How to Pray
Is there a right way to have a conversation with God?
Is there a right way and a wrong way to pray?
The answer to this question is yes there is. We read in Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. This not only tells us that there is a right and a wrong way to pray, but we can also be taught to pray. As with anything else our prayers should reflect our walk with God. Our prayers should become stronger as we gain insight into God’s holy plan.
Will God still listen if we pray the wrong way?
God issues a warning to anyone who prays to only show that they are “men of God”. Or to boast in themselves saying look at me!
Matthew 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Again here is another warning from God. This Pharisee was praying a boastful prayer, showing the pride of his heart.
Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. (11) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (12) I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (13) And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. (14) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Do the scriptures tell us what to say and what not to say?
To a degree the scriptures do tell us how to pray. In Luke 11:1 Jesus disciples ask him how to pray.
Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
We are to pray in this manner.
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (10) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread. (12) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. (13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Our Father which art in heaven – Jesus tells us to pray to the heavenly Father, This is the first person in the trinity
Hallowed be thy name - Hallowed means sacred, Holy, sanctified, blessed, and consecrated. The prayer starts off by giving God the Father honor and glory. You will find that whenever any holy figure speaks of God they always start off with giving God his place and honor and glory. We should do the same thing when we start a conversation with God.
Give us this day our daily bread – Here we are asking for provision for today, not tomorrow or next week
And forgive us our debts – we should ask for our sins to be forgiven. Matthew 6:14 for if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
As we forgive our debtors - we need to forgive our fellow man, this is a requirement in order to be forgiven ourselves. Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. And Mark 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
And lead us not into temptation, - We should ask that we be not tempted by outside influences.
But deliver us from evil: - By God’s power, we need to ask for protection and relief from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, - Again we find at the end of this prayer God the Father is given honor and praise
For ever. – For all time, God always was, and still is and always will be.
Amen. – Ending of the prayer
Is there a particular way to pray?
There are many scriptures point to the fact that we should find a place of solitude to talk to God. We should have a quite place for this purpose.
Matthew 6:5 and when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Matthew 6:7 but when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Matthew 14:23 and when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
Matthew 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
Mark 6:46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Should we pray for things in any particular order?
There seems to be no order in which to pray. I would follow this pattern
Give God his place, Honor and Glory
Forgive others first
Ask for Forgiveness of yourself, God won’t forgive you until you forgive others
You might want to include these items in your prayer
1-Beginning with the Lord’s prayer.
2-If there is any person you hold anything against—forgive them.
3-Confess and repent of known sin. Humble yourself.
4-Praise and worship God.
5-Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
6-Pray God will send workers into His harvest field.
7-Pray for the head of your country and for officials in high positions.
8-Pray for your enemies.
9-Pray for any that are against you and persecute you.
10-Pray for your neighbors, friends, family, relatives and others.
11-Pray for lost souls to be led to Christ.
12-Pray for fellow born-again Christians that they will bear good fruit and be perfect and complete in all the will of God.
13-Pray that your own attitude will reflect Jesus more and more, and you will bear the fruits of the Spirit.
14-Pray that you will draw closer to God. (You draw closer to God through faith which comes from hearing, reading and studying God’s Word and repenting.)
15-Ask for God’s guidance and direction in all matters, including how He would have you serve Him. Do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
16-Are you sick? Pray for others that are sick.
17-Pray you may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men.
18-Make your needs known to God.
19-Pray for wisdom and understanding of God’s Word, and then obey God’s Word.
20-Pray that God will send you people to witness to. (When you witness, your own personal testimony of how you came to Jesus may be good and also use God’s Word, not other worldly stories.)
21-Pray, regarding those to whom God sends you, that He will prepare their hearts to receive His Word.
The Holy Spirit will intercede for us when we pray for the wrong things in life. We don’t know what God has in mind for us. Because of this we could be asking God for help in the completely wrong area. If this is the case the Holy Spirit will ask the Father to grant what whatever is necessary for our own help and benefit.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
How often should we pray?
We should be in regular contact with God.
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
Is there a certain time to pray?
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
However you might want to set aside a time and a place to have a quite, non-disruptive conversation with God.
Act 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
** Note all references are taken from the King James Version.