I have been questioning for sometime “how to pray”. I’m an analyzer so I like things black and white. The thing is, there doesn’t seem to be a black and white answer on this. I have questioned numerous people on this subject and everyone’s answer was different. Let me explain some of the questions I have asked:
Why pray if God already knows our thoughts?
Do I pray specifically believing? Why do this if it doesn’t happen?
Maybe I should just pray for “God’s will”?
Do things happen if we don’t pray and God has told us to?
Really, the questions go on but I am choosing not to bore you! lol… I began an endeavor into reading Hebrews. Someone close to me introduced me to a perspective of this on prayer: that it is more for us than it is God. That prayer improves our faith and increases our belief in Jesus. Hebrews is definitely showing me this – I know God doesn’t “need” us – I mean c’mon, He creates our world, everything in it, etc. etc. in 6 days, took a break on the 7th. I’m pretty sure He could handle anything else that might come His way. So why pray? And how should we pray?
While I am not prepared to write a blog on why we pray yet, I do have an answer on how we should pray. At least for me.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.“
Hebrews 4:16 says, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.“
Hebrews 5:7 says, “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.“
Alright – let’s break it down.
Hebrews 4:12 — God knows everything already. There is no reason to shy from saying what is on our hearts to Him. He is the only one to whom we are accountable.
Hebrews 4:16 — This is a big answer for me. If we are coming boldly to Him then we aren’t coming passively. To me, praying “God’s will” every time is not taking a chance of being bold. Pray specifically and pray with faith (remember, believing in things unseen!) that those prayers will be answered.
Hebrews 5:7 — God heard Jesus because of his deep reverence for God. You do not gain a deep reverence for someone unless you have spent time with over and over again. You appreciate them, you go out of your way for them. We have to do this with our prayers. Because of this God heard Jesus! And then the next line is all I needed to hear for those times when my bold prayers offered up are not answered… “Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” Granted, most of the time an unanswered prayer is not going to cause me to suffer… but it does teach me obedience. The definition of obedience is “compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority”. Well, scripture tells us WHEN we pray. So even if my prayers aren’t answered, I am being obedient and contenting to learn obedience through the process.
I still have other questions, but I just had to share this revelation tonight! For me, when I understand something and can wrap my head around it, I can apply it better to my life. Hopefully, this has helped someone else as well.
11 thoughts on “How I Am Supposed To Pray”
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I
will be waiting for your next write ups thank you once again.
You are most welcome Gabriel!
Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as
I provide credit and sources back to your website? My blog site is in the very same
area of interest as yours and my users would truly benefit from some of the information you provide here.
Please let me know if this alright with you. Regards!
Absolutely! I would be honored 🙂
We thank Him for each new day and time with Him in His Word. We pray in communication
with him according to His Word, in obedience and trusting Him to answer. Jesus always prayed to our Heavenly Father, knowing He knew and knows all, why wouldn’t we? Brittany, love your questions and Terri’s words of wisdom. How beautiful in His sight.
My prayer time with Him has become one of the most sacred things I have ever experienced
Thanks, Brittany. Your heart and mind are right on target. ON HIM!! Not a better place.
Love you, IN HIS LOVE, Nanny
Thanks Nanny 🙂 You know I love you!
Thank you for your questions and thoughts on prayer, Jade. It is a vast subject that I am learning more about too. I have had (and still have) some similar questions, especially regarding how to pray according to God’s will. Some people I know (not my personal prayer partners) seem to imply that we must say, “if it is Your will” in all our prayers; however, I feel that if our pray is in line with scripture then it IS according to His will. I feel if I say, “if it is Your will” all the time, then I am not “bold” and that I am being “double-minded” and “tossed about”. Along this line of thinking I also feel lead to thank God for answering my prayers in advance of Him answering them. This is my personal interpretation of Philippians 4:6 – to thank in advance for prayers I expect to get answered, which by the way is all of them or else why would I pray? He always answers my prayers, but it may not be how I want or expect Him to answer. Then, we also have Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Now I ask… how can you “believe that you have received” (notice the past tense of the word “received”, not that you “will receive”) if you doubt God’s will?
Now having said all this we have to be careful that our prayers line up with scripture if we are going to be bold and believing that we have received. This is why I love what my friend JoBeth taught me – what she learned from her friend Mary Ann Bridgwater (who has written on this subject)… pray the Word! It is the best way I have found to pray. It is what Jesus did when the devil tempted Him. Jesus said, “It is written”, then he quoted God’s Word. Here is an example of praying God’s Word…”Lord, it is written (from Ephesians 6:19) that ‘when we speak, you want us to have words given to us to fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel’, Lord I pray that you give Jade Your Word when she speaks, so that the Gospel will fearlessly be made known. Thank you, Lord for doing this according to Your Son, Jesus Christ!” Now at the end I added a sentence about Christ because I love praying in His Name, but if I am praying according to God’s will, representing Jesus, then I am in reality already praying in Jesus’ name. Praying in Jesus name in my opinion doesn’t mean we have to say “in Jesus’ name”; but rather, that we are representing His Kingdom purposes and Him in our prayers.
Another thing I like to do because I know I still don’t know how to pray optimally, it to pray Romans 8:26. This is especially good to do as we are learning to be bold in prayer. As again, we have to be careful when we are bold to make sure that we are praying according to scripture. If we are unsure, we should say,”if it is Your will” or ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for us.
Prayer is simply speaking to God. Although He knows our thoughts, if we don’t pray, we are not speaking to God and thus there is no close relationship. Just think… if we didn’t communicate with our spouse or friends, how would we have a relationship? Even if they knew our thoughts, the relationship would be dead without communication. God wants us to pray, because he loves us to speak our inner-most thoughts to Him and allow us to also hear from Him. A real relationship… like our earthly ones, but MUCH better.
I am still learning about prayer, but I love how God is faithful to teach us if we ask.
Thank you for sharing your insight Terri 🙂
My pleasure, friend!