Summary: Today we will examine the basics of how to pray.
Room With A View: How To Pray!
Two weeks ago, we began a series “A Room with a View: Perspectives on Prayer.” This room has served to assist us in illustrating the various topics during this series – Our need to pray to God, various challenges and distractions that we often face when we pray, And, TODAY . . . it will help me teach you the Basics – How to pray.
We chose a “Room” theme based on a statement Jesus made in the middle of one of his teaching times with His Disciples (and others). In the middle of the Sermon on the Mount , Jesus instructed them about prayer:
Matthew 6:5-8 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
The temptation to use “vain repetitions” goes away because there is no one around to impress.
So, my goal today is to expose you to an idea…a model if you will – though not a rigid model – of how you can practice real, intimate, soul searching prayer. And, there is no ‘one-way’ to pray…as the Bible is full of examples of people praying in various formats and lengths.
II Chronicles 6:12, 14 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands . . . 14 and he said: “LORD God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or on earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.
Regardless of the type of prayer, the length of prayer, and even the content of prayer . . . GOD HEARS THEM ALL!!!
There is no ‘one-way’ to pray…as the Bible is full of examples of people praying in various formats and lengths. So, even though one can’t be “prescriptive” in saying “Here’s how the right way to pray is!”. . . I do want to offer some keys that will help you guide a dynamic, personal prayer time.
And it is taken from one of the most familiar portions of God’s Word – The Lord’s Prayer:
Matt. 6:9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Fortunately, Jesus did not leave us adrift on a sea of human opinion as it relates to a pattern for an effective prayer life. Amid life’s rush and among the rut of “how we always did things,” we forget His basic pattern. I want to introduce you to a new way of looking at our Lord’s pattern for your prayer life.
This simple, balanced approach has given many believers the handles they look for to follow a biblical pattern of prayer. It is discussed in the book: the 29/59 plan. It can provide a new enthusiasm for prayer and became a pattern that works for people who struggled previously.
The diagram below is patterned after the “4/4 musical beat.” As a prayer tool it is an effective way by which the Holy Spirit can direct our hearts in a balanced and biblical format of communion with the Lord.
1. The Upward Stroke—Reverence
In the prayer pattern Jesus gave His disciples, He urges us to begin with a focus of worship.
Matthew 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
In the normal course of prayer, effective prayer is worship-based, not need-based. It begins with the character of God as we take time to focus our entire beings on the wonders of who God is. He is the “Father” with whom we have a secure and loving relationship through Christ. Yet, He is “in heaven” as the sovereign and great God, ruling the world by His might and wisdom. His name (and character) is holy and set apart from everything else in this world.