What is prayer?
Prayer is communication with God.
Every relationship is built on communication. When relationships do not have good communication the relationship begins to deteriorate. So talking to God and learning to listen to God is important. Some people say, well I pray all the time. Great! The Bible says, pray continually.
But at least once a day set aside some time to talk to God- alone. A special time and place set aside for Him. The Bible says that Jesus often went alone to places for prayer. I’m a big believer in journaling my prayers. The simple process of writing helps us concentrate and often slows us down enough to listen as well as to think about what we are saying.
What should I pray about? How should I pray? Jesus gave us a good outline at Matthew 6:9-13.
“This, then, is how you should pray: ”‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ Matthew 6:9-13
Note: It’s an outline for what to pray about- not an actual prayer to pray.
#1- Call Him Father…
Look at how He begins the prayer outline; This, then, is how you should pray: ”‘Our Father… So right off the bat we have Jesus telling us how to address God. But I want you to see something. You say well I can call God anything I want, sure you can… But who is it that calls someone “father”? Only a child of that person. …to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God… John1:12
Who is it that calls someone Father? Only that person’s child…
In the last times the Bible says that many will stand before god and say didn’t I call you Lord, didn’t I do this and that for you? And He will say, I never KNEW you.
So you call God Father and be sure that you are His child so that you can…
#2- Give Him praise…
hallowed be your name…
What does hallowed mean? You’ve heard of hallowed ground? Hallowed is to honor or set apart as holy. So this is a time when you praise God. Thank you for who you are. Thank you that you are God Almighty.
Give Him praise… and then;
#3- Submit to His will for your life…
See what He says there at vs.10? your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Your will be done- here in my life just as surely as your will gets done in heaven. What’s He saying? He is saying I want your will God. Not my own. Not my plan and purpose but yours be done. Please God have it your way like BK…
Submit to His will for your life… and then;
#4- Present your needs…
He says, Give us today our daily bread…
Bring your needs to God. Whatever you need, ask God for it. What should I ask God for? Everything.
The Bible says,
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Replace worry with prayer. Tell God what you need. Thank Him and enjoy the peace that follows. Why peace? Because the Bible says,
And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. 15 And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.1John 5:14-15
See what He says? Pray, believe and know. Pray believe and know. Be confident that God hears your prayers. I mean He is the one who told you to ask- why would He not listen?
So present your needs… and
The next piece of Jesus prayer outline is confession. To confess means to admit. That’s what He is saying when He says, Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Forgiveness… We all need forgiveness. Well you say, didn’t God forgive me when I believed and received Jesus? Yes. So why do I need to keep admitting stuff? Because we need cleansing and healingfrom our mistakes, sins, hurts habits and hang ups. The Bible says it like this;
If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9
What should I admit or confess? Thoughts, attitudes actions- anything that God brings to mind that is not Christ like.
Why does God want you to admit your stuff? So that He can cleanse you of it and heal you from it. If its not out in the open it cannot be dealt with.
So we confess and last on the list we;
#6- Ask for help with current struggles…
In the prayer outline He says, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Know who this battle is against! And know whom it is not against… The Bible says, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil… Ephesians 6:12
The struggles in this life are spiritual struggles. Prayer is the key to winning your struggle.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying… Ephesians 6:18