Do you know how to pray? In my twenties, I noticed numerous books written about prayer. I’d often wonder why all these books are available about the subject. At that time, I understood prayer as merely just communicating with God. However, I later learned that I did need lessons to pray intentionally and consistently in the Spirit.
Sure, prayer is a conversation with God, but I also believe it’s your spiritual life support. Prayer is the spiritual equivalent to the oxygen you need to breathe.
You cannot survive without oxygen. Therefore, your spiritual life is powerless without prayer. The Bible says we are always to pray (Luke 18:1) and Jesus’ prayer life demonstrated this fact in the four gospels. Jesus was diligent and steadfast in His prayers to the Father.
Jesus sometimes arose early to pray and even spent all night petitioning. The miracles Jesus performed and the power He possessed after time with the Father was monumental. If you are not experiencing more of God’s supernatural power in your life, examine your interaction with God.
Before you learn about how to pray, you need to visit two common barriers that account for unanswered petitions.
Why Prayers are Powerless
Adam’s original sin separated us from God’s fellowship. If you are not born-again, the only prayer God can hear from you is one where you acknowledge your sin and ask Him to come into your heart to save you from their penalty. Until you call out to Him, He can’t hear your prayer because He does not know you (1 Corinthians 8:3, Galatians 4:9).
To restore the broken fellowship, you must repent for your sin sincerely and believe Jesus is Lord. If you turn to God disingenuously, your sinful condition is no different from when you started.
If you haven’t genuinely surrendered to God, you are responsible for paying your sin’s wages.
Romans 6:23 NKJV says, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Once Jesus Christ is your Savior, you instantly get baptized into the Boby of Christ (Cjurch) by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:13). Christ is the only One who could pay the price for your sin. He provided payment for the wages of sin through His death, burial, and bodily resurrection—thus justifying and reconciling you back to God.
Nonetheless, Jesus’ finished work (the gospel), on the cross of Calvary, severed the broken relationship with the Father. Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sin debt and our High Priest. Although we are all God’s creation, you are adopted by Him when you are born-again. Salvation through Jesus leads to acknowledged prayers because of repair to your relationship with the Creator.
Why Your Prayers Aren’t Fruitful
If you’re born-again, there should be evidence of your life in Christ as a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). Good fruit is evidence of spiritual growth. Sometimes you won’t know the right way to learn about God, but the Holy Spirit will take your desire and work out the details. Start learning about God with reading the Scriptures. When you read His Word, you’ll know his will and how to pray according to it.
Nonetheless, other people find it hard to see your righteousness fruit if you’re comfortable in your sins. Unconfessed and unrepentant sins in the life of a Believer hinders prayer. So, clear up your wrongs promptly and ask God to clean your heart.
2 Timothy 2:19 NKJV says, … “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
Scripture instructs you to depart from your old ways as God’s children are not known for wickedness. Your reputation is to bring glory to God and not to smear His name.
How to Pray
Now that I’ve covered the importance of having the right foundation for your prayer life, let’s explore how to pray. Take a look at the model Jesus taught His disciples. Let us rightly divide scripture together, shall we?
Matthew 6:5 NKJV says, “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
Jesus does NOT want you praying like hypocrites. A hypocrite is someone who hides behind a false façade. They show one version of themselves to a person or group, but they are different behind closed doors.
We all have been hypocrites to some degree at various seasons in life, but God’s time brings maturity. Therefore, it’s wise to get this double-minded and inconsistent part of your soul cleaned up. The Holy Spirit can clean your soul all the way up if you let Him.
Do YOU WANT TO DIVIDE THE WORD OF GOD BY YOURSELF RIGHTLY? Check out this FREE Bible Study Worksheet
You don’t need to share with everyone that you’re praying. Nonetheless, this scripture is not saying to not pray in public, but it’s clear that a pretender is doing this to show off for shouts, likes, and views—sound familiar?
Meet with God
Your relationship with God is intimate, and you should make every effort to draw near to Him to hear His heart.
Matthew 6:6 NKJV says, But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
I meet God for prayer in my clothes closet. It’s big enough for me to sit on the floor for extended periods. You don’t have to meet Him in your literal closet, but you should set aside a quiet meeting place to pray in secret. God will then reward your desires openly.
Matthew 6:7 NKJV says, And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Be careful not to chant like the heathens. In false religions, they repeat many formulas, affirmations, and mantras to stir up their gods. Repetition is their way of calling up the gods, manifesting from the universe, conjuring up spirits, and ungodly things.
As a Christian, you do not pray to God in this ungodly repetitive manner. Our God is real and living, and you can talk to Him from a place of reverence and purity. Talk to Him from your heart.
Many words don’t impress or move Him. God is not saying you can’t repeat things, but your motive for repeating them shouldn’t be to twist God’s arm into manifesting or giving you something. Get to know God more, and you’ll see why vain repetitions are unnecessary.
The Heavenly Father Knows Your Needs
Matthew 6:8 NKJV says, Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
God is all-knowing. Yet, He wants you to still ask for what you need and desire. Asking is how intimacy forms. If you’re a parent, I’m sure you anticipate or anticipated your child’s needs.
For example, if your teenage son or daughter just got hired for a job, you know they will need gas and food money to get their first paycheck. They will also need a ride to get back and forth to work.
Although you have the money to give and the time available to drive them to work, you want them to ask you for it. Waiting for your child to ask is not pride on your part, but it teaches them to walk into the next level of relationship with you.
Them learning to ask shuts down any stubborn pride and demonstrates humility. Your child coming to you for something important to them is also showing love and respect for your relational position in their life.
The Lord’s Instructs the Disciples to Pray
Matthew’s gospel’s addressed the Jews, but the Church can still apply all of this wealth of Jesus’ Word to today’s lives. We are to always pray to the Father, but since we are in Christ, we pray in His name.
Jesus, your great High Priest, intercedes on your behalf when you pray in His name. The privilege to come boldly to the throne of grace is not possible without Jesus’ sacrifice.
Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV says, In this manner, therefore, pray: 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. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
When you approach the throne of grace, you acknowledge that God’s name is Hallowed (holy and consecrated). Once prophecy completes (on this earth), His Kingdom will come. You operate on those principles and ask for the carrying out of His will until that moment.
Yes, the beauty of what’s going on in heaven, you ask for them to manifest on earth.
God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). He was faithful to rain down manna from heaven for the 40 years the Israelites resided in the wilderness. Each day is unique, so pray for and rely on the spiritual resources He gifts you today.
Forgiveness and Temptation
Keep a clean heart before the Lord. Quickly confess and repent of sin as this keeps the debt balance low from day-to-day. Make a habit out of forgiving others that sinned against you too. Forgiveness is how you keep a clean heart focused on doing the will of the Father.
Although God does test His children, you must remember He does not tempt us. But He can and will keep us from falling into the evil one’s temptation (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). The devil is always lurking and seeking to devour you, so it’s wise to ask God to help you see the booby traps hidden along your path.
When you close out your prayer, remember to recognize the majesty of God’s power, kingdom, and glory. This prayer starts out recognizing God and ends with Him.
I started this teaching, believing I’d write out some steps in my prayer process. The Holy Spirit led me to divide the Word regarding prayer rightly. Soulful, it’s such a fantastic feeling to be a vessel for the Lord’s work, but I didn’t get here without a stable prayer life.
I want to pray for you during my prayer time, so submit your requests here.
Read the Word of God. How can you hear from God if you don’t recognize His voice through scripture?
Reverence the Lord. Remember that God is holy. When you pray, understand that you are on His holy ground.
Come boldly to the throne of grace and present your full heart before the Father. Let Him transform you through prayer.
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