There is a lot of good teaching out there on prayer. There are many different kinds of prayer. There are prayers of adoration and worship, prayers of petition for healing, or finances, or for the salvation of loved ones, etc. But there is only one desired conclusion, and that is, we want what we have prayed for, right? We want to know when we pray that our prayers are heard and that the answer is forthcoming. So, then, how are we praying? Oh, Lord, I pray if it is your will, heal me? Oh Lord, if it is your will, save me? Oh Lord, you know I’m just a dumb old beggar, asking you for a crust of moldy bread. Oh Lord, I hope you will answer my prayer…… Is that how Jesus prayed? I don’t think so. The scripture tells us how to pray if we want results.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to put my time into prayer, I want to see results for it. My prayers are not just to make hot air to heat our house with in the winter. And yours shouldn’t be, either. Is your prayer life simply throwing up a prayer in hopes God might just hear it and feel sorry for you? In order for your prayers to be effective, there are some guidelines to follow. Number one, ALWAYS start your prayers with thanksgiving and praise. No, I didn’t say to pray only on Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or some other holiday. In fact, we are to pray without ceasing.

 But getting back to the thanksgiving and praise, that is essential for putting us in an attitude of gratitude. You see, God does so much for us, not only that which is evident to us, but also behind the scenes. He works in ways we often cannot see. And we need to be thankful to Him. We need to worship Him with each prayer. Why? Because He is God, and He is worthy of our worship, that’s why! Some people just dart into the Throne Room and say, God, I need this or that…and out the door they go. No praise, no “Thank You”, no “I love You, Lord” or anything but their petition. Now God is willing and desirous that your prayer be answered, don’t get me wrong. But like I said, there are guidelines to follow. One of them is to search God’s word and find out what the Bible has to say about what you want. It is written in 1 John 5:14-15,
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him
The key here, is that we need to know His will. Because sometimes, the answer is no. When is it “no”? When what you are praying for does not line up with the written word of God. Even though the promises of God are all “Yea and Amen”, we often aren’t praying the promises, but the problem. Pray to get results: pray the promises that God has given about your particular need.

The point I’m trying to make is this…some people may have been taught to pray, “Lord, if it’s your will, heal me.” After all, that sounds real holy, right? But it isn’t. It’s praying in ignorance of God’s will. Had they taken the time to search out God’s word, they would have read that Jesus went about, doing good, and healing those that were oppressed of the devil. Jesus said He did nothing unless it was His Father’s will. He also said, I and my Father are One. The Bible clearly and unmistakably shows it is the Father’s will that we be healed. That’s about like praying, “Lord, if it’s your will, save me”. Another “holy sounding” prayer, but ignorant. Of course it’s God’s will to save you. The Bible says God is not willing that any be lost, but that all come to repentance. So we can’t pray those kind of prayers. We have to pray according to the will of God, and we can only do that when we read His word and learn what His will is. Then, and only then, are we cooperating with heaven in establishing God’s will on earth.
Here’s another guideline to follow for effective prayer. Believe you receive. You want to receive, right? For example, the devil can’t stop your healing from happening. Only you can. God has already done His part. Now your part is to believe and receive, not just hope. Actually, when Jesus said in Mark 11:23-24, to believe we receive, He was telling us to take an “active” part, and not a “passive” part when we pray, to grab onto heaven and not let go until we receive.
Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Mar 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
The Greek word “lambano” for “receive” means this:
lam-ban’-o A prolonged form of a primary verb, which is used only as an alternate in certain tenses; to take (in very many applications, literally and figuratively [probably objective or active, to get hold of; whereas G1209 is rather subjective or passive, to have offered to one; while G138 is more violent, to seize or remove]): – accept, + be amazed, assay, attain, bring, X when I call, catch, come on (X unto), + forget, have, hold, obtain, receive (X after), take (away, up).

And another thing; if you are begging, wishing, and hoping, you aren’t likely to see the manifestation of your prayers any day soon. You must learn to do as it is written in Matthew 11:12,

Mat 11:12 And1161 from575 the3588 days2250 of John2491 the3588 Baptist910 until2193 now737 the3588 kingdom932 of heaven3772 suffereth violence,971 and2532 the violent973 take it by force.726, 846
I left the Strong’s Concordance numbers on this verse to get you to look up each word yourself. Don’t just take my word for it.

There isn’t anything “passive” about getting prayers answered. We have to reach into the heavenlies by faith and take our answer. Just like the lady with the issue of blood for twelve years coming up in the crowd behind Jesus and touching the hem of His garment, she didn’t wait until Jesus prayed for her, she “TOOK” her healing….by force. Let’s read about it in Mark 5:25-34
 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 
For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 
And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 
And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 
And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 
But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Now, once again, does this sound like how you approach God with your requests? If not, that’s why you aren’t getting your answers. Jesus commended the woman, saying “thy faith hath made thee whole”. Notice it did NOT say, “My faith hath made thee whole.” That woman took the kingdom of heaven by force. And if you will see your prayers answered, you must do the same. Begging doesn’t move God. Scared prayers don’t move God. A need doesn’t move God. Faith moves God. And not just any old faith, but it takes the kind of faith that says “I will NOT be denied!” just like that woman had. That kind of faith moves mountains. It certainly moved HER mountain, did it not?
You may get real “holy” right about now and say, “Well, that kind of faith demands from God, and we are just men, and we can’t demand ANYTHING from God.”

Well, I’m all for being Holy. God said “Be ye Holy for I am Holy”. If Jesus approved of that kind of faith, then so does His Father. And if He approves of it and we’re not using it, then, it’s our loss, not His. If you will start grabbing onto heaven and refuse to let go until you have your need met, you will find it will get easier each time. Just as a weight lifter gets stronger the more he lifts the barbell, as you exercise your faith, it will get stronger, and as it gets stronger, your level of boldness and trust in God will get stronger. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. The stronger it gets, the more you use it. You get the idea, right?

No more “passive prayers” because “passive equals powerless”.