Got questions about prayer?
Why We Should Pray
You might ask, "If God already knows what we need before we ask, why even bother praying?" Here's a few simple reason why we should God's children should be children of prayer: (1) Scripture makes a very strong case for prayer in the life of the believer; (2) Jesus told us to pray; (3) Prayer is God's appointed way of obtaining things; (4) Prayer is the way God helps us to overcome our anxiety and worry. Prayer is one of the ways we make ourselves ready for the return of Jesus Christ.
What Prayer Is and Isn't
Prayer is not some mystical process whereby we call out to some force. Nor is it a kind of power with which we create things or speak them into existence, ordering God around like some bell-hop who art in Heaven. Prayer is communicating with and hearing from God. True prayer is what happens when our will is aligned with the will of God, and we pray accordingly. Prayer is our connection to Heaven and Heaven's connection to us—that is why you should always keep the lines open!
How We Should Pray
- "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18). Notice the use of the word "all" in this verse. We are to pray on all occasions, with all kinds of prayer and requests, and for all the saints.
- God does not teach us the posture of prayer, because any posture will do. People in the Bible prayed standing, lifting up their hands, sitting, lying down, kneeling, lifting their eyes toward Heaven, bowing, and pounding their chests.
- God does not teach us the place to pray, because any place will do. Scripture tells us, "I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere" (1 Timothy 2:8). People in the Bible prayed during battle, in a cave, in a closet, in a garden, on a mountainside, by a river, by the sea, in the street, in Hades, in bed, in a home, in a prison, in the wilderness, and inside a fish.
- Jesus does not tell us when to pray, because any time will do. People in the Bible are found praying early in the morning, in the mid-morning, in the evening, three times a day, before meals, after meals, at bedtime, at midnight, and day and night. People pray when they are young, when they are old, when they are in trouble, every day and always. In any posture, at any time, in any place, and under all circumstances—prayer is good and needed in the life of the Christian
What Types of Prayers We Should Pray
The Bible identifies several different types of prayers we can pray. One model for how we should pray is captured in the acronym ACTS. Each letter stands for a specific aspect of prayer, arranged in a very natural order.
A: Adoration (worship)
C: Confession (of specific sins)
T: Thanksgiving (gratitude)
S: Supplication (specific requests)
How to Pray Effectively
No one is better qualified to teach us about how to pray than Jesus Himself. We often read of Him spending the night in prayer. Even on the night before His crucifixion, we find Jesus praying. This may have been one of the reasons His disciples asked Him, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). His response was something that we now call "The Lord's Prayer" (Luke 11:2–4; Matthew 6:9–13). Consider these useful guidelines: (1) Keep Your Motives Pure; (2) Make Your Private Prayers Longer than Your Public Prayers ; (3) Recognize the Objective of Prayer.