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How to Pray?

The video above makes this point: The truth is no human being can really teach another how to pray.  We can only give instruction, principles and guidelines from God’s Word to prepare and equip you for a life of prayer.   Even when the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray….” (ref. Luke 11:1). Jesus gave them a model,  he gave principles to guide them in their prayers.  And they are the same principles applicable for us today.

Since prayer is talking to God, or communication with God from a heart of devotion and commitment to your relationship with Him, there is no specific one-on-one dialogue.  However, we must learn to speak the “language of the Kingdom”, which means God’s Word.  Using God’s Word intentionally in prayer is the most effective and accurate way to pray.  (Download Prayer Book). Think about it from a logically viewpoint.  For example, when you’re having a conversation with someone you’re in a relationship with there are guidelines you must follow, such as, everybody cannot talk at the same time.  Also, in order to have meaningful dialogue and engaging conversation when interacting with others you develop your communication skills.   So it is with the Father; you talk to Him, He listens to you. He talks to you, you listen to Him.  And through the constant practice of prayer, and fellowship with the Father, your prayer life develops as well.  Let me stop here to point out that the Holy Spirit is the true Teacher.  As you spend more time in prayer on a consistent basis using the Word of God, He (Holy Spirit) will teach you.  Actually, He will pray through you in agreement with the Father’s will.  Read Romans 8:26.  Also, as your relationship with the Lord develops through prayer and studying His Word, you will find that your style and method of praying will have developed also.  That happens because, as your Father, He knows your personality and desires to communicate with you uniquely as His child.

In Matthew 6:7-13 and Luke 11:1-4, Jesus gives a model for prayer, and set forth principles of prayer to follow, which clearly outlines our approach, attitude, application of faith in God, our availability and willingness to align and agree with God’s way of doing things, and finally, our acknowledgment of the Father’s sovereignty. 

Matthew 6:7-13 – In verse 7, Jesus began His teaching on prayer by basically saying, you don’t have to do a lot of babbling (meaningless repetitions). Let me encourage you as well.  As you’re starting your prayer experience don’t think prayer requires you to do a lot of talking.  Much of your prayer time should be spent listening quietly, perhaps with worship music playing softly to help you in expressing thanks to God, and speaking of words of praise that acknowledges His goodness, faithfulness, and loving-kindness.  If you’re doing a lot of meaningless repetition, you will not hear what God has to say to you.  Talking a lot, yelling and screaming, does not make your prayers more effective, nor ensure that God will hear you.  Usually, when someone does a lot of babbling (meaningless repetitions) they are asking (petitioning) for something, and more consumed with what they want rather than Who they are talking to.  Jesus emphasizes that our Father knows what we need before we ask him.

7 “And when you pray, don’t babble on and on like the pagans, who think God will hear them better if they talk a lot. 8 Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 You, therefore, pray like this (in this manner or way):

 ‘Our Father in heaven!    May your Name be kept holy.   — We approach Him as in a Father-son (parent-child) relationship. We are a part of a very large family with many sisters and brothers, all of which can come to our Daddy in fellowship to commune with Him individually and corporately.

He is our Creator Who resides (sits) in the heavens (Psalm 2:4a) upon His throne.  Therefore, our approach is one of adoration, reverence, honor and praise.  Our attitude towards Him is reverence—He is holy, and we acknowledge His holiness (“hallowed”). His name should be kept holy (revered). His name(s) reveal His character. Therefore, our approach and attitude in prayer is expressed out of a pure heart of love and devotion characterized by our reverence of Him.  This should be a worshipful attitude that acknowledges the Father’s “worth” to us on basis of Who He is, not just for what He does or can do.

10 May your Kingdom come,  your will be done on earth as in heaven. — Now that you are in the kingdom of God through your spiritual rebirth (born again experience) you must readjust and realign your way of doing things to agree and align with God’s way.  It is a whole new concept and set of rules different from what you’ve been following.  And since it is His kingdom (government, dominion), we make ourselves available as His representatives here on earth. Our willingness to submit to God’s will is expressed in our prayers. We want God’s way of doing things to be revealed to us so that we can do what He wants done on earth. (That’s what Jesus did—the will of His Father, John 5:30). Our desire must be in agreement to whatever God wants…your will be done on earth as in heaven.  In essence, pray the Word of God, which reveals His will and helps us grow in the knowledge of His way of doing things. Now that Jesus finished His work on earth and is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, we have been authorized to continue the work.  Just as Jesus constantly prayed to His Father, we must also in order to be effective.  We must call (pray) unto Him, (activate), (announce and declare) God’s government rule on earth “as in heaven.”  For in-depth study of the Kingdom of God, I recommend Dr. Myles Munroe’s book, Rediscovering the Kingdom.

11 Give us the food we need today. — This sets forth the application of our faith to ask our Father for provision.  He reveals Himself as Jehovah Jireh (The LORD will provide, Genesis 22:14).  Because He is our Father, we depend on Him to supply our needs.   Remember our approach and attitude is that of parent-child relationship. Here Jesus gives us a principle —ask your Father for provision to supply your  daily needs.   Your petition for food (bread, in other translations) is not limited to natural sustenance, but also means spiritual food—Word of God (ref. Luke 4:4.)  Whatever you need to sustain your life, physically and spiritually, God provides; ask Him.  Remember, He provided Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life (John 6:35). His provisions are limitless!  He owns everything! (Psalm 24:1,2).   The principle is that you can ask your Daddy to give you the daily sustenance (nourishment, nutrition, provisions) you need for any given day.  It is the expression and application of your faith in Him as your Provider.

12 Forgive us what we have done wrong, as we too have forgiven those who have wronged us.This is a very serious part of our prayer life.  Jesus is very specific in His instructions on forgiveness and how it impacts our relationship with the Father.  In no uncertainty, God’s will is revealed on the subject of forgiveness.  Forgiveness is tied to receiving answers to your prayers (Matthew 6:14-16).  Unforgiveness severs our relationship with God.  Forgiveness must be a way of life for Christians; it is the basis for God’s Plan of Salvation. In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus gives a parable about “The Unforgiving Servant”, which teaches us God’s will concerning forgiveness. I should also let you know, if you don’t already know, forgiving others is very hard when they’ve hurt you so deeply. The truth is only the Lord Jesus Christ can bring healing that releases you and helps you to forgive.  God’s Word makes it plain; if we don’t forgive others, He won’t forgive us.  Additional scriptures on forgiveness are: Luke 17:3-4, Ephesians 4:31-32, Ephesians 5:1-2, Mark 11:25, 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.

13 And do not lead us into hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One. ( I wanted to use another version of the Bible in order to use the proper translation for the word ‘temptation’ (Greek, ‘peirasmos’)  It should read, ‘…lead us not into a hard trial or testing’. 

The principle set forth here is that as children of God in the Kingdom of God, we petition our Father for protection. Again, what’s key is our approach and attitude towards our heavenly Father.  We must always be mindful that Abba loves us unconditionally and does not want to hurt us.  Any trials we experience in this life are, in some way, beneficial for us; to bring us into the fullness of God’s plan and purpose for our lives.  In essence, Jesus was saying it’s understandable that we don’t want the hard tests and trials; and it’s okay to ask that we don’t have them. However, in John 16:33, they will come.   “But, or “so” (on the contrary) ask for what is needed most—protection from the evil one.  Pray for safety and spiritual protection; ask to be delivered (kept safe) from the devil—from the destructive power of the enemy. While our Father loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to give us abundant life, the enemy hates us and comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Therefore, we should pray for deliverance.

For kingship, power and glory are yours forever. Amen.’  —(Some translations omit this). This conclusive principle set forth by Jesus is acknowledgement of God’s eternal rulership, sovereignty, power and glory.  He is God Almighty! He is all-powerful, all-knowing and omnipresent.  This also speaks to our submission to His authority, and that all praise, honor and glory belongs to Him.  Amen (So be it! …that seals it as an affirmation of our faith.


 Scripture used :The Complete Jewish Bible, New King James Version. ( Also used the Greek and Hebrew Interlinear Bible and Concordance online.

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The Prayer Coach

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