Prayer 101

I think prayer is the most important thing as a Christian. A lot of people ask me what prayer is, do you have to bow your head? what do you need to say? do you have to pray? how do you do it? etc. Again I am not some amazing scholar but I will do my best to answer this question.

We should probably go to the authority on the matter though. His name is Jesus, perhaps you know him. When his disciples asked him how we should pray he replied:

When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men" he goes on to say "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." A lot of people take this to an extreme refusing others to pray for them, or to pray outloud thinking it is saying we shouldn't do so. In my opinion, this is not the case. What Jesus seems to be implying is the state of a mans heart. These hypocrites he speaks of are men who pray with "babbling, for they think they will be heard for their many words" are those who stand up and pray for a long time because they believe it makes them sound more spiritual or holy by doing so. And again this is not saying long prayers are wrong. The state of your heart is what matters. Jesus says to "go into your room close the door a pray to your Father" this is an image of a very intimate setting. One where your focus will not be swayed from your pursuit of fellowship with God.

Jesus than gives an outline of a prayer, I am sure many of you have heard it.

"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 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one."

Our Father in heaven – this one is huge because this just cements the fact that God is our father. He is not this unreachable God, he is a loving father and loves us like children.

hallowed be Your name – this is giving praise to God, acknowledging how wonderful he is.

Your kingdom come – this is almost a yearning for God's kingdom to come down Your will be done – HUGE HUGE HUGE, this is a hard one to pray often. God's will sometimes doesn't seem like the thing we want, because it often is going to make us very uncomfortable. Praying this is saying that I trust that you will do what's best for me even though it might not be very comforting.

On earth as it is in heaven – Statement of fact that God's will is done in Heaven, and will also be done on the earth. satan can try but he cannot stop God's will. Give us this day our daily bread – relying on God to be the sustainer of your life and that he will provide for your daily needs.

and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors – asking for forgiveness, and I consider this asking for the strength for us to be able to forgive those who do wrong to us, that is not always easy, but we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.

And lead us not into temptation – asking for the strength, and protection from walking into temptation

but deliver us from the evil one – also asking for deliverance from satan, and the lies he always tries to get us stuck in.

I did not type this saying that you need to pray this exact prayer. But I have noticed that it does cover just about everything you need to pray about, giving praise, yearning for God, praying his will, trusting him to sustain you, asking for forgiveness and strength, and protection from satan. Prayer to me is a conversation with God. I just want to be real with God in every possible way. If I am upset, frustrated, hateful, I tell him and confess it to him and ask for the strength. If I need to tell him how much I love him, I do so.

I would encourage you to work on your prayer life (if you are not already). If we don't ever talk to God how can we have a relationship with him. It would be like a husband and wife who never talked, they are married by title but there is no relationship there. Go to God in all situations "in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." So do that, prayer is a powerful tool it can heal the sick, the broken hearted and encourage a down brother.

lets face we are all to busy NOT TO PRAY.

Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.
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Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.