Pray

How To Pray

Prayer should be a conversation between us and God.  Most prayers recorded in the Bible are brief.
But they come from the heart.  Jesus trained his followers how to pray using what we call the Lord's Prayer,

"This, then, is how you should 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 today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.'

Matthew 6:9-13

Jesus didn't tell them what to pray, he trained them how to pray. That means you don't need to use these exact words.
But this prayer is a great model for how we can talk with God.  In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus showed his followers six important elements of the kind of prayer that God hears.

    1. First, Jesus said that praying to God starts with our relationship with him.  We should approach God as our Father.

 

    1. Then we "hallow" God's name.  To hallow means to recognize as holy, set apart.  This means we worship him.

 

    1. Jesus said to pray for God's will to be done.  This is a time of surrender. We are submitting our lives to God's plan and setting aside our own plans.

 

    1. Now we can bring our requests to God.  We should ask God for our daily bread. This means we should come to him with our needs each day.

 

    1. Then we should ask God to forgive us as we forgive others. This is confession.

 

    1. Finally, we ask God for protection from temptation and from evil.

 

When you pray, you can use the Lord's prayer as a model to help you remember these six different elements (relationship, worship, surrender, requests, confession, protection).  How different would your prayer life look if you incorporated all six?

A final important element of prayer is listening.  Don't just talk at God, get quiet before him and listen for his voice.  The Bible calls this waiting on the Lord.  Prayer should be a two-way conversation.  You won't likely hear an audible voice, but you can train your spirit to be sensitive to the leading and promptings of the Holy Spirit as you spend time listening for Him.

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Crossroads Community Church, with campuses in both Sheboygan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, exists to help people connect with God and others at the crossroads of life.

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