Here is a little known secret: Much more can be learned by actually praying than by simply studying about prayer. It is Therefore a worthwhile exercise to examine how to pray. The answer of course emerges out of the experiences of people who actually enjoyed a life of prayer. One of those persons is the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ. In His thirty-three years of earthly sojourn he practiced a life of prayer; In other words, a life of constant communion with his Father. So, how do I pray? This resembles an inquiry that the observant disciples presented to Jesus. They said to Jesus, "teach us how to pray". (Luke 11:1). The following is the model prayer.
"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. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (Matthew 6:9-13 NIV)
The prayer is not so much for us to repeat word for word as it is for us to genuinely, out of a relationship with Jesus, imitate the attitude seen in the prayer. Firstly, we must pray with an attitude of praise and reverence for our Father and His name. In this we acknowledge the illimitable power and holy character of the Father who rules as sovereign in Heaven and Earth. Praising and reverencing His name brings his authority into our lives. Here we learn that our strength and answers come from above not beneath. When the praises go up the blessings come down.
Secondly, we must pray with an attitude of humility. In this manner the human will submits to God's will. Just as earth is subject to heaven, so the children must be subjected to the Father. The reason is obvious. "your heavenly Father knows that you need them"(Matthew 6:32). Also, He rules Heaven and Earth.
Thirdly, we must pray with an attitude of desire and petition for physical needs. The Father is concerned about our need for food, clothing, shelter and security. As children we have authority to ask. " Ask and it shall be given to you : seek and you shall find ; knock and the door will be opened to you . For everyone that asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened " (Matthew 7:7,8). In these words resides persistence. Continue to ask; continue to seek and continue to knock. It is interesting to note that the words ask, seek and knock all begins with a letter from the word ASK. The idea is that there must be persistence and progression in prayer.
Fourthly, we must pray with an attitude of desire and petition for spiritual needs. Relationship with God and our fellow men is a great spiritual need. We need God and we need people as well. In the beginning, God solved the problem of aloneness by placing human beings in families. Sin has always been the cause of disunity and relational dysfunction, as well as separation from God, hence our need for forgiveness of trespasses from the Father. There is also the desire to forgive those who trespass against us. In addition ask the Father for power to resist temptation and the evil one, Satan. " Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you " ( James 4:7). In order to resist the evil one and temptations we must submit to the Father's leadership.
Finally, we must pray with an attitude of faith and expectation with specificity. " If you ask for bread he will not give you stone..... your Father in heaven is willing to give good gifts." (Matthew 7:9,10).
So, now you know Jesus, pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. Jesus said, " Because I am going to my Father, you may ask for anything in my name and I will do it ." In the presence of the Father, Jesus stands up as our advocate. The Father always listens to Jesus. So with such knowledge, I urge you to pray without ceasing. Here is the total package!
PRAISE, REVERENCE, HUMILITY, PETITION, FAITH, DESIRE, EXPECTATION, SPECIFICITY.
Try it! It works.
Article By: Pastor Peter Joseph