Prayer Guide
Learning to Pray

















As I stated on the prayer Guide page prayer is important. But how should we pray? The Bible does not give us a whole lot of instruction, although prayer is mentioned several times. I believe one reason God does not tell us how to pray is because it shouldn't be a set of rules or regulations that we should follow.

Prayer isn't just something we do, it is who we are. No matter how we pray it should be done honestly and sincerely. It should reflect who we are at that moment. It should come from the heart. If you don't know what to say tell God. It's not about the perfect words. God already knows what you're thinking. Prayer is about understanding who you are, how God has made you, and who God wants you to be and how you feel about that.

The question still remains, how should we pray? Like everything we should look to the Bible for answers. So let's look at how people in the Bible pray.(If you haven't read the whole story of creation and the fall of man into sin you should look it up. Genesis 1-3:24.)

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 1 (Genesis 3:8-10)

In the beginning God had a perfect relationship with mankind. He walked with us and talked with us but when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit that all changed. We could no longer be with God as before. God is Holy and anything unholy cannot stand with Him. So Adam and Eve hid from God. Only through God's son Jesus can we come to God. Jesus took upon Himself our sin and paid the price for us, death on the cross, but He conquered death and rose again so that we too can live through Him. He has made those of us who believe holy. Through Him we can now approach God. Prior to Jesus becoming man, God gave us the promise of Jesus (Genesis 3:15). In the Old Testament God's people believed in the Promise. Through that faith they could commune with God, some more intimately than others. Let's look at some other Bible verses:

"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed"1 (Luke 5:16)

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
1 (Luke 18:1-8)

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
1 (Matthew 7:7-12)

"Be joyful always; pray continually;  give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."1 (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

As we see in the first Bible verse even Jesus prayed often and in private, but He also prayed publicly. Jesus teaches about prayer in the next Bible verses. We should be persistent. Next we learn we should come to God in humility and confess our sins. The next Bible verses talks about asking God for what we want and it will be given. Understand that Jesus is telling us that God will give what is best for us; it won't always be exactly what we ask for. In the last verses we learn from Paul that we should pray continually.

Now we are ready to pray. Remember we should be humble, honest, and persistent. Our prayers should also be personal. We should develop a daily routine in private as well as praying through your day. We pray through the day by saying our prayers in our mind, thinking about God through the day and looking for direction from God through our day. If you are still uncertain here are some links to structured prayer:
1The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.) Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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