5 Requirements of Prayer

This 1-minute devotion describes 5 requirements of prayer that are found in Scripture. God wants us to have effective prayer lives.

Prayer is both simple and complex. 

1. It requires faith:
Matthew 21:22: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

2. It requires being right with God:
John 15:7: "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

3. It requires right motives:
James 4:3: "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

4. It requires a clean conscience: 

1 John 3:21-22: "Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him."

5. Perhaps the best summary of prayer is 1 John 5:14-15:
"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."

What a wonderful privilege to take our concerns to the Lord!

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This 1-minute devotion describes 5 requirements of prayer that are found in Scripture. God wants us to have effective prayer lives.

This 1-minute devotion describes 5 requirements of prayer that are found in Scripture. God wants us to have effective prayer lives.

Bible Love Notes


  1. First, A great gathering of verses...thx! On the last summary item, when we pray, "according to His will," it just hit me as I was reading this...we should be praying prayers like The Lords Prayer, or as Jesus prayed; prayers that will advance God's Kingdom here on earth, not grocery lists of I wants, that wouldn't promote his will or way in any sense of HIS WORD at all. That would truly be His will being done.

    1. Yes, you're right. When we're seeking God's kingdom purposes in our personal lives, it will be reflected in our prayer requests. We will still take everything to the Lord (Phil. 4:6-7), but we'll offer our requests in light of His plans and purposes.

      Sometimes our prayers will reflect our wrong attitudes, our confusion, our discouragement, and our selfish desires, but we'll let God adjust our thinking to His will (e.g. Psalm 73). The Psalms are full of this type of prayer.

      Ideally, our prayers should be a combination of our personal requests for God's will in our lives as well as requests for kingdom purposes beyond ourselves. Does that make sense?

      I actually think this might be a good subject for a devotion. So you may see something on this in a future Bible Love Note!

      Have a blessed day and thanks for contributing to this discussion on prayer.

    2. Motives. I remember watching the John Lennon documentary, "Imagine". John said the Beatles were the best band because they believed they were the best band around at the time when they first started playing. He said they didn't want fame. They just wanted to be better than other bands. I believe they were successful because their motives were pure. When I think on "pure motives", I always think of the Beatles

    3. That's an interesting observation, Sharon. Considering that the Beatles lives have all contained tragedy and fame-based problems, it shows us that we need more than good motives. We need to guard ourselves against the trappings of wealth and fame, even if they are not our goals. I guess it's important that point 1,2 and 4 sandwich point 3.

      Thanks for your insights.

  2. Perfect sense. We can never learn too much on prayer.

    Thank u again for publishing these. I don't comment often, but sure enjoy the thought provoking looks at scriptures.

  3. this makes a great sense, Gail! we all need to say the right kind of prayers at all times. thanks for sharing this!

  4. I think that as our Dad, He is very happy that we just chat with Him.

    1. Hi Judy,
      He does love to chat with us! What a great privilege.

      In fact, His Word is one way He chats with us. Isn't it wonderful that He gives us instructions for prayer - like those above. He wants us to have an effective prayer life, and He tells us how we can have one.

      And listening is such an important part of meaningful communication and that's one reason that we need to listen to His instructions in His Word.

  5. Just found this via Pinterest, although I'm not hugely active on there. Want to thank you for posting these so that everyone might read and learn from them. I also have a few questions about prayer. Is it wrong to ask God repeatedly for help with our dreams in life, such as in my case of wanting to be an owner operator (owning a commercial truck, but leased/contracted to a company) and knowing it would allow a better quality and flexibility of life? Is it wrong to ask God for help where we have fallen away for a time, to ask him to help us get back to him? Is it wrong to talk to God in prayer as if he was sitting right beside us and just opening up about everything that's affecting us in life along with all the questions we might have about life, advancing our career to get to a stable position, etc? I hope it's not too long but this has been on my mind for a few days.

    1. Hi Unknown,
      These are good questions.

      It's wonderful to talk with God as if He is sitting right beside us. He knows everything, but He wants us to come to Him about every detail of our lives. He wants to be part of our lives to guide, comfort, convict of sin, and be our Lord.

      There is nothing wrong with asking for things that improve our quality of life or our career. It is natural that we would ask for these things.

      And it is a good thing to ask God to restore your relationship if you've not been walking closely to Him. In fact, that is really the most important thing you can pray for.

      And as you walk with the Lord and seek Him daily in prayer and learn daily from the Bible, He will guide you into His purposes for your life (See Ephesians 2:10).

      Sometimes He will change your prayers because you are praying for things that are not in line with His will for you. Other times He will answer your prayers.

      His purpose is not to make life easy for us. His purpose is to help us develop our faith so we can walk closer to Him and find the peace and joy and purpose that only He can bring.

      So I would encourage you to pray about anything that does not violate Scripture, and let God guide you into or away from your goals in life.

      There is nothing in life more important that our relationship with the Lord!

      God bless you!

    2. Also an independent owner operator, Something that helped me to get closer to God and align with his will and unscramble my thoughts is to write a letter to him at night after reading his word before prayer.

    3. Truckingelaine - I think that sounds like an excellent thing to do. I know that it helps me to write down my prayers and thoughts.

  6. Was so glad when I got to your fifth point that you emphasized "according to His will." That context is vitally needed, especially for young Christians who are trying to navigate the "wants vs. needs" maze and/or are trying to understand why God doesn't fix all their problems immediately.