Prayer is spiritual communion with God as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession. We can pray anywhere and anytime. There is no specific way to pray and no specific times we should pray. All we need to do is speak to God from our heart. We can pray silently or audibly. We can pray alone or with a group. We can pray while driving to work, school or to the grocery. We pray over our food, when we lie down to sleep, when we awake each morning. We pray when we are troubled and when we are happy. We are to pray without ceasing.
The Bible has a lot to say about prayer. There is no certain posture for prayer. Your prayers don’t need to be wordy or have impressive speech. "When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again." – Matthew 6:7. “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few”. – Ecclesiastes 5:2.
Why should we pray?
Prayer develops our relationship with God. Prayer is communicating with God. It helps us grow closer and more intimate with Him. God instructed us to pray and when we pray we are obedient to Him. “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!” – Matthew 26:41.
Have you been praying and praying about something and it seem He doesn't hear you or is not answering? Jesus tells us to be persistent in our prayer in His parable about the persistent widow. “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” – Luke 18:1.
We pray so we will know what God’s will is for our lives. We pray to seek direction and wisdom. Praying demonstrates our faith in God. We pray for forgiveness of sins. We pray for those who don’t know Jesus. We pray for God’s provision. We pray thanking God and praising Him for who He is and for what He has done.
If you don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit will help you. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” – Romans 8:26-27.
The Bible says we are to pray with a humble heart and if we seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him – Jeremiah 29:13. We are to have faith when we pray. – Mark 11:24. We are to be sure we have confessed our sins, because “… The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16.
God hears our prayers and always answers them. It may not be the answer we want, but He answers with, yes, no, or not now. Remember God knows and wants what is best for us. God wants us to pray with other believers and also to pray alone and in secret.
How should we pray?
The “ACTS” Prayer is a good example of how pray.A – Adoration – Praise God for who He is – holy, perfect merciful, loving, powerful, etc.
C – Confession – Confession allows us to clear away things which are displeasing to God by seeking His forgiveness.
T – Thanksgiving – We should thank God for the blessings He gives to us and for what He will give us.
S – Supplication – Now we can ask God for our needs and the needs of others.
God wants a relationship with us. For our relationship with Him to develop we must talk with Him regularly.
How does prayer affect our lives?
When we face trying circumstances, it pays to pray. Prayer relieves stress. If we truly trust God, there is no need to be anxious or worry about the future. Prayer does work. There are numerous accounts in the Bible of answered prayers plus we all know stories of answered prayer from those around us. God wants us to seek His help for our needs and desires. When we pray, it draws us closer to God.
The Lord’s Prayer
Jesus is a prime example of living a life of prayer. He prayed for God’s guidance and leading. He prayed prayers of thanksgiving, prayers for healing, prayers for His disciples and prayers for believers both present and in the future. In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus teaches how to pray. We do not need to use these actual words, but use them as a model.
“Our Father in heaven,” - He is the creator and the Great Parent of us all. “hallowed be your name,” – God is essentially holy. We are to acknowledge the supremacy of God and His relationship to us.
“your kingdom come,” – This is a wanting God to reign everywhere and that His laws be obeyed till the world is filled with His glory.
”your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” – God’s will is that men should obey His law and live holy lives.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” – He tells us to pray for both our physical as well as our spiritual needs.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. – We are to have an attitude of forgiveness. If we forgive others, then God will forgive us.
“And do not lead us into temptation,” – We are to trust God for deliverance over temptation (anything that tests our virtue) and sin.
“but deliver us from the evil one.” – The evil one is Satan. Deliver us from his power, snares, temptations.
“For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” – God has control and power over everything and with Him all things are possible; and not our honor, but His be displayed through all the earth.
When do you pray?Do you only pray before the Thanksgiving meal or when you need something?
Do you find it hard to make time to pray?
We can take an hour out to exercise, watch TV, etc. so why not give time each day to God?
Do you offer praise and thanks to God for all He has done in our life?
Do you trust God will hear and answer your prayers?
Talk to God now. He is waiting to hear from you.