How Should We Pray?
Jesus Taught Us How To Pray
Prayer is the most intimate form of communication between God and man. When asked by one of His disciples to teach them how to pray, Jesus responded, with what we now call the Lords' Prayer:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
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. Matthew 6: 9-13
Jesus not only taught us to speak directly to God, our Father in heaven, we are to honor and glorify His name by our words. We acknowledge that He is the one in control and that His Kingdom is unfolding in and around us according to His eternal purpose and ultimate plan. By our word, we are in agreement with God for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Each day one-day-at-a-time we ask and receive the provisions we need like manna given to the Israelite in the wilderness. We are to be anxious for nothing for we are learning to trust Him each day for our every need.
We also humble ourselves before Him for forgiveness of our sin in the same measure we forgive those who have sinned against us. Our debts are paid and we tear up the debts we have against others.
Lastly, we will face continual temptation in this temporal world, but we ask God to deliver us from the lure of temptation and the evil it brings into our lives when we succumb. Like a child learning to walk for the first time, as God's children we will stumble and fall. However, that is how we as His children learn to trust and lean on Him.
We are learning all of this for our eternal place with Him in heaven, and we praise Him for it!
As followers of Jesus Christ, He teaches us the Way of prayer.
In three distinct ways prayer unfolds in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Prayer with God, Our Heavenly Father
In these days He went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. Luke 6:12
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1: 35
Jesus often separated Himself from every human being to be absolutely --alone one-on-one-- with God, the Father. By Jesus' death and resurrection He opened the door for all mankind to have continual and intimate access to God. We have the choice to partake in this greatest of gifts or not.
As true believers, we are all called to do what Jesus did in prayer. That is to build our relationship with God, to hear from Him, to learn from Him, and to completely trust in Him.
Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not of God. John 14:6
Prayer with God, the Son -Jesus Christ
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10: 27-28
Jesus gathered and traveled with HIs disciples as a small intimate group teaching, growing, and encouraging them. Prayer in this way is personal group dialogue, learning directly from Christ as a group bringing a level of intimacy that we know His voice even more.
In small groups with other believers in Christ we can get honest without judgment, we can confess and get healing, we can support and encourage in what the Lord calls us to do; and we can testify in praise of the Lord for all He has done in our lives.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. Matthew 18: 19-20
Prayer with God, the Holy Spirit
...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18
Jesus went among the people and into large crowds teaching, casting out demons, healing and preforming miracles so that we might know the truth of who He is and His place in and of the Father. While His physical being left this world, He opened the door to our communion with His Holy Spirit, our Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Counselor and so much more.
We as believers have the Holy Spirit living within us, the righteousness of Jesus Christ resides in our temple. From the temple of God and the Holy of Holies, Jesus opened the curtain to the presence of God into us as believers.
Prayer in the Holy Spirit means the enabling of whatever the Lord calls us to do. It is through God that we are given the gifts of the Holy Spirit which includes:
- Interpretation of Tongues
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
Brothers and sisters, I want you to know about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You know that at one time you were unbelievers. You were somehow drawn away to worship statues of gods that couldn’t even speak. So I want you to know that no one who is speaking with the help of God’s Spirit says, “May Jesus be cursed.” And without the help of the Holy Spirit no one can say, “Jesus is Lord.”
There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given to believers by the same Spirit. There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways the Spirit works. But the same God is working in all these ways and in all people.
The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.
1 Corinthians 12: 1-11