So you say that you don't know exactly what to pray for or when to pray. Not a problem. The Bible provides for us many examples of what to pray for and when to pray.
Although there are many books in regards to prayer, the Bible itself is your best source on learning how to pray. As you read through the Bible, you will read about times when people prayed, where they prayed, how they prayed, and so on. This is great information to know as many believers don't know much about prayer.
If you have not read through the entire Bible yet and noticed the examples of prayer like the ones mentioned above, I'll provide for you a nutshell version of prayer.
Prayer is fellowship or conversation with God and can be held while kneeling, sitting, dosing off to sleep, walking, while speaking with someone, laying on your stomach and the list goes on.
What are the effects of prayer?
Prayer or fellowship or conversation with God brings you into a closer relationship with Him. Think of the person you have most contact with. It might be your mother or father or brother or sister or a friend.
The more you talk to this person the closer you become. You know what each other likes or dislikes and so on. It's the same with God, but far beyond a human relationship. You will feel His touch and overwhelming peace, although you can't see Him.
Another effect of prayer is that you will for the most part be able to make wise decisions. I say 'for the most part' because sometimes our human side sometimes gets in the way. But, if we are in fellowship with God on a continuous basis we will choose the correct path because we are desiring to be led by Him.
Enough of my talk let me give you some great examples of prayer straight from the Bible... (By the way, hover your cursor above the scripture chapter and verse to view the entire passage.)
- Luke 22:32 Jesus prayed for His disciple Peter that his faith would not fail. The encouragement to us is to pray for others.
- Luke 22:40 Jesus told His disciples to pray that they may not enter into temptation. The encouragement to us is to pray regardless of whether temptation is near or not. Be prepared by praying.
- Luke 22:41 Jesus knelt down to pray. This is one of many ways we can pray. You can even pray while standing on your head as long as your heart is right with God.
- Luke 22:42 Jesus prayed according to the Father's will. The encouragement to us is to always be mindful that it is God's will for us not our own when we call on Him for deliverance or anything else.
- Nehemiah 2:4 Nehemiah prayed while in conversation with the king whom he served under. Yes, believe it or not, you can pray while in the middle of talking to someone, maybe even pray for the salvation of that person. The conversation with that person need not be disrupted, but simply your prayer can be spoken, in mind, to the Lord. Believe me, God can decipher what you are saying.
(Side note: Make sure to read the passages above in context so that you can obtain a better understanding.)
Further encouragement. As you read through the Bible, write down the passages that speak to your heart and memorize them or just keep them with you on a index card or a flash card app for your phone or tablet. When you come into a situation, you can quickly re-call the passage and thank the Lord.