How to Pray Part 1

Today I want to address one of my favorite topics, prayer. Prayer is so awesome that if I ever backslide I probably will still pray regularly after 6 months of not reading my Bible. Prayer is absolutely essential for the Christian, because Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship. Prayer is how we talk to God, and no relationship will be very strong without talking to the person we are trying to have a relationship with. Martin Luther said, "to be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." Many Christians sadly never really get to enjoy a relationship with God because they never talk to God.

Ephesians lays out one of the clearest outlines in the Bible for what prayer is. In the next
couple of posts I will explain how we can all have can have the amazing conversational life with God that he intends for us. Ephesians 6:18-19 says,

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,"

Praying Always-
The first secret to prayer is just actually doing it, it's amazing how little Christians pray. Consider this 1 hour in prayer is only 4% of your day, and yet how many Christians do you know who spend an hour a day in prayer. According to the Nielsen Media Research Organization the average American spends 4 hours and 13 minutes a day watching tv, but according to the Barna Group the average American Christian spends 4 minutes a day in prayer.

We have no problem watching a 3 hour movie, but to pray for even a few minutes is such a chore. The thing to remember is that prayer is just talking to God its a conversation just like any other we have, and so we can talk to God all day even if its just in our hearts. So today try to spend more time talking to your heavenly Daddy, and don't just talk, but pause and listen to what He is saying back.

With all Prayer
Prayer is a whole lot more then just asking for stuff, and so Paul tells us to use all kinds of prayer. Lets think about some of the different kinds of prayer.

Worship- Worship comes from the old english word worthship, and simply means ascribing worth to God. In worship we adore God, and praise His attributes, His Character, His Actions etc. For instance we might praise God for His holiness, or His creation, His work in someones life, His provision for us etc. Worship can be inspired by looking at his creation thus making praying outside a great idea. It can also be inspired by studying God's attributes in the Bible, or by meditating on His actions in your life, and others lives.

Confession- Confession is also an essential part of prayer. Christians with unconfessed sin in their lives don't have clear lines of communication with God. All good relationships require openess, and willingness to confess wrong our relationship with God is no different.

Thanksgiving- James tells us that every good, and perfect gift comes from God, because God is our daddy He loves giving us good things. Like any daddy He likes it when His children are thankful for His provision. So start thanking God for everything in your life, thank Him when things are going good in your opinion Hosea says pray for the rain when it already raining. Thank Him when things are going bad in your opinion, the Bible says in everything give thanks. You see God is perfectly good, and is working all things together for god for you (Romans 8:28). So whether it looks good or not you must trust that it is all good, it is all a perfect gift, and thank God for it.

Supplication- Supplication simply means petition or simply put asking God for things that you need or want. John R. Rice always said prayer is asking. Supplication is asking God for his provision more on this later.

Intercession- Intercession is like supplication, but instead of our own needs we are asking God to move on behalf of others. Intercession is one of the most unselfish forms of prayer, and certainly the most hated by Satan.

I will cover these various aspects of prayer in more depth in future posts, but for now make a commitment to talk to God more throughout the day, and let Him talk to you. Also employ these various kinds of prayer in your prayer arsenal.

From the blog: The Journey

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