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How to Pray Effectively

Updated on November 19, 2012

Views on How to Pray from World Religions

I am not an expert on religion nor prayer. I am a humble servant of God that is learning as I grow. There is not just one way to pray; however, the art of prayer was not really taught to me as a child (even though I was brought up in a church and prayed regularly).

Here are the best resources I have found about how to pray effectively. Many world faiths are represented on this page about praying effectively. I hope you find something that speaks to you, or that you will share what works for you.

How to Ask God

James 1:5-7

New International Version (NIV)

5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord."

Five Steps of Prayer

Suggestions to solve problems with prayer and meditation

"First Step. Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the Manufestations as they have the greatest power. Then remain in the silence of contempation for a few minutes.

Second Step. Arrive at a decision and hold to this. This decision is usually born during the contemplation. It may seem almost impossible if accomplishment but if it seems to be an answer to a prayer or a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step.

Third step. Have determination to carry the decision through. Many fail here. The decision, budding into determination, is blighted and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. WHen determination is born, immediately take the next step.

Fourth Step. Have faith and confidence that the power will flow through you, the right way will appear, the door will open, the right book will be given to you. Have confidence, and the right thing will come to your need. Then, as you rise from prayer, take at once the fifth step.

Fifth Step. Act as though it had all been answered. Act with tireless, ceaseless energy. And as you act, you, yourself, will become a magnet, whicch will attract more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed channel for the Divine Power to flow through you. Many pray but do not remain for the last half of the first step. Some who meditate arrive at a decision, but fail to hold it. Few have the determination to carry the decision through, and still fewer have the confidence that the right thing will come to their need. But how many remember to act as through it had all been answered? How true are those words - "Greater than the prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered, but greater than the way it is uttered is the spirit in which it is carried out."

Attributed to Shogi Effendi, in Principles of Baha'i Administration, pp. 90-91.

Five Steps of Prayer Exerpt by Shogi Effendi

I originally read the excerpt above about the five steps of prayer in this book.

Hidden Gifts: Finding Blessings in the Struggles of Life
Hidden Gifts: Finding Blessings in the Struggles of Life

This book is a fantastic Baha'i read about finding the beauty in hardships.


How do you pray?

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