How Do I Pray?

despair1Often I hear men and women of  God say that prayer is, “just telling God what you want.”  I take up issue with that, because that is not how we are taught to pray in the Bible. Prayer includes petitions, but a prayer is not ONLY a finely crafted list of wants. What is often referred to as the “model prayer,” or what most of us know as,  “The Lord’s Prayer,” as found in Matthew 6: 9-13, is a very important useful model. Christ himself said this is how we ought to shape our prayers;

 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 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.”  [King James Version]

Prayer is not a laundry list of requests and that is clear in the words of our Lord. I’ve often said that God is not a spiritual Santa Claus who grants every wish as long as we are nice.  Many prayers of many nice people are not answered,  and many prayers of those who don’t present themselves very nicely are getting answered, so that suggests that there is much more to prayer that just making a list and waiting for God to deposit the answer.

There is much commentary on the purpose and meaning of the Lord’s prayer, but I want to add my thoughts to the mix, and I believe this is a very practical way to approach prayer. (Click here for information on what prayers are answered and which are not.)

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 

When we go before the Lord, we would be remiss to not acknowledge him for who he is. Always, we are to praise him, reverence him. That we repeat these exact words is not necessary, God goes by many names. You may prefer Almighty God, or Heavenly Father…you will get his attention no matter what appropriate name you choose.  Just as in the case of your own children, when they call you “mom,” or “dad” first, your attention is turned.  And then praise him…”Lord you are the Mighty God, great in battle, I exalt you…”

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

We are next to request the best of heaven, done unto us according to God’s good and perfect will, (and not our own.) We are essentially saying, whatever is done in heaven, let me experience here on earth, right now, right here in my circumstance.  Continue Reading…

Be careful, be gracious, be a blessing to someone today.

~ Shaunna