WHAT IS PRAYER
Prayer is simply having a conversation with God where you listen and talk to Him. It’s your soul spiritually communicating with the Creator who loves you. Think of it as having someone who can’t wait to hear your voice and your heart. Someone totally focused on you and excited to hear from you and speak to you. Prayer is an exercise of faith and hope. You have the special privilege to touch the heart of the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.
In prayer you lay down all claim to your power and abilities and rely solely on God’s power to transform you and your circumstances. You can submit anything to Him in prayer, especially things you need to be released from. You can also pray prayers of praise or thanksgiving for what He has done for you.
WHY DO WE BELIEVE IN OR PRACTICE PRAYER?
We believe prayer is an important and powerful tool for every believer. Throughout Scripture, God calls us to pray because it is the best way to connect to Him. Prayer is the key to God’s heart. It’s the only way to a real and personal relationship with Him. Prayer acknowledges He is the one and only true God. It shows you accept His gracious gift, Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. We believe in prayer because it’s where you can invite God into your life to have fellowship with Him. We also believe in prayer because it gives you power over the enemy. There is so much at stake if you don’t pray.
We believe in prayer because Jesus believed in prayer and we follow His example. He did nothing without first seeking the will of the Father.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT PRAYER?
The Bible is filled with examples of prayer and how to pray. Read the book of Matthew to see how Jesus incorporated prayer into His life: when He prayed, how He prayed and how He included others in His prayers. Also read the book of Ephesians to see how Paul prayed. Here are some key Scriptures to guide you:
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, taught us how to pray and what not to do. Matthew 6:5-8 and Luke 11:1-9
Jesus, before he walked on water, went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Matthew 14:23
Jesus, going to the garden of Gethsemane before he was arrested to pray. Matthew 26:36
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
HOW DO WE PRAY?
Don’t be overwhelmed by how many ways you can pray or how long you should pray. Pray as the Holy Spirit leads you. One good way to get started is to pray the Scriptures. The Book of Psalms is an excellent resource to find prayers of thanksgiving, praise or petition. Did you know Psalm 23 is actually a prayer?
Prayers are more effective when they have focus or direction. Jesus himself emphasized this when He taught His disciples to pray. He gave us a guide in his famous prayer called the Lord’s Prayer. In that prayer, he listed specific things to pray about—honoring God, doing His will, daily provision, and deliverance from temptation. You can find this prayer in Matthew 6. Here are the elements of that prayer that we should use in our daily prayers:
P - Praise the Lord for who He is and what He means to you.
R – Repent of your sins and ask for forgiveness and deliverance from temptation.
A – Ask Him for His will to be done in your life; ask for His provisions for your needs.
Y – Yield to Him. Surrender your will to His and to His kingdom.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6