Table of Contents – How to Pray a Christian Prayer
- Prepare to Pray
- Begin to Pray
- Worship His Name
- Pray for His Will
- Worship Him Again
- Pray Until You Pray!
Someone has to Teach us how to Pray
Today, I want to talk a little about how to pray a Christian prayer. None of us automatically knows how to pray. It’s not a gift we were born with. But it’s a skill we could develop; however, someone has to teach us how to pray, (Luke 11:1).
Globally, one of the most famous prayers, of all times, is the “Our-Father-Prayer”. And one of the biggest mistakes most Christians and non-Christians make with it is to repeat it word-for-word. But this is a grave misunderstanding of the scriptures.
Nevertheless, today I want to teach you how to pray using the “Our-Father-Prayer” as our model. This prayer guide is based on Jesus’ format that he taught to his disciples. And it utilizes ten steps.
1). How to Pray – Prepare to Pray
- Go to your prayer chamber. This is any place that you reserve for regular alone time with God. It could be in a tree; in the attic or basement; in your office; library, or in your bedroom.
- Now eliminate all distractions. Turn off all electronic devices: radio, TV, cell phones, the music etc.
- Kneel. We don’t have to kneel to pray. However, no other stance demonstrates submission and worship of God better. Three great prophets of God kneel as they pray. They are Solomon, David and Daniel, (1 Kings 8:54; Psalm 95:6 & Daniel 6:10).
2). How to Pray – Pray
There are many gods in the earth. Start by acknowledging and directing your prayer to the Lord God. Identify Him by name. Thank Him for His great name. Hence, “Our Father” who is in heaven, (Matthew 6:9). But “Father” is not a name. It’s a title like son, daughter, mother or sister etc.
Since Jesus came in his Father’s name, then the name of the father is identical to that of the son—Jesus, (John 5:43 ; 10:25). For example, you could start your prayer my saying: “Great and holy Lord God who is in heaven, I thank you for your holy name. I’m unworthy to speak your righteous name Christ Jesus our Lord….”
Direct all your prayers to the Lord God, but the only route to Him is through Jesus Christ. He is the only one who died for the sin of all humanity.
The Lord God became a man, Jesus Christ, to shed sinless blood for us. Who else qualifies to die for humanity? Who else qualifies to receive our prayers? No one!
What should you pray about? Understand prayer as a conversation with Him. Talk with Him about every thing. All that you could say to the Lord fall in three main categories: worship; asking; and thanking.
3). How to Pray – Worship His Name
“…Hallowed be thy name,” (Matthew 6:9). This means that we bless, or “hallow” or reverence, or worship the great name, Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, we speak great and wonderful things of it.
For example, we could say, Lord Jesus Christ I bow before your great name. (Here is where we see the suitability of kneeling as we pray.) Jesus your name is above every name in heaven and in the earth. I magnify and exalt your majestic name, (Leviticus 22:32).
4). How to Pray – Acknowledge
“Thy kingdom come,” (Matthew 6:10(a) & Luke 11:2(a)). Acknowledge that the kingdom of “our Father in heaven” is come. But when and how? Know assuredly that “the Kingdom of God is within you,” (Luke 17:21). An earthly kingdom does not move. It doesn’t come or go. It remains. However, this is a spiritual one. It’s from heaven. It comes when we speak the King’s words.
So, when we utter the Word of the Lord to someone His kingdom comes to that person. Don’t allow anyone to deceive you. The kingdom of God is not in word, meaning it’s not in talk.
“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power”, (1 Corinthians 4:20).
This was one of the key features of Jesus’ ministry that the people use to differentiate his from all the others.
“And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”, (Matthew 7:28-29; Mark 1:22)
Therefore, it’s not just “word”, or talk, but the ministry of the Word of God with the power and authority of the Holy Ghost,(Romans 14:17).
Therefore, when you pray, ask the Lord to give you boldness to speak His word to someone new today. This is an acknowledgement that you have heard the King’s word and will speak it to others. And the word is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God , and that he died for your sins. He rose from the dead and he is alive forever.
5). How to Pray – His Will
“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” (Matthew 6:10 (b) & Luke 11:2). What is the manifestation of the will of God in heaven right now? Worship! All the beings in heaven are worshipping God right now. In heaven, the angels, the seraphims, the cherubims, and all other heavenly creatures all they do is worship God continually, (Isaiah 6:1-3;Genesis 3:24 & Revelations 8:1). Every creation of God is created for that one purpose—worship.
Therefore, a synonym for “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”, is to pray that all people of the earth will worship the Lord God as all heaven is doing right now; however, He does not impose on our free will. We must choose to worship Him!
Therefore, as you pray that God’s will for both heaven and earth will manifest in the earth. It’s a prayer for all nations. It’s a prayer that people of all religious persuasions will worship the one true and living God, Christ Jesus our Lord.
6). How to Pray – Asking
Asking God to hear and grant our petitions is a very important stage in our prayers. The Lord knows what we need even before we ask Him for them, (Matthew 6:8). Yet, He wants us to ask Him because that is true worship. As a result, if we don’t ask Him we never will receive from Him. Many have not because they ask not (James 4:2).
On the other hand, many Believers ask, but they don’t receive. Why?
At this stage in your prayer, make all your personal requests to God, (Romans 1:10; Philippians 1:4 & 4:6).
- Food – “Give us this day our daily bread,” (Matthew 6:11).
- Forgiveness – “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” (Matthew 6:12).
- Deliverance – “And lead us not into temptation…,” (Matthew 6:13a).
- Protection – “…but deliver us from evil,” (Matthew 6:13b),etc.,
- Holy Ghost
- And others have made supplications for release from prison.
7). How to Pray – Receiving
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them,” (Mark 11:24).
The Lord gives us the things we request in prayer even as we pray. If we can receive it as we pray we will have it. It doesn’t manifest then, but we must see it, at the time of prayer, to receive it.
Therefore, as you pray visualize receiving what you are making request to God for and you will have it. How long we wait to manifest what God gives, while we were praying, depends on how long it takes us to believe our words and see ourselves with the object of our prayers.
As you are praying, if you are believing and seeing, you are receiving. This is not new, for this is how the Lord God operates. He acts similarly with Abraham, Joshua and even Solomon. He gives Jericho to Joshua before his first day’s march around the city.
“And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.” (Joshua 6:2).
At that point, Joshua had nothing. Naturally, he had received nothing yet, but spiritually, God had already given him the city. Create a picture, in your mind, of you receiving the things you pray for and you shall have them. We receive them at the time of prayer, but they manifest later. Then, we must thank God for those things we desire and have received while praying.
8). How to Pray – Releasing
“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses,” (Matthew 11:25-26).
Release the people you have in your heart because of unforgiveness. Forgive them. While you pray vocalize their names. For example say, Karen I forgive you. And Chad, I forgive you too.
Jesus, in the scripture above says, “stand praying” because he was speaking to his disciples and they usually pray in the synagogue while standing.
Say their names every time you pray until you believe, for that is when forgiveness really comes. Releasing them is realizing you. If you never forgive others the Lord will not forgive your sins.
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9). How to Pray – Worship Him Again
“…For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen,” (Matthew 6:13).
10). How to Pray – Pray Until You Pray!
Do all of the above until your words flow not just from your lips, but also from your heart like hot oil. Genuine prayers to God only emanate from the heart. For that reason, prayer in general, and the “Our-Father-Prayer” in particular, cannot be word-for-word or written. Prayer is when we speak from our hearts to God. However, power is when God listens to our words. And if He is silent or non-responsive we are powerless.
To summarize, a prayer to the Lord God is not strict and does not follow any specific sequence. Nevertheless, it should include worshiping, asking (Matthew 21:22), believing (Matthew 21:22 & Mark 11:24), receiving (Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24), thanking, releasing, and worship again.
A prayer does not have to be vocal. We could pray in our hearts without making a sound. The Lord God still hears it. But speaking our prayer is powerful. If we believe the word of our own prayers we will receive the things that we asked Him for. So, faith in God comes also by believing that we will receive the request that we make of Him.
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23).
How to Pray – Your prayers should flow from your heart
Consequently, your prayer shouldn’t be something someone else wrote and request that you read or repeat it. That is not biblical. Obey God even in praying. Your prayers should flow from your own heart.
Jesus Christ knows that people would attempt this; therefore, he cautions his twelve leaders (apostles).
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:7).
As a result, using the format that Jesus uses to teach his disciples, it is not verbatim but a guide.
According to Apostle Luke, Jesus in teaching his disciples how to pray, says:“…When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven,…”,(Luke 11:2). Nevertheless, Matthew explains what Jesus means by this. He informs us:“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven…”,(Matthew 6:9).
Above, Jesus by saying “after this manner” he modifies “says” in Luke 11:2.
Consequently, you should never pray saying: “Our Father which are in heaven….” and so on. That is merely repeating the format. Despite Jesus saying:“After this manner…”, this doesn’t mean to repeat it, but to follow the similar pattern of praying (Matthew 6:9-13 & Luke 11:2-4).
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How to Pray – Conclusion
In concluding, if we should say the “Our Father Prayer” word-for-word, how could we pray about the various and diverse issues of our lives? We couldn’t. We would be repeating the same words for all our prayers. Our hearts would never enter into any of our petitions. As a result, we would be powerless, frustrated, depressed and overwhelmed because we fail to approach God.
Prayer engages our heart. We only start to pray when we do so from our hearts and we are not just saying words. Therefore, pray until you pray. In other words,“Pray without ceasing”,(Acts 12:5; Romans 1:9 & 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Even after you rise from kneeling, you should be praying still. Never stop praying. While you are going about your daily activities: pray. Walking, driving, jogging: pray. But never close your eyes while driving or jogging. Pray until you receive!
“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God”, (Colossians 4:12 & James 5:16).
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