1. Seek God’s Agenda First
‘This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.’ (1 John 5:14-15)
Daniel was a godly man who read the scriptures—including the prophecies of Jeremiah. He recognised that Jeremiah prophesied about the times that Daniel was now living in and began to seek God for the answers. He knew it was time to birth that prophecy in prayer.
We need to know that we are praying God’s purpose for our lives. This means firstly praying according to God’s revealed will in the Scripture. Upon that foundation, we can also seek an intimate relationship with Father God in which we can hear His purpose for our lives and situation—and pray out of that. 
2. Don’t Settle for Second Best
Hannah was childless, and it grieved her. Wanting to reassure her, Hannah’s husband offered his love and personal gifts, thinking these could please her. But Hannah would only be satisfied with one thing—a baby. As a result of Hannah’s prayer, a future prophet and priest was born. Samuel would bring the nation back to God. (1 Sam 1)
When God has placed something on our hearts, then like Hannah we will be tempted to settle for the ‘status quo’ or second best. But that is the very time to passionately press in to God for the answer.
3. Pray from the Heart
Hannah cried a wordless prayer of deep groaning—and God answered it. (1 Sam 1:12-16, Rom 8:26-27)) Nehemiah shot up a prayer whilst he was going about his daily occupation. (Neh 2:1-5) These seemingly simple prayers, carried from the heart, changed nations.
There are no right and wrong ways to pray. Just real prayers.
It’s time to put aside formulas, and not to be intimidated by someone else’s style and eloquence. The prayers that God answers are real prayers from the heart, regardless of time, place or technique.
4. Pray with Praise and Thanksgiving
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phil 4:6)
Paul and Silas were in a difficult situation. God called them to evangelise a city, but they were stuck in a dungeon, held in stocks. As they prayed in the night and offered up hymns of praise, God sent an earthquake to open the prison doors. (Acts 16:22-29)
When used in addition to prayer, praise is a powerful cutting-edge weapon for breakthrough. (Ps 149:6-9)
5. Don’t Give Up
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1)
Daniel prayed and fasted for 21 days before an answer came. An angel appeared who had been battling in the heavenlies for the entire time Daniel had been in prayer. Daniel’s persistent prayers provided fuel for what God was doing on his behalf. (Dan 10)
Prayer is not a single event, but a process. Whilst continuing in prayer, we are partnering with God as Heaven’s resources, including angels, are being released that are working towards God’s answer.
Don’t give up too soon!
6. Find Others who will Agree with You
Jesus said, “…if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matt 18:19-20)
Esther is known as a woman whose courage saved a nation. However, prior to approaching the King, Esther called on Mordecai, all the Jews of the city, and her own attendants, to fast before God for 3 days. Esther knew that the real power lay in God answering the prayer of those who had joined her in the fast. (Esther 4:16)
When in need of a breakthrough, find others who will join you in prayer, because there is multiplied power in agreement.