Do you wonder what kind of prayers reach heaven? It’s not that complicated. Here are five kinds of prayers God always loves to hear:
1. Prayers of Praise
When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, He began with a prayer of praise, acknowledging His Father “which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:11). God loves to hear our praise. “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3, NIV). Personally, praising God lifts my spirits more than anything I know.
2. Prayers of Thanksgiving
1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” David the Psalmist expressed it well: “What a beautiful thing, GOD, to give thanks, to sing an anthem to you, the high God! To announce your love each daybreak, sing your faithful presence all through the night” (Psalm 91:1-2, MSG). When Jesus healed the ten lepers, only one returned to thank Him. Jesus asked why the others didn’t come back (Luke 17:16-18). Jesus gave thanks often to His heavenly Father
3. Prayers for Salvation
God waits to hear this prayer, and loves to answer: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13, NKJV). That’s the reason Jesus came: “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10, NLT). Prayers for our own eternal salvation or for others always reach God’s ears. He doesn’t want anyone to perish!
4. Prayers for Wisdom
James 1:5 (NLT) assures us that God wants us to ask for wisdom: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking,” assures us that God wants us to ask, making sure we trust Him to answer. Who doesn’t need wisdom?
5. Prayers of Repentance
This may be the same as your personal prayer for salvation. But telling God we’re sorry, that we want to do an about face–agreeing with God about our own condition–is the kind of repentant prayer God wants to hear. Luke 5:32 (NLT) tells us something about God’s heart, modeled by Jesus: “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent.” God loves both individual and corporate repentance. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a familiar reminder to any nation that if we, corporately, will turn (repent), he will hear, forgive, and restore.