www.thegospeltruthministry.com

Home Up

HOW DO I PRAY?

"Satan laughs at our words. Mocks at our toil; but, trembles when we pray," the old saying goes.

In praying, our ultimate goal is to communicate with God, the Almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth, Himself; finding out who God is personally and letting Him in on who we are personally is one of our goals.  In other words, to talk to God.

How do you pray? You might start this way: Shut yourself away with your Bible if possible. Pause a moment to collect your thoughts, getting your mind on Jesus and how He saved you from a sure death, accepting you as His brother and fellow heir to His throne.

Remember you are in vertical conversation, a two-way communication with the Creator of the universe. Treat your prayer for what it is and not what it isn’t.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:9 "Pray then this way." He gave us the Lord’s Prayer. He didn’t say, always pray this prayer and that’s all, though we often offer it up when we say our prayers and worship Him. The Lord’s Prayer or any prayer is not a required prayer to communicate with God... the Lord’s Prayer is a guideline... one prayer to study to learn how He prayed.

Prayer is the purification process of your walk in the Christian life, and God is not finished with us yet.  He wants us to come and talk with Him, like Adam and Eve. Like a young father on a mountain top in Hawaii or at your kitchen table, or wherever you decide to spend your time with the Lord.  But remember always, God yearns for a true relationship with you and me, that's one reason He give us the magnificent gift of prayer.

Want to know more?  Read on

   

WHY AND HOW DO I PRAY?

Robbie L. Rogers

 

How do we communicate?

"Well... it’s sort of like talking," you say.

Yes, but it’s much more. In communicating we exchange ideas or messages.

The world continuously sends messages into outer space, listening for aliens to reply; it hears none. That’s not communication. It’s like talking to a rock or a hardheaded obstinate child, you get nothing in return for your side of the conversation.

How effective are you at communication? Are you a listener or someone waiting to jump in. Not listening to what others say, instead you’re busy remembering what it is YOU want to say when they stop talking and in doing so you miss the point of what they just said.

How about your communication with God?

If you’ve not guessed it, prayer is my favorite subject. It boggles my mind... the completeness of it. We can’t fully grasp what we are capable of doing when we pray. We can effect the entire creation in both spiritual and physical realms. What power He has reserved for us. What love He shows in that He allows us to do or be such creatures.

The Gallup Polls say, 90% of Americans profess to pray. Yet, what kind of prayers do they say?

Even with Christians, mostly we do all the talking, hoping God is listening. Does He always? Usually, but as we will see sometimes our unrighteous prayers are nothing but hindrances to true communication with God.

Unfortunately sometimes our conversations with God disclose only one thing... we want our needs met and "That’s-all-folks!" It points out our spiritual lacking... doesn’t it?  Our self-righteousness.

What would have happened if the disciples had done all the talking, instead of listening and learning from Jesus. What about when we attended school, or professional seminars or training sessions. If we have any concern about learning we choose to listen more than talk, or else we learn little.

Matthew 6:6 "When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen."

Your goal... should you choose to accept it... is true fellowship... with whom? God Almighty... not with Holy Spirit and the Gifts, not even with Christ though it is through the Gift of Christ and Holy Spirit that we come face to face with true God; and, in knowing Christ we truly come to know God.

As carnal Christians we are but cocoons waiting to become a butterfly... to be like Him who designed us. Yet to fully know Him we must die to self that we might fully live.

Die to sin... die to self fulfillment, and all the things that separate us from that true fellowship.

What is proper prayer?

First and foremost... get yourself a regular scheduled prayer and study time... you decide when that is... and keep it, making an appointment with God. He will be there... make sure you are.

You might even consider making a covenant with God about it... but do not take making a covenant with God lightly... it is not one that can be broken easily.

If a song flashes in your mind sing it, lifting your hands in adoration. Now simply begin to thank God for sending His Son that you may get to know Him. Then chat with Him about it. It’s easy, don’t make it complicated. Then keep that prayer attitude throughout the day.

In your prayer life you want a relationship between you and God to develop, not a ritual. It’s sort of like plugging the power tool into the socket; or, pouring gasoline in the automobile. Without it we fail to go very far.

Matthew 6:7 "When you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose they will be heard from their many words. Therefore do not be like them for your Father knows what you need before you ask."

Some Charismatic Christians babble in the Spirit. Openly doing things with their whole-self, unabsorbed with God; we babble with our hearts in the wrong place.

Please don’t get me wrong. Prayer without ceasing is a wonderful thing, keeping a prayerful attitude in everything is what we need.

We must seek prayer from our heart; if your heart is elsewhere, be careful your flesh doesn’t babble nonsense to God, instead of prayer.

Ask God to give you an interpretation to your own prayers if you are praying in your prayer language. They will be beautiful.

This does not mean if you interpret your prayers you are to do the same when public prayers are offered. Be very careful of that ministry. A prophet of God falls under great scrutiny from God. Yet, how will you ever know if you don’t allow Holy Spirit to disclose what you are in fact saying to God.

Some people pray so others will hear. Like the child yelling out a prayer. "Please God, give me a big red wagon for my birthday."

His mother scolded him saying, "There’s no need to shout, dear! God is not deaf." 

"No, but Grandpa is in the next room." the youngster replied.

When we pray, it is not just for others, or ourselves... but for God TOO.

Matthew 6:5 "And when you pray, do not be as the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners, in order to be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you pray, GO INTO YOUR INNER ROOM and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in secret and your Father who sees in secret will repay you."

If you try to impress others with what are you saying to God... will He even accept what you are saying, for you stepped out of your prayer closet and stood in the street for others to hear. Is this communication with God or with people? Neither... not really.

I spent some time in Hawaii, and prayed for God to lead me to the Church. This was in Honolulu. I walked down the street believing in God’s desire for the best for me.

It was dark, about 9 PM. I had my suit on and a considerable amount of cash.

You know how foolish it is to walk in a big city, with crime like it is.

As I began crossing a bridge over the Interstate I realized I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It’s kinda funny how they have Interstate Highways in Hawaii when you can’t go anywhere, certainly not to another state.

Anyway, as I neared the rim of the bridge I saw a suspicious character cross over to my side of the sidewalk and wait. Only one reason would make him do that. A lump grew in my throat.

Should I turn around and go back down... but I had prayed and was following God openly for one time in my life. Immediately I prayed, reminding God how it was that I got there in the first place. Asking Him for protection.

You can say how presumptuous it was to assume the man meant me harm, but I knew it was so as sure as I am here now. Suddenly he crossed back to the other side, walking off the bridge the way he came. I knew God was with me and would keep me safe, so I proceeded down the other side into the darkness of the wrong-side-of-town.

I remained fearful of my circumstances though, yet I knew God was leading me. It began raining. If you’ve ever been in Hawaii you know rain usually evaporates as fast as it falls, so there was no reason to stop.  I could see a small church in the distance. I knew God was saying I was to attend there in the morning. There was a car outside and a light inside. I knocked on the door several times, but got no answer.

I worried that it would look suspicious if someone were to see me creeping about in the darkness so I decided to leave.  Suddenly the bottom fell out and the rain poured down. I ran for the safety of the church. Rain like that is highly unusual so I took it as a sign from God.  I again knocked on the door several more times... Still, I got no answer.  The rain let up. I left with mixed feelings.

The next morning I walked to the church. The neighborhood was more seedy than I expected. The little church, though, was beautiful, immaculate yet simple. It was one of the first Episcopal missionary churches in Hawaii, with windows that swung out like Bimini shutters. The grounds were profuse with local vegetation, flowers blooming of all colors and shapes. No church elsewhere had seen such beauty. Birds and butterflies flew in and out of the chapel as the service proceeded. I knew I was where God wanted me.

The sermon too was most simplistic, yet memorable. It was about prayer. Birds sang melodiously as the elderly priest began a story about a family that lived on one of the islands. On the island was a mountain and a Godly father who prayed an ancient prayer to God. He had many children and taught them the prayer. When they had a problem they would go to the top of the mountain and speak to God, using the prayer. God always heard them so they kept the prayer sacred. But, as generations came and went much of the prayer was forgotten.

One day a young heavy hearted father trudged up the mountain and said to God. "I don’t know what to say. My father taught me as best he could; but I forgot the prayer and now he too is gone."

The young father proceeded to tell his life story and that of his family’s and of what he knew of his father’s family and so on, just talking to God, telling Him about his trouble and his joys.

The old priest said, "That’s what prayer is all about. Not some great prayer or formula or format. Just talk to your God. He is ready and willing to listen if you will simply sit down and talk to Him."

How did I get to that church?  Was it a perchance situation... or God ordained?  I know I was sent by God through prayer. As a result I have a memory that will last me a life time, it bolsters me continually.

God saved me from a sure disaster, and though I or the person inside the church, who would not answer the persistent banging on the door that night, might not have followed His desires completely; I myself received a great blessing. Maybe there was more. Yet, I could have easily missed it completely. By not praying and acting faithfully.

Least you think I always do the right thing, rest assured I do not... but this I know, God is always willing to work with me... to bless Me when the time is right or chastise me when my errors in life require it... God is not through with me yet and the same applies to you.

Remember prayer is a two-way communication, but sometimes even a so called mature Christian must look for the response in order to find it. No I did not hear God’s voice telling me to go this way or that, or to pray about the danger that lay ahead... yet, I knew, just as I know now... God was and even to this day is in control if I let Him be.

What does it mean to be a mature Christian? I am not sure, because none of us are really ever to the point of crossing the finish line... maturity keeps moving doesn’t it? Yet, I think you are mature when you finally reach a point that you trust God in all things, and stop blaming and getting angry at Him.

Ya ever noticed how the spelling of mature... and manure are similar.  Did you ever think that sometimes a little manure can make us mature? You remember the story, don't you? Jesus told us about the tree that was not producing fruit. The Master ordered it cut down, but the man tending the garden pleaded saying he would fertilize and dig around the roots one more time. If the Master would give it one more chance.

Yet we get angry when God plops a load of manure on us.

We still don’t get it do we?  How small we are to think we know God’s will about everything.  

Did you ever get angry at God when He worked around your roots?

"No?"

Well how about the time when you didn’t get the little red wagon... the healing... the promotion... the ministry or something else you wanted badly.

The Master gardener, potter, stone-cutter or whatever you needed at the time, is always at work! We must develop the faith to know that He knows what He is doing.

Look at the consequences. Jesus cursed the fig tree when it was showing false signs with no fruit. If you want to mature you have to expect the manure.

How then do we pray? Jesus taught us the Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13, starting with, "Our Father who art in heaven."

Wait just a minute... before you begin praying, REMEMBER PRAYER IS GOD'S SECOND GREATEST GIFT! THINK ABOUT IT BEFORE YOU PRAY. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMMUNICATE WITH GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. UNITED WITH THEM AS FRIENDS, YOU ARE COMING INTO THE HOLY COURTS OF GOD.

Pray against a wandering mind... be quiet... at peace... be humble and forthright, admitting you are not worthy to come into His presence except through His mercy and Jesus Christ, who is always with you.

You needn't ask for permission though, He has given you that right. Listen and wait until your heart tells you to speak. God’s office never precludes our entrance into His chamber. HE IS ALWAYS READY TO HEAR.

Jack Kennedy was the first president to have little children in the White House for a long time. Little John John would burst into the President’s office on occasion with a problem, sometimes crying. President Kennedy immediately became Daddy and scooped him up, consoled him and walked out of the office with him in his arms. No matter what you felt about Kennedy, he gave us a picture of what it is to call on God.

As a child of God, listen for His answers, His guidance, His leading in your heart. If you are confused about guidance from God talk to a strong Christian you trust, one who has YOUR best interests at heart about hearing God and understanding His direction for YOUR life.

PRAY TO THE CREATOR OF THE HEAVENS ABOVE, through the cleansing blood of Christ. Let there be no mistake to whom you are praying, lesser god's do exist, only one is true God with power over all.

Speaking of lesser gods, here is reportedly a real conversation between Buddha and one of his students. Bright and early one morning the student eagerly entered the temple so he might receive further enlightenment.

"What are you oh mighty Buddha... a wonderful king," the inquisitive student asked still blinking away the sleepiness from such an early hour?

"No," Buddha answered immediately.

"Well, forgive me mighty Buddha for asking but... are you the savior of the world?

Once again the answer was immediate, "No."

"Well then, you must be a god, are you a god?"

"No."

Not a king, not the savior, not a god, the curious but sleepy student pondered this for a moment. "Then what are you," he finally asked, watching intently as the silent master considered his question?

"I’m AWAKE!" Buddha answered.

No I didn’t make that up it is recorded in many books.

Realize you are communicating with the whole trinity. Your loving very own Father the Creator of everything, even the counterfeit gods some pray to. And God... well He is more than just awake

If you can accept it... God was and still is in control even of Voyager II. In 1977 it left the earth at the speed of a bullet, 9,000 MPH. Twelve years later it reached Neptune, 2,700 million miles away. Then it left our solar system. It will not come within one light year to another star for 958,000 years. There are 100 million galaxies in the universe, we live in just one of them. In our galaxy there are 100 million stars, our sun is one of them.

PRAY TO THE LORD GOD, King of Kings, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, YOUR FRIEND! When you do you transcend the vastness of space to the very throne of the immanent creator of it all; and, He is greater and more powerful than His creation... yet, He listens to us as we pray, knowing what we are and what we shall become, even the hairs on our head.

There are many types of prayer. Here are five building blocks you can rely on for your prayer life: Adoration, confession, thanksgiving, intercession, and petition.

First let’s talk about Adoration, a very important part of our prayer life, often called worship. Praise God for His: goodness, patience, love, wisdom, power, greatness, holiness, glory, grace, peace, and so on. (Heb 13:15; Pslm 34:1-3), by way of singing (Pslm 47:6; 92:1,2), dancing (Pslm 149:3), lifting holy hands (Pslm 63:4, 134:2), musical instruments (Pslm 81:1-3; 150), and rejoicing. Praising God is truly an art form few of use... except in church. Scriptures abound about praising God, rejoicing over what He has done. Yet we spend more time on other ways of communication; the GIMME part.

PUT GOD FIRST. HE WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU, YET, IF YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO, SING, IT WILL WAKE YOUR HEART, SETTING YOUR ATTITUDE. Through the help of the Holy Spirit, ask for His help in everything. Yield your entire life, your body, your being to God.

Establish the Holy Spirit as your constant companion, the Breath of God. In humble supplication and prayer without ceasing ask the Holy Spirit to help you, Jesus promised you He would.

Establish a disciplined prayer life. Your life can be an important example to others. Be exhorted in daily communication with God through appropriate prayer and reading God's word!

Seeking God first will set your feet on proper ground and in the right perspective.

The Second type is Confession, or repentance, (Pslm 66:18; John 1:9). Prayerfully tell God, your Father, in your own words you are sorry for what you did and are not worthy to speak to Him except through His saving Grace.

Feel free to speak, THROUGH THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST, His Son. STAND ON HIS WORD; Jesus is the same today as He was yesterday.

He said no matter how we transgressed, if we repent and believe in Him we will be heard by God. Name whatever transgressions you might have committed, and know you will be be forgiven

The Third type prayer is thanksgiving (Philpns 4:6; 1 Thes 5:18), thank God for your many blessings: material, physical, spiritual, people, grace, guidance, wealth, family, job, community, church, house, answer to prayers, etc.

Fourth is Intercession sometimes called Supplication, (James 5:14-20; 1 Tim 2:1). Many times we place our prayer life in an "EMERGENCY ONLY" case... releasing great amounts only when we find ourselves surrounded by the fires of life. This is the type prayer we use to pray for others. Visualize them healed, saved.

John 17:21,23 "I pray... that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me... May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me."

The Fifth type is Petition (Heb 4:15,16; Jhn 15:7). This is sometimes called the GIMME prayer, for we often turn it into such instead of what it should be.

Lift up your plans, hopes, directions, needs, problems, and pains. Climb into His lap, ask for a vision for your life. Pray for or about any new or specific tasks He might have for you. Tell Him what you feel. That you are stepping out in faith that you heard from Him not yourself or the world. Ask Him to correct your steps, knowing this will sometimes require Him to break new ground in your life. Rest assured He will work your roots tenderly.

Overcome fear, tell Him you need Him to intervene. Ask for courage that you may conquer and claim victory.

Many years ago I went away fasting and praying for two-weeks. I sought the Lord concerning a matter. He answered with Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God!" "I don't understand, Lord, I've been doing that for years, haven't I?" I prayed

His answer again and again was, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God!" It took me many years to find the true understanding of what that meant. By then that which I sought God for was long gone. You see God was not after disclosing things to me as much as He was about building my true character. Not what the world made of me, but what He knew I was to be.

Finally I knew what He was saying. It was simple, but I clouded my own reasoning, wanting complicated answers, not the simple Word that God gave me.  Put Him first, above all else.  Not just what would Jesus do?  Don't turn to your flesh or the world, but to God and His word for the answers. 

Too often we want God to say: first do this, then do that, and if you do then this will happen. God was not then and usually is not willing to give us explicit directions. I sought God's voice, he answered, but I wanted other answers. As I said before, the answer is... put God first in everything in your life... everything else will fall into place. Try it, it’s God’s promise not a statement from some false god or modern new age guru.

ASK FOR YOUR NEEDS, not greeds. Submerge yourself in His presence, accept His loving compassion. IF YOU NEED TO, CRY!

(TAKE THE FIRST FOUR STEPS TOWARD INNER HEALING):

      I. REVIEW YOUR PROBLEMS, describing what the enemy has done, what hurts, what brought you down. FREE YOURSELF FROM BURDEN Whether job, family, husband, wife, children, finances, or otherwise...tell your Father.

Remember God already knows what's wrong, through the Holy Spirit (who searches all things, even the depths of God)... it is you who need to talk about it.. not Him.

      II. TELL HIM ABOUT YOUR BITTERNESS, DO NOT JUSTIFY THEM. If vengeance is needed God will handle it, if you try YOU might be damaged.

      III. CONFESS YOUR INABILITY TO STAND ALONE. Tell Him of your need for Him, of your trials, that you need His strength, that you can't make it without Him.

      IV. ASK FOR HIS HELP, FOR HIS PROTECTION, for Him to intervene. He wants our permission, especially if it is an area you have previously claimed, "Help me Lord." is a key for you, not Him. He can make rocks sing, however He wants you to choose the way to TRUE LIFE.

Dress daily with GOD'S HOLY ARMOR. With God’s help put on the full armor of God by washing in the cleansing BLOOD OF CHRIST, that you may be made free from sin, and the desire thereof.

Put on the GIRDLE OF TRUTH, that your sinful nature might be held in check, claiming God's truth, empowered against falsehood.

Wear the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, that your spirit may always be protected, that it may remind you to face the enemy in the power of God's righteousness, given to you through Christ. Rely on God to protect your back side and the faith to know He will.

Put on the SHOES that you might follow in His footsteps and spread the good news, forgetting stumble stones, thorns, and danger that could lie ahead. Press on, knowing Christ through the Holy Spirit is with you; knowing this, walk in peace.

Carry the SHIELD OF FAITH, that you may be able to stand guard against attack, ask for the strength to hold it up, and the trust to stand in faith, victoriously triumphant. God will protect you.

Ask that He place on your fragile head the HELMET OF SALVATION, and ask that the weight of it may remind you from whence it came.

Place the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, God’s Holy Word in your right hand, that you might use it, not to kill but to expose for healing, kept sharp by daily reading.

Wrap in the CLOAK OF HOLY SPIRIT, that you may be comforted while walking behind the cross, following Christ footsteps, never leading, listening attentively for guidance.

REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE when you leave God's Court (your prayer time, or inner closet), feed on His manna, the word of God. You are a child of God, a fellow heir to the kingdom, ACT LIKE IT! You will not be defeated. GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED.

Make prayer the first thing on your list for the day and devote yourself to communicating with Him all day long.

Col 4:12 "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving." Meaning to persevere in a constant mind set of prayer. At all times keeping the Father in your conscious decision making.

There are no shortcuts nor substitutes when it comes to communication with your Lord.

Try to pray with a definite purpose otherwise you will soon end up using mundane trivia or babble risking loosing a blessing.

Savor it... Your prayer life, writing your prayers in a journal recording your walk with Him as He takes you on the journey of you life.

 

If you desire to know more about this Jesus Christ who loves you, and you want to ask Him  into your heart, receiving His Saving Grace please click on this Salvation Prayer

Go back to Questions