1. Get in the proper mindset for prayer

Review in your mind some core Jewish beliefs:

God loves me. I am His child.
God has the power to give me everything and wants only good for me.
He wants a close relationship with me and is waiting for my prayer.
He hasn’t forgotten about me or gotten busy with other things.
God has tailor-made my situation (whatever I lack) for my benefit.
Everything I need I have. Everything I have I need.
We make ourselves into worthy receptacles of blessing through prayer.

If you have a hard time praying, pray to be able to pray!

2. Start with gratitude.

Begin your prayer session with gratitude.

Thank You God for all You have given me.
Thank You for everything that is going right in my life.
I realize my life is full of blessing.
I know You have a good reason for what I am going through even though I don’t know what it is and even though it has been very difficult for me.
I know You are with me in my pain and I am grateful for that.
If this pain is providing me with a soul correction or atonement then I thank You for that, too.

3. Talk to God about why you think you may be challenged with this particular problem.

If you are clueless, ask God for some hints.
If you have a few thoughts then talk them out.
Ask God for feedback. Ask Him to help you to be on the right track.

If you have been waiting a long time to find your soulmate, for example, here are some questions you might talk to God about:

Have I been making poor choices vis-a-vis men/women?
Am I attracted to the “wrong type”? Why?
What are some positives for me not being married yet?
What other things have I had time for that were important?
In what ways have I grown that I would not have grown if I was busy with a relationship?

Sometimes God withholds things from us so we will call out in prayer and come closer to Him. Some people would never find God if they got everything they wanted right away.

Ask God to help you grow in clarity and character as a response to this challenge so you can move closer to the best version of yourself.

4. Ask yourself: Why do I want what I’m praying for ? Can I purify my motives in some way?

Why do I want this job? The promotion? To go to this particular school?
Why do I want to be married? What higher purpose for marriage can I connect with?

Why do I want better health, more money, a child?
What will I do with these blessings if I am granted them?

5. Be aware of your negative feelings and ask God to help you overcome them

Do I feel angry about my problem? Resentful?
Do I feel like I am being cheated out of the life I deserve?
Do I feel jealous of others who have what I don’t?

Turn your feelings into a prayer:

“God, I don’t want to be an angry/resentful/jealous person.
Help me be genuinely happy for my friends when they get engaged, have children, buy their dream home, go on vacation after vacation, have better marriages ( you never really know), get their dream jobs, when their kids get into an Ivy League School.
Help me not to be angry at You or to feel cheated out of something that I think is rightfully mine.”

6. Make a decision to change something to make your prayer more powerful

Try to change some related behavior to show God you are serious.

For example, take dating more seriously. Don’t go out with someone just for fun. Don’t go out with someone who you know is probably not good for you. Refrain from sexual behaviors which cloud your ability to think straight.

7. Appeal to God’s infinite mercy and compassion.

Please answer me, not because I think I merit or deserve it, but because you are a God of compassion and mercy. I am asking you, God, for a free gift.

8. Ask God to be happy with whatever His will is for you.

If the answer is no or not yet please help me to accept this as best for me right now.

9. Don’t stop praying

Don’t give up if you don’t see results right away. Ask God to help you not feel discouraged and to keep having strength and desire to pray.

Stay connected to the Source of all blessing.

10. Thank God for the privilege of speaking to Him.

Tune in to the awesomeness of having an individual audience with the Creator of the Universe.

Remember the primary purpose of prayer is connection with God. Getting what you want is secondary.