Basics of Prayer
As a Christian, one of the main things is our connection with God. One of the primary avenues of this connection is prayer. It is a vital basic activity that any person can accomplish, the only requirement is faith or confidence that it is effective.
When I was a young believer I took the recommendation from others to set a time and place for when I would pray and let God know, as if I was making an appointment with Him. The first time I met with God like that, I remember having a sense of fear and awe because I knew God would be in the room waiting for me. At the time I didn’t know how to pray, so my prayer was very basic. But what was important was I continued doing it day after day. Even if I skipped a day or two when I first started praying, I got back into the habit of meeting with Him regularly.
How to Pray
Matthew 6:9–13 “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 forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”
In the “Lord’s Prayer” above Jesus gave us a road map for how to pray. I do not believe we have to read this back to Him each day, but instead it helps understand how we should pray.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.”
– Each time we pray we should begin with thanksgiving and praise. We should declare just how holy God is. The word hallowed means holy and holy means set-apart. In other words, there is no one that compares to how good, powerful, righteous, gracious, and just God is. He is above all things, in every area. It also says in Psalms 100:4 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”
– Since God is the greatest at being gracious, righteous, loving, etc., we should invite these ways into our life. We have our own desires and thoughts in life about things and people. We each are capable of having our own priorities and motives. Each time we pray we should lay our own ways down and seek first His ways. We are directed by Jesus to ask God for His kingly authority to rule in our hearts so our priorities are shaped by Him.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
– Jesus is giving us full permission to seek God to be our provider. I do believe if we take this practically, He will help train us and stretch us in our careers to be better employees. Also as we pray for His provision it reminds us to set pride aside and that we are not providing for ourselves. If we think about it, God can actually provide for us better than we can provide for ourselves.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”
– This is a powerful part of the prayer Jesus gave us an example. It basically leads us to make sure we forgive others, so that we may be forgiven by God. In Matthew 6:15 Jesus explains what he means, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” It is vital to our spiritual health that we learn to forgive others from our heart, not holding things against them.
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one”
– This part of the prayer instructs us to pray in such a way where we become aware how to avoid or remove temptation in our life. It also leads us to pray against the work of the devil in our life. As we see temptation or the work of darkness we pray against it that the situation change. For example, if your relationship with your spouse continually has arguments, this is something you would want to pray against so that peace may return to your relationship. Not to say you are praying against your spouse, but rather the desire in both of you to argue instead of choosing love.
If we follow this structure of how to pray Jesus gave us, it should cover the basics in our relationship with God. As we begin to praise Him we are reminded of who God is and what He is capable of in our life. When we seek first His ways, Godly order is introduced into our heart. We are reminded that He is our provider and we remove pride from ourselves by thinking we can provide by yourselves. And we pray the removal of the ways of darkness and temptation from our life. As you do this continually and don’t give up, over time you will see change in your life for the better.