In Jeremiah 15:1, Moses and Samuel are singled out by the Lord as effective prayer warriors , it appears because of the way they lived their lives. (I'm not a theologian so I would suggest be like the Bereans and check my conclusion out!)
In Proverbs 28: 9, The Lord states, "if anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable. " It sounds to me like God definitely has an opinion on prayer.
"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16c).
There seems to be a deep correlation between our prayers and the way we live our lives. Maybe it's because if we have a heart for what the Lord loves and hates, it seems likely that we pray more according to his will (not ours). In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus offered up a prayer of reverent submission, "May your will be done." When we pray Your will be done...that is an effective and powerful prayer which lines up with God's purposes and plans.
Heartfelt and authentic prayers and petitions are referenced through out scripture: Abraham praying for his infertile wife (Genesis 15:1-4), the cries of the Israelites in bondage in Egypt ( Exodus 3:7), Moses going back and forth with the Lord about his ability (or lack of) to lead the people ( Exodus 3:1-4:7), and Hannah's prayer for a baby (1 Samuel 1:10). Real life issues, real life concerns.
Bringing our honest, raw emotions to the Lord is, as Amy Grant sings is, "Better than a hallelujah."
We want to train our kids to pray, so let's train them to pray real prayers. Not pious petitions with fancy Christian-ease. But to use normal lingo and pray according to God's will.
The best way to pray is to be REAL. The best way to be heard to is pray according to the Father's will.
And one little tip for those of you with little ones: Short prayer for short people!
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans,
for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
Matthew 6: 7
Faith, hope, and love,