Christ said, “men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 11:1). We know that we all need to pray. The next question we need to ask is, how. Thankfully, the same question came in the minds of the Apostles. They asked Christ:
“Lord, teach us to pray…” (Luke 11:1).
Christ responded with what we now know as the Model Prayer. In this prayer, Christ gave us an outline how we ought to pray to God. Take note; this prayer is not the exact words that we should REPETITIVELY utter. It should only serve as a guide to help us know how to pray.
So let us take a look at the Model Prayer of Christ and learn how to pray. These are some of the high points that we need to take note of.
- We don’t pray to impress other people. Prayer is an intimate conversation between God and us. Jesus warns us not to “pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the corners of the streets, that [we] may be seen by men” (Matthew 6:5). Clearly, if our intent is to please other men rather than God, then we are praying in vain.
- Do not use vain repetition (Matthew 6:7).
- Our prayers should be addressed to God the Father (Matthew 6:9). This means we don’t pray to any dead saints and people. They are all dead, and God is the only living God that we should pray to.
- Our prayers should start with praise to God and thanksgiving (Matthew 6:9). This helps us to set our minds to the great privilege that we have to talk to the Supreme Ruler of the vast universe.
- We ought to habitually pray for God’s kingdom to be established here on earth (Matthew 6:10). This world desperately needs a Savior and only Christ’s second coming can bring the utopia we all have been dreaming about.
- We need to ask for God’s will to be done in our lives (Matthew 6:10). God’s will is perfect and as Christians, we need to strive continually to know His will and to have the heart to obey Him.
- We pray for God’s physical and spiritual blessings (Matthew 6:11). We need to realize that God is the only TRUE Source of blessings, and we are all dependent on Him.
- Ask for forgiveness of our sins (Matthew 6:12). We are sinners, and God’s mercy is enough for us to be forgiven. However, we need to realize that there are conditions for God’s forgiveness. We need to ask for forgiveness, and we need to forgive others as well (Matthew 6:14-15).
- We need to pray for God’s divine help to overcome sin (Matthew 6:13). Let us not commit the mistake of believing that we can overcome sin by ourselves. We need God’s help.
- We need to pray for God’s protection (Matthew 6:13). Our enemy, the devil, is so powerful, and there is nothing in his mind but to destroy God’s people. As powerful as he is, he is POWERLESS against God and through prayer; we can be protected from his evil schemes.
- We need to end our prayer with praises again (Matthew 6:13). Acknowledging God that He alone has the power to grant our requests is vital. This enables us to develop the right attitude and mindset when praying.
These are some of the important points we need to remember when praying. As you say your prayer, you will soon discover that it can change everything, including yourself. Prayer is not just a way to communicate with God. It is also an indispensable way to develop a healthy relationship with Him.
I hope this blog will give you a better idea how to pray and be closer to God.