Regard these four point as instructions on prayer from Jesus Himself.
1. Pray with priority
Jesus taught us to pray, “Hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” When you are praying over your list, keep this priority in mind. As I have already mentioned above, all of our prayers ought to be ultimately for Him. If you do not include this great prayer in your prayer list, be sure that it is imprinted in the back of your mind, so that all the requests that you are offering up to God are for His honor, His will, and His kingdom.
2. Pray each day for the needs of that day
Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It seems clear to me that what Jesus was teaching is that we ought to live one day at a time, and that we should not worry about tomorrow. Therefore, prayers are to be offered up each day, mainly for that day, trusting God to feed us and provide for us just as He provides for the animals and for all of His creation (Matt. 6:26).
Oh, we should think ahead, and pray ahead, and make plans; but we must not think that that is the end of it, that we need not pray anymore, that we can just sit back and trust God to carry out our plans. No! We can make plans for the future, but God will have the final say in what happens (Prov. 19:21). He has His own plans for us and He wants us to be dependent on Him each day. And that is why we need to pray each day, so that we can receive help from Him to fit into His plans and to give us what we need for that day (Read Psalms 23 with the idea of daily dependence on Him).
3. Pray each day to be cleansed of sin
Unconfessed sin and prayer do not go together. David said in Psalms 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Before you go to prayer you must make sure that you are not harboring sin in your heart and that you are not carrying bitterness in your heart against anyone. God will not hear your prayers unless you have a pure heart. You must forgive your offender and ask God to forgive your sins. We ought to make it a habit to pray every day as Jesus taught us, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matt. 6:12; also Matt. 6:14 and 1Jn. 1:9).
4. Pray for God’s leading and protection
The last thing Jesus taught us to pray from The Lord’s Prayer is, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” I think it is a good practice to make this request our last request when we pray in the morning. When we go out into the world we need His leading and protection.
What this request actually teaches us is to pray that God would not lead us into any situation where there are trials that would be too difficult for us to bear under, or any temptations to difficult to resist. We are to pray that He would make a way for us to escape from every trial and from every temptation (1 Cor. 10:13), that He would be our strength and armor so that we would be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Sometimes in my prayer time I pray over Ephesians 6:10-18 and pray on each of the pieces of armor Paul lists there. If you have the time in the morning to do this I think it’s a good practice. I recommend it also for evening prayers. In the evening when we are tired the devil will try to take advantage of us and get into our thoughts. So don’t take your armor off in the evening before you go to bed. Keep your armor on all through the night and God will protect you. If you struggle with temptation in the evening and at night, make a special effort to keep it on. I would recommend, before you go to bed, that you pray for His protection—that is, pray on the armor of God.