Do you ever feel like your prayers hit the ceiling and don't go any further? Jesus gave us some important insights on how to pray in a way that matters. It just might change how you pray.

  • Do you pray and wonder if you’re praying “the right” way?
  • Do you pray and feel like you don’t see any results to your prayers?
  • Do you pray and wonder if it even matters that you’ve prayed?

For the next few weeks, we’re going to delve into prayer and together we’re going to discover this wonderful conduit we have with God, and learn how to pray in a way that matters. 


Prayer seems like it should be so easy.  After all it’s just a conversation with God.

Yet, somehow, it seems we don’t really know how to pray.


Evidently it was an issue when Jesus walked the earth, because he took time to explain to his followers how they should pray. But, first he explained the framework of prayer so they, and we, could have a better understanding of prayer.

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

Matthew 6:6-8 NLT

This prayer conversation that we’re to have with God… it’s supposed to be an intimate conversation.  He doesn’t want us to talk to him like we would a neighbor we’re shouting to (as in to be heard) across the street or  driveway.  And though we might meet with friends at a busy restaurant, God wants us to meet with him in a quiet place, alone, without other distractions.  He wants to be our only focus.

And then Jesus tells something very important… “Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”

How to Pray - Matthew 6 - Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him. -

Let’s think about our relationships with family members and friends and assume that these people know what’s going on in our lives.

When you talk to a spouse or sister or friend about something… you don’t explain the situation, the peculiarities, or the details… they already know because they “do life” with you.  You get to the point.  And if you need help or assistance you simply ask for it.  If you’re trying to figure something out… you share with them your concern or your puzzlement. You don’t go on and on explaining the how’s, why’s, or wherefores, do you?  No… it’s just not necessary.

This is huge!

That’s why Jesus tells us we don’t need to repeat prayers over and over.  Repetitious words and sentence that are an imitation of real prayer must grieve the Lord.  It dishonors him.

If you had an opportunity to privately meet with a king, there is no way you would repeat the same sentences over and over.  If you did, you would find yourself being escorted out of his chambers immediately.

When we sit down to pray… we are talking, not only to the God of the universe and our creator, but we’re talking with someone intimately involved in our lives who not only knows what we are going through, but he knows what’s best for us, what will happen, and even the secrets of our hearts. He knows the good, the bad, and the ugly.  And he loves us in and through it all.

Does this change how you will next approach God in prayer?

How to Pray...

Let’s summarize the first steps of how to pray in a way that matters.

The first step is to recognize that prayer is an intimate conversation with God. It’s something special between you and HIM…. like the intimacy between a husband and a wife.  It’s a time to be treasured, protected, and valued.  And, if this isn’t amazing already… God promises us a reward for this time together.

The next step is to recognize that God loves us and already knows us so well that he knows everything we need before we ask. This entirely changes our posture towards him.  You don’t need to sit across the table from him.  No, instead you can sit on the sofa with him and slide right up to him and he places his arm around you and pulls you in close. Yes… he does want you to pour out your heart to him… not to hear the circumstances… but so that you can unload your troubles, fears, and burdens on him.

Do you ever feel like your prayers hit the ceiling and don't go any further? Jesus gave us some important insights on how to pray in a way that matters. It just might change how you pray.

This week, take time to pray alone in the quiet and practice intimacy with God.  Think about how you talk to God… how you approach him… and what your expectations are of him during your prayer time.

I’ve done some valuable self-examination through this study.  I hope you’ve found it to be equally as helpful.

Next week we’ll continue through the chapter as Jesus teaches us very specifically how to pray.

It's JoyDay! Join us as we count the good and the not-so-good from the past week and give thanks.

It’s JoyDay!

One of my favorite things of the week is JoyDay!  I look forward to this time where we give thanks in community…. for the good and the not-so-good.  It’s an amazing way to re-set our compasses for the week.  To encourage one another.  And most of all to make our “joy-meters” soar.

Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Whatever happens, give thanks,
because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

Won’t you join me in looking back over the last week and counting just ‘seven’  from a whole week’s worth of happenings for gratitude?

I’ll start!

Thank you Lord for…

  1. a challenging week.
  2. for being my strength and my shield
  3. a very fun evening out.
  4. two wonderful blog blessings.
  5. an unexpected health issue and knowing that YOU are my healer.
  6. knowing our needs and hearing our prayers.
  7. the hope I have in YOU.

Now it’s YOUR turn!

Please join me by tapping in your ‘seven’ in the ‘share your extraordinary thoughts’ section below.

Thank you for stopping by and taking time to leave your sweet thoughts.

May your week overflow with unimaginable Joy! Signature - AnExtraordinaryDay.netReceive FREE inspiration like this in your inbox!
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  1. Debbi Saunders says

    Thank You Lord:
    1. for this glorious fall weather, it renews my spirit!
    2. for your continued Grace and Peace in my Life…
    3. for a challenge in my finances for the next 2 months and assurance that you will meet this need…
    4. for seeing evidence of the fruits of my prayers for my brother,nephew and son a neighbor and my Uncle!!
    5. for my Wonderful Daily Prayer Partners!
    6. for continued strength and healing from my surgery..
    7. an unexpected moment of quiet and prayer with my Prayer Partners on our lunch break with you present with us Lord!!

    • Debbi… you exude the joy of the Lord.
      I rejoice with you at all these blessings. And I’m looking forward to seeing how God walks you through the financial challenge. I’m believing for something amazing for you!!!

  2. Gail says

    Thoughtful post

  3. Kim says

    Interesting Diane. I can’t wait to read this series. The teacher in me loves to learn! I am thankful for so much this week,but most importantly a good test result! 🙂

    • A good test result is the best news, Kim! I rejoice with you in it.
      This series has come through some of my own wrestling and through God helping me in spite of my own stubbornness. I’ll be interested to know your thoughts.
      Thanks for stopping by and for your encouragement. [hugs]

  4. BETTY Brown says

    Thank you Lord that the circumstance with Michael isn’t joyful but You are in it.Having resources to help his wife be able to see the doctor.A family that sticks together when times get tough.The hope I see through faith in seeing Michael free.Strength that comes when I’m tired and pain is in my body.James being as okay as he is.Protection on the interstate as I take my sister to the doctor .For helping me keep going when everybody is pulling on me .

    • Betty… your prayers are making a difference Michael’s life… I’m certain you have no idea just how much. God IS at work!!!
      Rejoicing with you for God’s love and strength as you care for your family. May you be overwhelmed by God’s goodness and JOY in your new week. [[hugs]]

  5. Thank you Lord,
    1. For new friends that we can invite over at the spur of the moment to enjoy chili and football together. The bonus was a win for our team 🙂
    2. For two old friends coming to visit us this week.
    3. For waking me from sleep to pray for someone who was in need of prayer right at that moment.
    4. For waking a friend from her sleep with word of blessing meant just for me and spoke to my heart when I found the message on my iPhone this morning.
    5. For a solid church and loving church family.
    6. For giving me fresh encouragement to write my/our story in book form.
    7. For health and strength.

    • I’m so excited to see how you are settling in… not just in your home… but in new relationships, Patti! Isn’t it wonderful how God works… even in the night to use us to bless others? May your new week overflow with God’s goodness and JOY!! [[hugs]]

  6. linda says

    1. wonderful Saturday with my daughters, DIL, a d one of my granddaughters for her 6th birthday
    2. husband’s safe return from an overseas trip
    3. coffee in the morning
    4. my sweet teen girls
    5. freedom to vote as we want
    6. fall colors
    7. my Bible study

    • I rejoice with you Linda at God’s wonderful blessings in your life.
      May your new week overflow with JOY! [hugs]

  7. Wendy says

    Thank you Lord for:
    1. Good weather for travelling.
    2. Opening doors for emotional healing.
    3..Your presence.
    4. A family illness that draws me closer to you.
    5. A fun evening.
    6. The opportunity of work.
    7. The ability to see clearly in a situation.

    • Wendy… God is so good and I rejoice with you at his goodness and blessing in your life.
      May your week overflow with expectation and JOY! 🙂


  1. […] How to Pray in a Way that Matters | JoyDay! […]

  2. […] Last week we looked at Matthew 6:6-8 NLT and discussed the first steps in learning how to pray in a way that matters. […]

  3. […] how to pray in a way that matters means seeking God’s way first… humbling ourselves… and yielding to his will. […]

  4. […] prayer discovery (which began here) has taken us on a journey […]

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