How to Pray?
The disciples wanted to know the right way to pray so they asked Jesus to teach them. The Savior answered their request and gave them the Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
[a]For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4).
As these texts are studied, you will see how prayers should start with hallowing the Lord, acknowledging His greatness and that He is supreme and over all things. This is followed by our requests, and then asking for forgiveness of our own sins and strength from God to do the same for others, therefore trying to be more like God in character. Then we can ask for protection against falling into sin when tempted, and finally the prayer ends with again acknowledging the supremacy and power of God.
We have examples in the Bible of long prayers (1 Kings 8:22-53) and very short prayers (Nehemiah 2:4). And there are other examples in between that vary in content and duration. Our prayer time should be varied in that there are times when we should fall on our knees and pour our hearts out to the Lord, and there are times when it is okay to pray a quick prayer before answering a question or addressing something that needs immediate attention.
David said, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalm 5:3). He also said, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17). Time for prayer should begin every morning to start the day. And prayer in the middle and close of each day helps us keep connected.
Daniel is known to have prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10) and Jesus was known to spend whole nights in prayer (Luke 6:12). One thing is sure that the stronger our prayer life, the stronger will be our relationship with the Lord.
The Lord instructs saying, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). There should be a constant spirit of prayer breathing through the Christian’s life. The connection with Heaven should not be broken (Luke 18:1). Paul labored “night and day” (1 Thessalonians 2:9); he also prayed “night and day” (ch. 3:10). His many activities did not crowd out his prayers. Active connection with his heavenly Father was always maintained by him. So, it should be with us (Mark 3:13).
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In His service,