Day 25: How to Pray
Is there a right way to pray? Jesus’ disciples wondered that too.
Is there a right way to pray? Jesus’ disciples were wondering this when they said, “Lord, teach us how to pray” (Luke 11:1). Upon being asked, Jesus gave His disciples—us—a model prayer. It goes like this: “Our Father who is 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 for our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.” (Matthew 6:9-13). Why this prayer? Jesus didn’t mean that this would be the only words you could pray. Otherwise He wouldn’t have prayed other things He did in the Bible. Instead, this prayer guides us, just as railroad tracks guide a train. Look at the different parts of the prayer:
- Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be your name: You can praise God for His great name and who He is.
- Your kingdom come your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven: You can ask God to take control of your circumstances.
- Give us this day our daily bread: You can ask God for whatever you need.
- Forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors: You can receive forgiveness from God for your sins and forgive those who have hurt you.
- And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil: You can ask for God’s protection against Satan and sin.
- For yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen: You can get an eternal perspective and rely on God for everything.
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8
"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." Matthew 21:22
Faith is Necessary for Prayer
What is the recipe for great prayer? Have you ever tried to make a cake without flour? The cake would fall flat because it has no substance. Faith is the substance of prayer. You can add in all the ingredients of the Lord’s Prayer, but if you don’t have faith in God, they won’t do much good. Jesus said, “Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him” (Mark 11:22-23). How do you have faith in God? Basically, you just believe what God says in the Bible is true. Say you told your child, “I want you to help you get good grades.” He would know that if he needed help studying, he could come to you for help. It’s just like that with God: Whatever He has promised in the Bible you can trust He will do. Why don’t you take some time today and pray through the Lord’s Prayer and believe that God will give you what you ask for in Jesus’ name.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words can not express." Romans 8:26
What is the essential ingredient in prayer? Why? What other questions do you have about prayer?