Have you struggled with prayer? Does prayer seem like an exercise in eloquent speech that you just don't possess?
Prayer is not a mysterious practice reserved only for clergy and the religiously devout. Prayer is simply communicating with Godlistening and talking to him. Believers can pray from the heart, freely, spontaneously, and in their own words. If prayer is a difficult area for you, learn these basics principles of prayer and how to apply them in your life.
What Does the Bible Have to Say About Prayer?The Bible has a lot to say about prayer. The first mention of prayer is found in Genesis, chapter 4.
- Genesis 4:26
And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD. (NKJV)
What is the Correct Posture for Prayer?There is no correct or certain posture for prayer. In the Bible people prayed on their knees (1 Kings 8:54), bowing (Exodus 4:31), on their faces before God (2 Chronicles 20:18; Matthew 26:39), and standing (1 Kings 8:22). You may pray with your eyes opened or closed, quietly or out loudhowever you are most comfortable and least distracted.
Should I Use Eloquent Words?Your prayers need not be wordy or impressive in speech.
- Matthew 6:7
"When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again." (NLT)
- Ecclesiastes 5:2
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. (NIV)
Why Should I Pray?Prayer Develops Our Relationship with God.
If we never speak to our spouse or never listen to anything our spouse might have to say to us, our marriage relationship will quickly deteriorate. It is the same way with God. Prayercommunicating with Godhelps us grow closer and more intimately connected with God.
- Zechariah 13:9
I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'These are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.' " (NLT)
- John 15:7
But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! (NLT)
One of the simplest reasons to spend time in prayer is because the Lord instructed us to pray. Obedience is a natural by-product of discipleship.
- Matthew 26:41
"Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!" (NLT)
- Luke 18:1
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (NIV)
- Ephesians 6:18
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 for all the saints. (NIV)
What If I Don't Know How to Pray?The Holy Spirit will help you in prayer when you don't know how to pray.
- Romans 8:26-27
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. (NIV)
Continue to Page 2 of Basics to Prayer