the Bible does it teach you how to pray, you’ll want to check out the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.

Like I said earlier, don’t overthink it! Just start a conversation with your heavenly Father. He’s excited to hear from you!

woman sitting on bench at beach praying with hands folded

Learn How to Pray to God with 4 Steps to an Abundant Prayer Life

When I put these steps into practice my daily prayer life was transformed and praying became much easier. Instead of always asking the Lord for things, I began having intimate conversations with Him, and I want the same for you!

As you begin your quiet time and prayer with the Lord I want you to think of the word ACTS. The 4 steps to an abundant prayer life are the letters of ACTS broken down into four different prayer areas.

Allow the steps to guide you through the daily prompts as you talk with the Lord (or even journal your prayers to Him).

Step 1. A – Adoration

The word adoration simply means to pay honor or worship.

I’ll be honest, I’d never thought about paying honor or worshipping the Lord during my prayer time. So when my friend shared this first letter of the word ACTS it was like a light bulb went off in my head – sort of an ah-ha moment – because it made total sense.

My default during prayer time was to automatically come to the Lord and start praying for things that I want, need and then throw in a few prayers for other people.

When I began my prayer time with adoration instead of asking the Lord for what I want or need I’m able to focus on Him instead of myself. This small change in my prayer time drew me closer to Him.

What does a time of adoration look like?

Adoration is simply taking a few minutes during your prayer time to praise God for who He is to you. A few examples are my comforter, compassionate and gracious, my defender and defense.

When you start your prayer time say, “God, I praise you because you’re my defender and my comforter.”

You can definitely go into more detail when you pray but if you’re like me when you first start your prayer time with adoration it might be a bit awkward, so just start simple. (The Lord knows your heart and desire to learn how to pray.)

Creating your list of the attributes of God.

This morning I was reading a verse in Isaiah that said, “I will help you.”

Helper would be a word I could add to my list.

A few verses later it said, “I will not forsake you…I have redeemed you…I will be with you…I am making a way.”

Other words to add would be reliable, constant, redeemer, way maker.

Again, don’t make it hard!

When you show up and dig into His word He’s going to show up and reveal Himself to you.

Your list might start small at the beginning but as you continue to dig into the Word you’ll learn more and more attributes of the Lord.

Note: To make it easier for you, I’ve created a printable attribute list that’s part of my Abundant Living Prayer Journal.

Begin your prayer time with adoration and your prayer life will change. How do I know? Because mine has!

woman praying with hands raised standing in an open field

Step 2. C – Confession

The next key when learning how to pray is to come to God and confess your sins.

Some days your unconfessed sins will be right there glaring at you, but other days you may need to sit quietly and ask the Lord to reveal anything to you that doesn’t come to mind.

Once you’ve sincerely confessed those sins, release them to Him. 

I love that He forgives us of our sins as soon as we ask.

I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Not only does He forgive us when we’ve confessed our sins, but He will also “purify us from all unrighteousness.” That big word, unrighteousness, means evil, unjust or wicked.

It’s as if He picks up the eraser and cleans up the evil and wickedness on the chalkboard of our life.

Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Stretch out your arms. Now imagine how far it is from one fingertip to the other fingertip. The length of your outstreched arms is just a drop in the bucket of how far you are separated from your sins when you ask for God’s forgiveness.

Confess and release your sins to Him never having to talk to Him about them again!

Step 3. T – Thanksgiving

With step #3, I want you to take a few minutes to thank the Lord for what you have and what He’s done for you.

You might feel like you don’t have anything to be thankful for, or perhaps you’re going through a tough season and it’s just really hard to thank Him for anything.

  • There’s always, always, always something to be thankful for.
  • Thank Him for your warm bed.
  • The birds chirping outside your window or the squirrel you saw scampering around in your yard are something to be thankful for.
  • Thank Him for the gas in your car that gets you to work.
  • The warm sunshine on your face is something to be thankful for.

We take so much for granted (or maybe I’m the only one who does) and there are so many things we have to be thankful for. 

If it’s gigantic thank God for it…and if it’s tiny thank Him for that too.

woman praying at a table outside

Step 4. S – Supplication

Supplication is the key that comes easy to me because I want to tell God what I need or want. I even go so far as to tell Him what He should be doing – when it’s likely not even what I need.

Take a few minutes during your prayer time to talk to the Lord about the wants and needs that are on your heart.

Boldly Ask

Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Although it sounds like it, just because you pray and ask God for something doesn’t mean you’re going to get that very thing. What it does mean is that if the things you ask are in His will then He’ll open the door and give them to you.

Be bold in asking Him what you want, but also add in the caveat for it to be His best will for your life!

Intercede for Others

Last but definitely not least, take a few minutes to lift up the requests or needs of your friends and family.

Now I don’t know about you but there have been times when someone has asked me to pray for them. I quickly agree but am just as quick to forget.

I came up with a system and now when someone asks me to pray for them I’ll add their request to a prayer list I’ve created on the notes on my phone so that I don’t forget.

Keeping this list helps me be more intentional when interceding for others. I find it helps when I group them together (family, friends, sickness, etc.). Figure out what works best to help you remember when someone asks you to pray for them.

Remember ACTS when Praying

Learning how to pray doesn’t have to be hard, we just have to be intentional about it. The next time you sit down to talk to God, remember ACTS. Then start praying!

Was this helpful for your Christian walk and learning how to pray? If so, you should definitely check out: