Prayer

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” –Matthew 7:12

Both Jesus (Luke 18:1) and Paul (1 Tim. 2:1) emphasized the importance of prayer, noting that people ought always to pray. Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving, and fellowship with God.

By its nature, prayer is talking with God. It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23). When we pray, we should follow the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father—beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name (Matthew 6:9–15; John 14:14).

Illustration: Jesus pointed out that God heard the prayer of a humble publican rather than that of a proud Pharisee (Luke 18:14).

Application: God will answer our prayer when we obey Him (1 John 3:22), confess sin (Ps. 66:18), abide in Christ (John 15:7), ask according to the will of God (1 John 5:14), ask in faith (Mark 11:24), have pure motives (James 4:3), and live peaceably with our mate (1 Pet. 3:7).

 

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50 Comments

  • Barbara says:

    First thought flies back to the parable of the sower and the seed. If necessary get a chair put it front of you and talk to God like you would to a person, if one was sitting in the chair. When you “….seek, you will find…”!

    • Marilyn says:

      It’s easy to say put a chair, but what about not knowing what to say. I do better praying on the inside and talking to God from within, than when I have to speak out. I want to speak out, sometimes I try but then I just don’t know what to say or how to start.

      • Victor Okenyi says:

        You are not alone. You can just praise and worship God. Thank Him for what He has done. You will find that things will start flowing. Meditate on some scripture. Prayer is not all about you talking all the time. Give the Lord a chance to talk to you too! So listen!

      • Kayode Ojo says:

        Just as you talk to your friends and family members, you can open your mouth to talk to God. Do you ask your friend or sister or parent for something you need? Just do that as you close your eyes to talk to God in prayer. However, make sure you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Prayer is easier when you are born again and God is your father.

  • Robert says:

    I like what Barbara suggested. I think most of us really do not grasp how important it is and that it is a cornerstone of our relationship with the LORD. In some cases we haven’t been taught how to do it. I think that some churches and pastors don’t give it enough emphasis.

    • bob says:

      Pray as you really talk. Jesus is our lord our king our Savior, And just as important our very best friend. Talk to Jesus like you talk to anyone you love. Even when praying out loud talk to Jesus plainly with love. it’s as easy as that.

      • Dawn says:

        I talk to Jesus whom is my intercessor to God my Father. I talk to Him as I would my own father. Except God is my creator, without Him, I am nothing!

  • Kathy says:

    Think of prayer like this and ask yourself this question ..
    “How can I have a Relationship with someone I Never or rarely talk to?” Prayer is the cornerstone of building a relationship with God as the article pointed out. Talk to Him about anything & everything, He knows it all anyway and is the only one who fully “knows” you & “fully cares” about it all!

    • Jules says:

      I like what you said Kathy, it maybe what Paul meant when he said “pray without ceasing”. It is possible to do. Then, every moment is prayer…. Like after being hurt by a word uttered unknowingly and I automatically say Father that is mean… It hurts what am I to do? Or after something good happens you unknowingly say thank God in Jesus’ name!

  • Rose says:

    Thanks for the e-news letter, I don’t know how you got my contact but I thank you did God. I really like the e-newsletter and suggestion Barbara made. I hope to receive more from you. Thanks again.

    Rose

  • Bhekisisa says:

    I believe that the importance of prayer it should be like more of what in your mind, yes also coupled with what is the will of God and telling Him that it only Him who has the power to do it !

  • Debbie says:

    We often forget to pray because of how busy we are. If we wake up late, our mind are not on prayer. If we are tired, our mind is not on prayer. We tend to have so much to do, and fill our mind with stuff, we do not leave enough room to remember to pray.

    We must make a conscious effort to pray always and throughout the day. I try to start the day saying good morning to God, thanking Him for waking me, getting me out the door I on time, arriving safely to my destination. Continuous praise and prayer!!

    • Eric says:

      Well said Debbie!
      It is interesting that we lose our focus on Him, when we have so much “stuff” going on in the day. We have to make a conscious effort to talk to the Almighty.

    • Arlene says:

      I agree with Debbie. We are so busy that we do not make time for prayer. I think we should schedule a prayer time or different prayer times and make it a habit instead of trying to ‘fit God into our busy schedule.’ How can we get to know someone if we do not spend time with him/her. The same applies to our relationship with God. We need to get the communication line going just like a habit, until it becomes natural to do.

    • Jeni says:

      Debbie nailed it! We often times let our “busy” schedule get in the way. I make it a point every morning, before my feet even hit the floor, to say hello to God and to pray the Lord’s prayer. It has made such a big difference in how may day begins! Then through out the day I will send up my little mini prayers asking for thanks in the good and guidance and wisdom in the bad. God bless you all!!!!

  • MaRisha says:

    I think we forget because it’s not a priority, or like another person mentioned a lack of knowing how to.

  • Debi says:

    I feel like my prayers are the same thing every time…(thank You for daily blessings, bless our family, friends, pastor, leaders of our country, our troops, Your will be done reference family and friends’ health, watch over us daily)…I KNOW that I know that I know I am a child of God but I feel my prayer life is so under par! I like Barbara’s suggestion and will try that.

    • Josephine says:

      I have struggled to put my thoughts together in prayers for a long time. I like and agree with what Barbara said and what you all have said – at the moment am getting myself on that path of prayers. Cause I feel God is constantly knocking on me – I can’t get the thought of not praying even a short prayer of thanking God and slowly my prayer thoughts are coming together. God bless you all.

  • This year, for the World Day of Prayer, our prayer groups focused on the teaching by Jesus that Christians should pray for those who despitefully use them. We were especially concerned for the Christians, world-wide, who are facing increasing persecution in many places. Following are the Daily Devotions which were used in our congregations for the World Day of Prayer. We would like to share those devotions with you and pray that these devotions will prove helpful to many and that the Lord will bless all believers with miraculous leadership and guidance during the coming year.

    UNITED BRETHREN COMMUNITY FELLOWSHIP
    DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR
    World Day of Prayer

    Numbers 6:22-27, Deuteronomy 4:29, Psalm 23, Psalm 119:105, Jeremiah 29:13

    Matthew 5:44, Matthew 6, Matthew 7:7-8, Matthew 18:20, Matthew 24, Mark 1:29-35, Mark 10:42-45, Mark 13, Luke 6:28, Luke 11, Luke 15, Luke 18, Luke 24:45, John 4:46-54, Acts 8, Acts 10, Acts 12, Acts 14:1-7, Acts 16, Acts 18, Romans 8, Romans 16, I Corinthians 16:19, II Corinthians 5, Galatians 1-6, Ephesians 6, Colossians 4:15, Philemon 1:2, I Peter 3:15, I Peter 5

    And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.
    Jeremiah 29:13

    Our Father, who art in Heaven,
    Hallowèd be Thy name.
    Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread,
    And forgive us our debts,
    As we forgive our debtors.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    But deliver us from evil,
    For Thine is the kingdom
    And the power, and the glory, forever.
    Amen.

    MUSIC
    http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/l/p/r/lprayer.htm

    And this man, Apollos, began to speak boldly in the synagogue. Whom, when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him, and more diligently expounded to him the way of the Lord.
    Acts 18:26 – Wycliffe, 1395.

    The Lord bless you and keep you
    The Lord lift His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace, and give you peace.
    The Lord make His face to shine upon you,
    And be gracious, and be gracious.
    The Lord be gracious, gracious unto you.

    MUSIC
    http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/l/o/r/lordbuku.htm

    Heavenly Father, we come before You with humble hearts and grateful praise. Now we pray for the whole estate of Christ’s church. Wherever there are those who are seeking the Lord with their whole hearts, send teachers to show them the way. Wherever there are those who need to have the Lord’s way of salvation explained to them more perfectly, send teachers like Priscilla and Aquila to expound the Lord’s way to them more perfectly. We thank You for the promise that it will never be possible for the elect to be deceived by the Adversary. Teach Your children how to work together for the good of all those who love the Lord, who are called according to His purpose. Wherever there are faithful ministers who are tending Your flock, open their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. Grant to all who witness for You this day the heavenly guidance and inspired eloquence which will make it possible for us to know what to say, and have the courage to say it at the right time, as we make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which we have all been called to become ambassadors. Now we pray for all of Your faithful servants, worldwide, who are being despitefully used in any way. Now we receive a hedge of protection around them, where they live and where they work and all the highways and byways in between. Send heavenly blessings to reward all who seek to walk in paths of righteousness, goodness, virtue and mercy for the Lord’s sake. Pour out showers of Your richest blessings of miraculous leadership and guidance, financial, physical, mental and spiritual well-being into the lives of all those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. We also pray for all those who have despitefully used any of Your children in any way, at any time and in any place. Send the light of Your Gospel to shine as a beacon of hope in all the dark places in the world. Send heavenly wisdom to guide and direct all who work to protect the weak and oppressed. Abundantly pardon all those who have experienced a sincere repentance and have called upon the name of Your dear son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for forgiveness and salvation. Be gracious to all who gather together to honor Jesus as Lord and Savior today. Be in our midst and empower every member to discover the vocation and ministry which is Your plan for our lives. Send the light of Your Word to guide us all in faithful service. Bless all who learn today that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God – and that there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we may be saved. Tenderly guide and direct all of those who are just beginning to live a new life in fellowship with Christ Jesus. Send miraculous leadership, guidance, mercy and grace to all who are in any trouble, whether it is temporal or spiritual. Now we receive the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, teach, comfort and intercede for us, as the Lord Jesus promised during His ministry on earth. — Amen — In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit — Amen — In the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Son of God — Amen!

  • Barbra says:

    It was helpful for me to learn how to pray out loud…to really organize my thoughts and conversation with God…..I was taught formal prayer but felt like “please don’t ask me to pray out loud” and worse yet in front of others just winging it..It felt so unfamiliar…so maybe that’s why …with gratitude

  • Richard Rhudy says:

    The only way I feel that I can effectively pray is in my “prayer closet” (Mt 6:6). No distractions make for a more intimate conversation with my Savior.

  • Rev.Joe Durante says:

    Prayer is just talking.we all know how to do that.God desires to talk and be with as so much that he sent his one and only son to open the door for us to talk to him.Just quiet your self collect your inner most thoughts and speak them to God.ask him a question be still and allow him to speak to you either by pictures or a inner voice that bubbles up from with in you,you maybe surprised at what happens.or try picturing yourself sitting on a log in a field and wait for Jesus to come sit beside you an speak with you. Seek and you shall find …. I pray and know He will meet you He loves you that much..

    • Josephine says:

      Amen, Amen Rev. Durante. I am yearning to reach that point. And getting all the pointers to that direction. Every time am able to pull my thoughts together and pray to God meaningfully am at peace within.

  • Linda says:

    When my husband & I were courting, when we were engaged we longed for the time to be together and talk/share – it was an important part of the day. I guess it should be the same with our prayer/talking to God – it should be a natural result of a love relationship with Him. As an aside, having now been married for 48 years, there are times when we sit in a comfortable silence…….

  • Marty says:

    I feel pride & shame are two big factors in why Christians are reluctant to pray.

  • LAURA says:

    Thank you Barbara for your suggestion about a chair when talking to God. I find prayer very hard for some reason-like I don’t feel worthy that God would listen to me. Also I find it very hard to concentrate-can you give me a suggestion for that? Bless you.

  • Caryl says:

    Prayer is such a vital part of our relationship with God. I too like Barbara’s suggested for those who find it difficult to talk with the Lord. I make every effort to pray upon wakening, again at the altar when I arrive to work, and always before going retiring for the night. With that being said it’s only when I’m kneeling at the altar that I speak out loud in prayer. Whether we speak out loud or in quiet communion I believe in my heart of hearts God hears us when we prayer.

  • Delane says:

    I think that as Christians, we do not so much forget to pray, more than we neglect to pray because we feel so unworthy. Often we lack faith and we struggle with the awesomeness of God and the fact that God has such a capacity to love us. Sometimes we can barely tolerate ourselves when we sin and we cannot comprehend how God can even want to deal with us AGAIN. How can God want to hear our “insignificant problem”…Do I really trust that He WILL do something?? I think that when we can quit measuring God according to our frail human capabilities, we will pray more. At least, when I quit evaluating my Loving Father with human understanding, I will pray more.

  • Mrs Elizabeth Sawyerr says:

    I believe christians don’t pray because things go on smoothly in life for them.Even if u don’t have any problem, everyday thank and praise him.Intercede for your country and other brethren.

  • Dave says:

    Thanks for all of your responses. This made me realize that our church needs to start a “Prayer 101” class for those who do not know how to pray, are too intimidated to pray out loud, and as a reminder of why we need to pray daily.

  • George says:

    Formally I used to pray a lot but I have become very lazy in my prayer life. My wife wakes me up to pray together but I do ignore her. I pray that the Lord God will strengthen me and help me regain my prayer life back.

  • ingrid says:

    For me to have a prayer life, I learn from knowing who is God for me. To know God is to read the Bible. It is the only book available for believers…in Christ Jesus. Then after more than 55years growing up in Christian ways, I found that prayer is really like breathing. It is a 24hours daily communication with God. No tool, instrument or equipment are needed to breath normally. It will come out naturally. I read many kind of prayers from the Bible. As I try to practice it I come to know that God will prefer my own style. Then I realized that each one of us is uniquely created for his purpose. He longs to hearing my voice my noise my cry my laughter my song etc…he will detect it just like a father or a mother can always hear her children call. And he will respond just in time. Never late. That’s the beautiful part of having faith in the unseen God. Believe in his unfailing love. Bless you.

  • Richard says:

    Prayer is engaging in spiritual warfare and the forces of darkness obviously do not want as to pray. The prayer life of many is not only low but is declining. I am myself struggling to learn and be steadfast in prayer. Fortunately, one can learn how to pray if not from human teachers, from the Holy Spirit that God the Father sent to teach us all things. The way to learn how to pray is to begin in which ever way and among others pray “Lord teach me to pray” . Soon the Holy Spirit will quicken you to pray.

  • BubbaDad says:

    I find my mind wanders too much and I am easily distracted. I am also depressed and find myself just letting things go by.

  • Joy says:

    Perhaps satan plants thoughts such as “I don’t know how to pray”, “I’m not good enough”, in order to block our communication with our Lord.
    I need to ask God for help to start to begin a rich prayer life.

  • Terry says:

    Love news letter thank you, that scripture is Matthew 7:7-9 by the way not Matthew 7:12 just in case you hadn’t noticed it just trying to be helpful God Bless

    • Bible Connection News Bible Connection News says:

      Thank you Terry! We are so glad that you enjoy the newsletter! We will make sure to update that in the article right away 🙂

  • Margie says:

    I agree with those who have said that most Christians don’t know how. I often find it a struggle to pray as it seems as if I am saying the same thing over and over and over. I want to tell God what’s on my mind so very, very much, but get all tangled up trying to make sure I include all the elements of praise, thanksgiving, praying for family, friend, church, leaders, world, etc., etc. Consequently I feel that I’m not really communicating with God, just rotely repeating things I think should be said. However, I have gotten a lot of good suggestions from the posts to this questions.

  • Michelle Noble says:

    What I have learned about prayer in my faith journey is how important it is to have that line of communication open to my Heavenly Father. It is my life line and my source of strength to be in this world. I know first hand that God hears our prayers and responds to our needs in His time. Sometimes my prayers are not answered the way I want them answered but I remember the scripture that reminds us God’s ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are always perfect and God sees the “Big Picture”. If you struggle with your prayer life try using the A.C.T.S. Model-Adoration-Confession-Thanksgiving-Supplication. I also incorporate the use of prayer beads. There is a great book called “A Bead and a Prayer” by Kristen Vincent that gives you suggestions on how to use Protestant prayer beads. It is a wonderful addition to your prayer life especially for those of you who struggle with your mind wandering and loosing focus. I hope this helps. God’s Blessings to you.

  • Jeni says:

    Psalm 62:8 – O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.

  • Deborah says:

    When I had trouble making time for prayer, I made a concious important “appointment” that i could not miss every morning or evening depending in my schedule. It really worked!

  • Yomi Alikwe says:

    I love to pray but I get worried when my lines appears to be the same every time I set to pray and I wonder if there’s something wrong in my spirit. Many a time i fill the urge to burst into speaking in tongues but I am unable to sustain it.

    There was a time I fill physically lifted when I closed my eyes to pray but I rarely get that high on prayers any more.

    I pray God helps me get back to that level and higher

  • I know that I have forgotten to pray at times through the day, and it seems like my day is so terrible, where I cannot focus, I become judge mental of peoples and their way of life, I feel like I hate myself and others, I am a different person without prayer. But even with dealing with daily trials and tribulations will cause me to forget to pray. But honestly it’s the persons and what they value about prayer. We cannot handle all difficult problems, we need a higher source to carry us through difficult situations in life. Prayer helps and GOD’S word helps also.

  • manuel gascon says:

    Lot of people says, its hard to pray. I told them, just pray it hard, it will work. Others said, prayer is a battle. I told them, YES ! Its a battle indeed. But remember that the battles belong to the Lord. And He had overcome the enemy 2000 years ago. Praise be to Go, our Almithy God

  • Lauren says:

    I believe it is so hard for Christians to pray is because a lot of us have a busy life and prayer gets put off until tonight, or tomorrow morning, but then we can keep putting it off. I also believe that it is part of our sinful human nature that we as Christians can sometimes forget to pray.

  • Sherri says:

    This is why I think it’s hard for some of us to pray: It’s easier in the West to relegate prayer to a last resort strategy. “Big” things we’ll write/email our congressman, petition, picket, protest, appeal to a judge, while churches close by the dozen. And yet, in less afflurnt, less “democratic” societies, Christ-followers, amidst violent, in-their-face persecution, pray FIRST – and the Church grows in the power of the Holy Spirit . I personally have asked the Lord if I’m able, in His eyes, to claim Him Lord of all should the persecution that’s sprouting in my US suddenly burst forth full-grown. I feel I can easily do so now. But if it’s my job or Jesus, would He remain Lord then?

  • Diana says:

    I know prayer is so important, but I get so distracted from things going on in the room.
    The best time for me is early in the morning before everyone is awake. No noise, but I don’t always wake up that early so I have to find another time.

  • Natashia says:

    To my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, peace and grace to you and your home in the name of our coming King, Jesus the Christ!

    I have read through and my heart is with you all. However, please possess the maturity to hear with your heart what I have to say. It is absolutely detrimental that we do not try to make time to fit in God in terms of our prayer life. To say. It is absolutely detrimental that we do not try to make time to fit in God in terms of our prayer life. Everything else in life no matter what no matter who will seed away. Purpose in your heart that you will make time for everything else. But our prayer life our relationship with the Almighty God is our life. Sometimes when we’re unsure how to pray we must go to God and ask him to teach us to pray through the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is here with us. He will teach you to pray. The thing is though that you have to actually really really want to pray. To intercede. To tarry in prayer. Everything else in our lives, school, work, play has all taken a working progress from one step to another to another to another and another step to another. nothing has just happened. We have got to be strategic in how we come to God in prayer and we must learn from the Holy Ghost how to draw and travail for others and for families and strangers. We MUST pray and bless our God who alone is wise. We must get back to the days where we sit and wait and wait and wait and become serious that we will not let go, stop pressing. We must prevail (prove more powerful then any and all opposing forces). Even if we are that opposing force. Everything will bow to God. It’s best that you bow your time and activities to Him now and volunteerly. He is loving yet still HE is GOD. Fast and pray for He is near to those who will diligently seek Him. Pray in other tongues until words are “birthed” and flowing out in your native language.

    Lastly, find God fearing people to help pull the prayer warrior out of you. Look for the fruits of the Spirit in them and “pray” for the leading of the Holy Ghost to good and caring people whose love is based on the truth.

    I love so much the people of the living God! May God keep us and train us and may he be our present help in time of need and of prayer.

    XO with you in Spirit. We are not alone!

  • David G says:

    We have a prayer strategy that helps us pray more focused fervent prayers. My wife and I are listing all those people, circumstances, things, issues, and conditions about which or about whom we have been asked to pray or feel called to pray. Then we are developing categories–5 or 6, into which all of the individual prayers should fit: Friends & Family, Health & Well-being, The Church, Our Government, Our Home and Our Business. We post and organize all this on a cork board and grease board that I set up in our “War Room” (I highly recommend this movie, by the way). This not only allows us to focus, but also serves to remind us because the War Room is a bedroom in our house that we must pass every morning on the way to get our coffee in the kitchen. And, when I run out of words and have given God time to answer me in my listening time, I speak in tongues for a while, which strengthens me in such an amazing way, because I know the Holy Spirit is interceding for me. Also, one of the best ways to defeat traffic and find yourself at your destination before you realize it, is to use your car as your prayer closet–either listening to God while worship music is playing, or shouting at the top of your lungs about issues not yet resolved. We are given boldness, love and a sound mind before the throne of our LORD and sometimes He needs to hear how serious we are for His counsel. May God’s blessings, grace, and peace, His peace, not as the world gives, be with you all this day and forever.

    Brother Dave

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