Summary: How to pray God’s way.
How to Pray
Matthew 6:7, 8; 7:7-8
Prayer is an essential part in our walk with God. One of the reasons why some people don’t enjoy prayer is because they don’t see it as a process that builds their relationship with God. The following is a basic guideline for praying:
Be Spontaneous: Try to pout out of your mind once and for all that prayer has to be tedious or repetitive. Instead it should be spontaneous and exciting. That doesn’t mean that prayer time will always be happy and fun. There will be times when you hurt and cry to God for consolation. The main thing is for you to be yourself. Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Spontaneity in prayer requires a willingness to abandon your own agenda and adopt God’s. It means being flexible, looking for good opportunities no matter what comes your way.
Be Specific: Jesus warns us in Matthew 6:7 “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words”. Specific prayer has power. Remember, Jesus says that you will be given whatever you ask for in His name (John 16:23-24). Instead of praying “God, save this country”, pray “save my neighbor, Bobby, by bringing him to Christ”. Being specific in prayer has another benefit. When God gives us an answer, we know it. We can know it when our neighbor gets saved. The more specific we are in our requests, the more alert we will be to answers when they come – and the more specific we can be with our thanks and praises to God later on.
ASK the Right Way: Part of any good relationship is a sensitivity to the other person and their needs. In our relationship with God, it’s obvious that He already knows our needs (Matthew 6:8). The acronym “ASK”, may help you how to make requests of God in a way that pleases. ASK (Matthew 7:7-8) – When we approach God and ask Him for something, it implies that we have a need that we want met. Is that request for your need in harmony with God’s will and word (I John 5:13-15, read it out loud). SEEK – ask with effort. This implies that He expects us to do our part, even as we ask Him to do His. Prayer without action is presumption. He who prays and prays, but acts not on what he knows, is like the man who plans and plans but never sows! KNOCK – When Jesus directs us to knock, He’s asking us to be persistent. How long do you pray? Until the answer comes!
Pray With All Your Heart: Distractions are difficult to overcome. Part of the solution is to come to prayer with the right attitude with the desire to give Him all of our attention, just as Jesus suggests in Matthew 6:6. You can also overcome distractions by praying out loud, writing down the distractions and by keeping a prayer journal.
Pray Continually: When you’ve begun learning to pray with all your heart, prayer begins to overflow into more of your life. In I Thessalonians 5:17, Paul tells believers to “pray continually”.