• How should we Pray
• Why we need to Pray
7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7: 7-8
*Before we learn how to pray we must understand a few things about prayer. Prayer is a powerful thing. It is not to be taken lightly. Prayer is very important in the life of a Christian. Learning how to pray correctly and understanding what prayer does for us helps grow more spiritually. Many of us know a few things concerning prayer, but as for praying itself we are left with questions. Well I am here to answer those questions. So first let’s start off by answering what is prayer. What is it? Prayer is when you go to God one on One and talk to Him. It is very much needed and important in the life a Christian. “Alright, I know what prayer is, but how do I pray? Is there a set prayer? Is there a set of rules to follow?”
As said before prayer is when you go to God and talk to Him. Now there is a way or specific set of parts that should be in your prayer even if the prayer’s parts are scattered throughout your day meaning for example just to name a few. Thanking Jesus for another day in the morning and ask for your needs in the afternoon. I will be talking more about that later on through this sermon, but to answer the question “Is there a set prayer we have to follow? Well yes & no. There is a modeled prayer given to us by Jesus in the Bible in the book of Matthew, but repeating the same prayer with no feeling or power placed in the words, meaning just memorizing the prayer, is wrong. Now if this specific prayer touches your heart and you say it with meaning then go ahead by all means, but I am sure God would rather hear a prayer that is more special to your heart, one you make yourself. You know what I mean? He wants to listen to original prayers made by you. So let’s look at the modeled prayer and explain we can use it as a guideline to pray. Pay close attention if you want to learn how to pray correctly assuming that you don’t know exactly how to pray.
Matthew 6: 5-15
5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 "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. ' 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
* First we can see in verses 5-8 Jesus was telling His disciples and us how we should not pray. If we reread verse 5 some of us might get confused. Does this verse say God doesn’t want us to pray in public? No, that is not what the verse is trying to tell us. God does not mind that you pray in public, in fact He wants other to people to know that you are a Christian, but if it causes you to brag or be prideful as to think you are better than others it is better that you pray to Him alone when you are in your own house and room. The reason Jesus said this was because many people had been praying in public during the days of Jesus, but they prayed not to be heard by God but by men and we still see that today. God chose not to listen to their prayer. Those type of people are hypocrites. Now even when you do pray out in the public He still wants you to pray to Him privately and to tell Him what is on your mind, and confess your sins to Him. We should pray honestly to God after all don’t we want God to hear our prayer? Of course we do. We can also see in verse 7 another thing we should not do when we pray. When you pray don’t speak in many words trying to sound all smart and elegant. Some think that if they pray for hours and hours God will reward them with whatever they want, but that is not true. You can say a short and simple prayer and God will still hear you because God knows what you need and what you are going to ask for before you pray, but we still need to pray in faith and believe God will listen to our prayers. So you might ask yourself well then why pray if God knows what I’m going to ask? Because even though God knows what you need and what you are going to pray about He still wants you to talk to Him and ask Him. He knows what we need because He knows what is best for us, but He still want us to recognize that we need to trust in Him and pray to Him. He wants us to understand that He knows what is best. Although it does not mention it here in these verses another thing that we should not do is let our prayers be repetitive and lack meaning. Our prayers must be meaningful and come from our hearts.
* Now from verses 9-13 we can see how we should pray. This is the modeled prayer. Let’s go again verse by verse and see what the Lord wants to see in our prayers.
• Verse 9- We need to acknowledge God’s Divine Nature and give Him thanks and praise for what He has done in our lives. We should address God personally by calling Him our Lord, our Father, our Almighty God, our loving & ultimate Friend or/ and our Savior. God loves it when we acknowledge His faithfulness, mercy, grace and love. And we love Him for provided them to us. Just think how great a father feels when his son or daughter thanks him for what he does for them. Our God feels the same way, appreciated.
• Verse 10- State that over all things in your prayer may God’s Will be done. That when you ask for something, but God doesn’t allow you to acquire it you understand He knows what is best for you. We should consider what God wants from us and for us. Understanding that God has a purpose for our lives and gives us opportunities every day to complete the purpose He has set out for us should motivate us to serve Him more!
• Verse 11- Afterwards, you then should ask the Lord to supply your daily needs and the needs of others (those who need to be prayed for like the orphans, those people in hospitals, the homeless, the men and women in the army, the lost souls, your family, your friends and so forth). Don’t you feel great when you know that someone cares enough to pray for you? Well others feel the same way too. Everyone likes to know they are loved so why don’t we take the time to pray for others because I am sure someone is taking the time to pray for you whether it would be a friend, pastor, or your mom or dad. Someone is taking the time to pray for you and you might not have even known it.
• Verse 12- This verse tells us to ask God to forgive our sins. You need to ask God to forgive your sins every day as do I. And once we ask God to forgive us for our sins we need to repent of those sins. Repenting of our sins means to: tell God we are sorry we sinned, ask Him to forgive us and then try our best not to commit that sin anymore. Sounds easy enough, only 3 steps, but it certainly is not easy. Yeah it sounds easy, but the doing part is hard; still we need to try our best not fall into sin because we are Children of God and in Him is no sin. We won’t ever be perfect on earth, but we will be one day in heaven. From that day on life will be wonderful for we will sin no more. Now sometimes in our daily lives we might sin and we might not even know it so we must ask God to forgive those sins we committed that we didn’t know we did and we also need to ask Him to shows us that hidden sin so we can try our best not to do it anymore. Another thing we must do beforehand is forgive those who have wronged. Because how can we expect God to forgive us if we do not forgive others.
• Verse 13- Finally, we ask God to strengthen us and help us resist temptation from the Devil. We must continually trust God to help us withstand the Devil because without God we are nothing and when we are become Christians who know Jesus personally we understand truly that without God we can do nothing, but with Him we can do anything if it brings Him honor and glory. We have to ask God to help us fight against the forces of evil! We are in a constant battle against Satan, every single day. Some days we might fall, but God will be right there ready to pick us up if we ask Him to. He will always be there for us if we trust in Him. If God is by our side the Devil doesn’t stand a chance. Amen.
*This is how we should pray. Now it doesn’t have to be in that exact order, but all those parts should be in your prayer. We should acknowledge God as Almighty, Praise Him for what He has done for us, ask for God’s Will to be done, ask for our daily needs and the needs of others, ask for forgiveness of our sins, and ask God to help us against the Devil and evil. And if you pray using this guideline I guarantee God will be pleased with you. Now you know how to pray so no more excuses saying I don’t know how to pray. We all need to take the time to pray.
*So I talked about how we should pray, but why should we pray? We should pray to have our needs met, to take time away from the world to come to God and just talk with Him, have fellowship with our Father & close connection with Him (One on one) and praise God for what He has done for He is eternally worthy!