Definition: Worshipful address, whether aloud or silently in one’s thoughts, to the true God or to false gods.
Do you feel, as many do, that you get no answer to your prayers?
Whose prayers is God willing to hear?
Ps. 65:2; Acts 10:34, 35: “O Hearer of prayer, even to you people of all flesh will come.” “God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.” (One’s nationality, the color of one’s skin, or one’s economic circumstances have no bearing on the matter. But the motivations of one’s heart and one’s way of life do.)
Luke 11:2: “Whenever you pray, say, ‘Father, let your name be sanctified.’” (Are your prayers addressed to the Father, the one whose name the Bible says is Jehovah? Or, instead, do you address your prayers to “saints”?)
John 14:6, 14: “Jesus said to him: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.’” (Do you pray in the name of Jesus Christ, recognizing that as a sinful human you need his intercession on your behalf?)
1 John 5:14: “This is the confidence that we have toward him, that, no matter what it is that we ask according to his will, he hears us.” (To have such confidence, however, you must first know God’s will. Then be sure that your requests are in harmony with it.)
1 Pet. 3:12: “The eyes of Jehovah are upon the righteous ones, and his ears are toward their supplication; but the face of Jehovah is against those doing bad things.” (Have you taken time to learn what Jehovah says through his Word as to what is righteous and what is bad?)
1 John 3:22: “Whatever we ask we receive from him, because we are observing his commandments and are doing the things that are pleasing in his eyes.” (Is it truly your desire to be pleasing to God, and are you earnestly endeavoring to obey those of his commandments that you already know?)
Isa. 55:6, 7: “Search for Jehovah, you people, while he may be found. Call to him while he proves to be near. Let the wicked man leave his way, and the harmful man his thoughts; and let him return to Jehovah, who will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will forgive in a large way.” (Mercifully, Jehovah invites even persons who have done bad things to call to him in prayer. But, to have God’s approval, they must sincerely repent of their wrong ways and thoughts and change their course.)
What could make a person’s prayers unacceptable to God?
Matt. 6:5: “When you pray, you must not be as the hypocrites; because they like to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the broad ways to be visible to men. Truly I say to you, They are having their reward in full.” (Also Luke 18:9-14)
Matt. 6:7: “When praying, do not say the same things over and over again, just as the people of the nations do, for they imagine they will get a hearing for their use of many words.”
Prov. 28:9: “He that is turning his ear away from hearing the law [of God]—even his prayer is something detestable.”
Mic. 3:4: “At that time they will call to Jehovah for aid, but he will not answer them. And he will conceal his face from them in that time, according as they committed badness in their dealings.”
Jas. 4:3: “You do ask, and yet you do not receive, because you are asking for a wrong purpose, that you may expend it upon your cravings for sensual pleasure.”
Isa. 42:8, Dy; Matt. 4:10, JB: “I, the Lord [“Yahweh,” JB; “Jehovah,” NW]: this is my name. I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to graven things.” “You must worship the Lord your God [“Jehovah your God,” NW], and serve him alone.” (Also Psalm 115:4-8, or 113:4-8 second set of numbers in Dy) (Prayer is a form of worship. If you pray before graven things, or images, is that going to please God?)
Isa. 8:19: “In case they should say to you people: ‘Apply to the spiritistic mediums or to those having a spirit of prediction who are chirping and making utterances in low tones,’ is it not to its God that any people should apply? Should there be application to dead persons in behalf of living persons?”
Jas. 1:6, 7: “Let him keep on asking in faith, not doubting at all, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. In fact, let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from Jehovah.”
What are proper matters about which to pray?
Matt. 6:9-13: “You must pray, then, this way: ‘ Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.  Let your kingdom come.  Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.  Give us today our bread for this day; and  forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And  do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.’” (Notice that God’s name and purpose should be given priority.)
Ps. 25:4, 5: “Make me know your own ways, O Jehovah; teach me your own paths. Make me walk in your truth and teach me, for you are my God of salvation.”
Luke 11:13: “If you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!”
1 Thess. 5:17, 18: “Pray incessantly. In connection with everything give thanks.”
Matt. 14:19, 20: “[Jesus] took the five loaves and two fishes, and, looking up to heaven, he said a blessing and, after breaking the loaves, he distributed them to the disciples, the disciples in turn to the crowds. So all ate and were satisfied.”
Jas. 5:16: “Pray for one another.”
Matt. 26:41: “Keep on the watch and pray continually, that you may not enter into temptation.”
Phil. 4:6: “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God.”
If Someone Says—
‘Pray with me first, then give me your message’
You might reply: ‘I’m glad to know that you are a person who appreciates the importance of prayer. Jehovah’s Witnesses also pray regularly. But there is something that Jesus said about when and how to pray that may be new to you. Did you know that he told his disciples not to offer public prayers with a view to having others see that they were devout, praying persons? . . . (Matt. 6:5)’ Then perhaps add: ‘Notice what he went on to say should be of primary concern to us and what we should put first in our prayers. That is what I have come to share with you. (Matt. 6:9, 10)’
Or you could say: ‘I know that representatives from some religious groups do that. But Jehovah’s Witnesses do not, because Jesus instructed his disciples to go about their work of preaching in another manner. Instead of saying, “When you enter a house, first pray,” notice what he said, as found here at Matthew 10:12, 13. . . . And see here in verse 7 what they were to talk about. . . . How can that Kingdom help people like you and me? (Rev. 21:4)’