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How to Pray

This is a Bible study on How to Pray.    Click here for a printable Bible Study Guide.

 

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

 

 


How should we Pray?

The word of God gives us specific instructions on how we should pray.

 

Don't pray for show

The word of God reads that we are NOT to pray to show off or to be seen as a holy person, as the hypocrites do.  God knows the difference.  God knows if you are just praying to be seen by others, God knows what is truly in your heart.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men.  Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Matthew 6:5

Of course, we can literally stand in the streets and pray, and be seen praying in our churches, it is the wrong type of praying the scripture is talking about, praying to show off, praying without sincerity from your heart to God.

God knows what is in our hearts, and if we are praying sincerely to Him, or if we are praying to show off, which God says is wrong.

 

Don't use long prayers for pretence and show

The quantity of prayers, the length of prayers, specific rehearsed words is NOT what God receives.  God looks at the quality of the prayer, not the quantity, God looks NOT at the length of our prayer but the sincerity and truth of our prayers from our hearts.

Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. Mark 12:40

Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. Luke 20:47

Long prayers for pretence are done to impress man, long pretentious prayers are NOT prayers with God.  

God doesn't care how much you say, but what you say is what He cares about.

We must remember we are praying with God, no one else.

God want the simple prayers from our heart, not long rehearsed, scripted prayers, that are made for show.

 

Do not use vain repetitions

Jesus said use NOT vain repetitions.   Just as God does not want long prayers for show, He does not want us to use vain repetitions.  Here the word of God tells us all "use NOT vain repetitions". No one is heard more by God by much speaking.

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Matthew 6:7

God does not want us to pray using vain repetitions, as in chanting, as in repeating the same word or words over and over.

Vain, meaningless repetitions is not wanted in prayer by God.

God teaches us that he wants us to communicate with him. 

Our prayers should be unique and meaningful from our own hearts, and NOT what someone else is praying. 

We shouldn't repeat the same thing over and over, that is vain repetition.

We wouldn't ask a friend, "Can you please, can you please, can you please, pass the salt, pass the salt, pass the salt".  This is what is meant as vain repetition.

In the same way, when we repeat the same thing over and over to God in our prayers, God calls this vain repetition, vain repetition is when prayers are produced by man for man, NOT for God. 

For some odd reason, many people today like to pray this way, even though God tells us all NOT to pray this way.

God calls it vain repetition to pray, when we say the exact same words over and over, traditions of men, not for God.  Repeating words over and over just to be repeating them, with no meaning, just to be saying words is vain repetition, meaning you are not doing this for God, but for man.

Chanting and repeating scripted words is NOT required in prayer with God.

If God wanted us to pray this way, the Lord's prayer would have been written that way.

People throughout history and even today pray this way, even when God tells us in His holy word, NOT to pray this way.

So why do some people and some churches pray this way?  I don't know, it is clear that God doesn't accept this type of prayer, and clearly God doesn't want us to pray this way.  

If God wanted us to pray in repetition, the Lord's prayer would have been written differently. 

God teaches us how to pray in His Holy Word.  The Lord's prayer was given to us by Jesus as a model of prayer, or example of how God wants us to pray.

 

Kneeling in Prayer

We are to kneel before the LORD God our Maker, our Creator. 

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. Psalm 95:6

Kneeling and praying is mentioned over and over in scriptures, in the word of God.

There is something about kneeling and praying that brings us closer to God.  Kneeling shows submission and reverence to our Almighty God.

If you have never kneeled when praying, you should.  See how your kneeling submission to God, sacrifice to self, effects your prayers.

There is no scripture that states we must always kneel before God when we pray.  Some times it is impossible to kneel and pray, when we are confined to a bed or chair, when our health or physical condition does not permit kneeling. 

God is limitless and can hear our prayers in any position we may be in, standing, sitting, laying down, running, walking.  God hears all the prayers of His children and all the prayers of sinners who come to Him for repentance and salvation.

 

Solomon prayed kneeling and hands raised up.

And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, for kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. 1 Kings 8:54

Solomon was the King of the land in that day, and he prayed kneeling and his hands lifted toward God when he prayed.

For Solomon had made a brazen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and keeled down upon his knees before all the congregations of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven, 2 Chronicles 6:13

 

Daniel kneeled three times a day and prayed.

Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Daniel 6:10

Was this the only time Daniel prayed? 

 

Jesus kneeled down and prayed.

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Luke 22:41

Even our Lord Jesus kneeled down and prayed to God the Father. As followers of Christ we are to walk in His ways, this would mean kneeling down and praying.

 

Stephen kneeled down and prayed.

While Stephen was being stoned, he kneeled down and prayed.

And the stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and Saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge, And when he said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:59-60

 

Peter kneeled down and prayed.

But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. Acts 9:40

 

Paul kneeled and prayed.

And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. Acts 20:36

And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore and prayed. Acts 21:5

 

Lift up hands toward heaven

The word of God reads, "Let us lift up our heart with our hands to our God in the Heavens".

When we lift up our hands to God when we pray, we are lifting up our hearts to God in Heaven, we are lifting up the name of Jesus, our Lord God and Saviour, to the Heavens, without wrath and without doubting that He is the Saviour and one true God of Heaven.

Because we believe and have faith in God to salvation, we lift up our hands in worship to our LORD God.  Because we love our Lord God we lift up our hands in praise to His Glory.

Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle. Psalm 28:2

Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. Psalm 63:4

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. Psalm 119:48

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. Psalm 134:2

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2

Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. Lamentations 3:41

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 1 Timothy 2:8

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word. Acts 6:4

In order to receive anything we must ask God.

 


Ask GOD.

 

In prayer, we must ASK God.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. John 14:12-14

 

Sounds simple enough, but a lot of times we do not receive anything from God, simply because we do not ask anything of God.

The word of God states that, "we receive not, because we ask not".  In prayer, we must ask God to receive from God.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: Matthew 7:7

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:8

And I say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Luke 11:9

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Luke 11:10

 

Pray, ask and receive whatsoever we ask.

And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 1 John 3:22

 

Ask any thing according to his will, he hears us.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 1 John 5:14

 

Whatsoever we ask

And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. 1 John 5:15

 

Pray, ask in the name of Jesus.

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13

If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:14

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you. John 16:23

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24

At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: John 16:26

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16

 

If we are saved, God abides in us and if we have the word of God in us, what we ask will be done.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 15:7

 

God will give us what we need.

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye the, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:9,10,11

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask and egg, when he offer him a scorpion?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall you heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:11-13

 


What should we ask for in prayer?

God says to ask Him for everything. 

The following scriptures tell some things we can ask from God.

 

Wisdom.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5

We are to seek the wisdom of God; not the wisdom of men, or the wisdom of this wicked world.

 

Truth.

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Psalm 25:5

Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. Psalm 40:11

O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Psalm 43:3

Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. Psalm 86:11

There is only one truth, the truth of God.  There is only one revelation from God.  There is only one Saviour of the world, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  There is only one way to God, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Pray, ask in non-wavering faith.

Without faith in Jesus Christ, you will receive nothing from the LORD.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like the wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:6, 7, 8

 

Receive all things in faithful prayer.

Do you believe in your prayers? 

God says that you will receive in prayer exactly what you believe you will receive.

The limitations of what we receive is NOT limited to God, it is limited to what we believe.   God has no limits as to what we can receive from Him.

God doesn't put limitations on our prayers, we do by not believing.

God is ready and willing to give us all things, God is ready to give us whatsoever we ask and believe, we will receive.

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22

 

Ask, Believe and Receive !

Ask God for it, Believe it and Receive it !!

Don't think for a minute that God didn't answer your prayer, because God answers ALL prayers.

Have you missed a step in your prayers?  Is your heart right with God?  Do you ask in faith?  Do you ask God through Jesus Christ?  Do you believe? 

If you have asked in prayer and believed, then all you need to do is receive.

But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. John 11:22

God answers all prayers.  God cannot lie.

God gave us His promise - whatever we ask of God, God will give it to us.

Are you waiting on an answer to your prayer?

Remember, God has a different time table than we do. 

There is nothing in the word of God on when or how soon your prayer will be answered.  But the wonderful gift is that we know without a doubt, that God will answer every single prayer.

Throughout the scriptures are people who didn't wait on the Lord for answered prayer. 

They took the situation in their own hands and messed things up.  They missed out on the joy of waiting on the Lord to answer their prayers.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:14

We are no different today, than the ancient people of the Bible.  God gives us promises, but instead of waiting patiently for God's gifts, we do things our way, and we miss out on the wonderful gifts God has planned for us. 

We get in a hurry.  We want things done in an instant, we want it done nowWe don't want to wait, not even on God.

Why would we ever possibly think that our way of doing anything, could match the glorious plan God has for our lives.

But time and time again, throughout our lives, we can't seem to wait on God to come through with an answer to our prayers, and we impatiently do things our own way, which is always disappointing and sometimes disastrous.

I am so thankful that I have a God that is so very merciful and doesn't hold my faults against me, and always forgives

God doesn't make any mistakes, but we sure do.  If we could just control our impatient selves and learn to wait on God, our lives would be so much better.

We must all learn to wait on the Lord, wait, I say, on the LORD!

 

When we pray and ask, our motives must be pure.

We must submit ourselves to God, resist the devil, come near to God, purify our hearts, and humble ourselves to be heard by God.

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever there will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace.  Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves there to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:2-7

Our lives must be submitted to God, totally given to God.

We have not, because we ask not.  We ask and receive not because we ask amiss, we ask so we can consume it upon our lusts - we ask for things with wrong motives. 

What are the motives of your prayers?  Why are you praying?

God will not consider a prayer of sin.  God will not harm someone because you pray that He will.  Vengeance is the Lord's.

God will not help you get a new car so you can brag how great you are to your friends.  How would your pride bring glory to God?  God resisteth the proud.

God will not give you more money to spend on material possessions, which will push God further and further out of your life.

God does not give harmful things to His children.

God does not want us to lose our soul for the money in the world.

Remember, all the material possessions in the world will not bring anyone happiness, or peace, comfort to their soul, or salvation.  Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can bring peace to your heart and salvation of your soul.

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26

 

When you pray and ask God for anything, you should be able to answer this question:

How will the answer to my prayer bring glory to God?  What are the motives of my prayer?

When we pray, if we can remember our purpose on this earth, which is to bring glory to God, then our prayers will not be amiss.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Psalm 122:6

 

Pray for your enemies.

We are not only to pray for those we love, but God says we need to pray for our enemies.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; Matthew 5:44

Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Luke 6:28

 

The Holy Spirit helps us pray.

When we don't know what to pray, the Holy Spirit living inside of us helps us pray.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26

 

Jesus prays for all believers.

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am not more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. John 17:8-11

 

Give Thanks to God for everything

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

With all our prayers, we should in every thing give thanks to God in Christ Jesus, because this is the will of God.

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15

With all our prayers, we should than God for His unspeakable gift to us, salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

 


How often should we pray?

 

Pray always

God tells us to pray all the time, pray without ceasing.  We are to be praying when we wake up, all throughout the day, and when we are drifting off to sleep at night.  We are to pray morning, noon, and night and all times in between.

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

All our lives would be better, if we could remember to pray without ceasing.   How much better our world would be if all believers of Christ Jesus would pray without ceasing.

There should not be a time in a believer's life where we do not pray.  We are to pray all the days of our life, in every situation, in every season of our life.

The word of God tells us that we should all work out our own salvation, this includes our prayer life.

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12

Work out your own salvation, this includes your prayer life

Your personal prayer life is different than anyone else's.  God created you unique from anyone else on earth. Your relationship with God is between you and God.

Every believer is to establish and maintain their own prayer time with God every day.

 


What is a Prayer Journal?

A lot of believers have a prayer journal.  A prayer journal doesn't have to be anything fancy.  It is not a special book to buy, although there are published prayer journals you can purchase. 

All you need is paper and a pen or pencil, to write down your prayer requests.  Show dates and people and things you are praying for or about, and dates when your prayers are answered.

Some people have 10, 20, 30 years worth of prayer journals.  It is good to reflect upon and see how your prayer life has grown throughout the years and see all the answered prayers, and how God answered each prayer.

Having a prayer journal can help you remember what you want to pray for and who to pray for and keeps you on track in your prayer life.

A prayer journal is a tool to help you work out your own salvation, but you do not need to keep a prayer journal to have a successful prayer life.

 

Your Prayer Time

The time you spend every day praying is between you and God.

Your spiritual life grows with every second you spend communicating with God.

Your walk with the Lord, and closeness with God, is grown through daily prayer.

Do you want to be closer with God? Do you want a strong spiritual life? Pray more.  Prayer nurtures and grows your spirit.

The time you spend praying should not be hurried.  You have to grow a prayer life with God. 

Many people think that it is important to put aside the same time every day for prayer.  Maybe this is at 5 am in the morning before everyone starts asking you for something, or 11 pm at night, when everyone is asleep.

Whatever the time is, it should be peaceful and respectful, so you and God can fully communicate with each other.  You need to be able to hear God, not just have God hear you.

The more you pray the right way, the more results and answers to prayer you will receive.

The more time you take listening to God, the more you will hear God.  Many people do not take the time to hear God when they pray.

Seeking God is not telling God what you want from Him, seeking God is listening, hearing His voice speak with you in prayer.

 

Tithe your prayer time

You could tithe your time to God, not just your financial income. 

If you where to tithe your time, that would be minimum 2 hours and 40 minutes a day. (24 hours x 10%) of course you could tithe more than 10%.

You might say, "I don't have two and a half hours a day for anything", but how much time do you spend:

  • Talking on your cell phone
  • Watching your favorite TV program
  • Surfing the internet
  • Playing golf
  • Going shopping at the mall ? 

 

The list of things that occupies our precious time can go on and on.  Why not trade some of your unrewarding minutes, with rewarding minutes with God.

People usually have more time than they think.  For a lot of people, time is usually more valuable than moneyThink about it.  Are you giving your best to God? Your best to God, your firstfruits, may be your time.

Isn't praying to your LORD God, building a relationship with God, more important than any of those things?

And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. Leviticus 27:32

For some people, time is worth more than money.  It is not anything for some people to write out a check for tithe, in a substantial amount of money, because they have a lot.  But to give of their time would be a sacrifice, and worth more to God, than their check.

Tithing prayer time should never replace your financial support of tithe to your church or missions.

Tithing prayer time should be in addition to your financial tithe.

 


Where should we pray?

Personally, I thank God that I live in America and have the freedom to pray anywhere and at anytime I choose.

There are many places in this world today, where prayer is not allowed.  Being born and living all my life in America it is hard to understand what that actually means to those people who cannot freely pray to the Lord God.

There are places in this world today, where there is no religious freedom.  Being told when, how, and who to pray to seems medieval.  We have read about such times in the Holy Word of God, were certain kings of the time forced all people to bow to them as gods.

There are places in this world today, where you are jailed or even killed for praying to God.   Since the beginning of the world people have been persecuted and killed for praying to the one true God of all.  Crowds of people would stand by and watch and participate in the stoning to death of such people.

How horrible to think of being harmed in any way, for praying to God!

We Americans take our religious freedom too lightly.  Our religious freedom, our right to pray when and where we want is very precious.

What would America be like, if tomorrow there were no religious freedom to pray with our God, no more churches to publicly worship our God?  It is hard to imagine.

Today prayer is being removed from America.  As God fearing Americans, some how we let prayer be removed from our public schools and other institutions.  I am old enough to remember prayer in school.  I am old enough to remember reverence to God, in school, in the work place, in entertainment, in publications, and in the media.  This is not the case today.  The fear of God is being removed from our American culture.  We are surrounded with verbal irreverence to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we are surrounded with verbal irreverence, slander, and blasphemy of our God, every day.  We silently tolerate misrepresentation of our Lord God, through film, literature, and the media. 

We need to stand up for our faith, we need to stand up for Jesus.  We shouldn't sit by and take it any more!  Moral decline, immoral tolerance, blasphemy, irreverence, ungodliness, unrighteousness, should not be tolerated by the children of the Most High God.  If we fear the Lord God, like we say that we do, we must show it by our actions.  We must say NO to all sin in our lives and around us.  We must lovingly correct each other with the truth of God.

If you search on the internet as to the population of Christians in America, the numbers differ, but some statistics say we are as high as 80% of the population.  I find this hard to believe, because if the United States is 80% Christian, why is this not reflected in our society?  Why is the media promoting immorality, witchcraft, satanism, adultery, blasphemy, sin, idolatry, other doctrines than the word of God, selfishness, greed, filthiness, and all appearances of evil?

Can you imagine this world without prayer?  Can you imagine being tortured and killed for praying to God?

We do not know what we are missing, until we don't have it anymore.  There are no guarantees in this life here on earth

The only guarantee is death and in our eternal life if we believe in Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

We that are blessed to be able to pray when and where we want, should take advantage of this freedom that we have, and pray without ceasing to our Lord and Saviour!

We are blessed and should thank God every chance we get for the freedom that we have to pray!

Let's stop right now, whoever is reading this, and pray and thank God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, that we have the freedom today to pray, anywhere and anytime, with our Almighty God! 

 

Prayer thanking GOD for freedom to pray:

Dear Father God, Thank you Lord for letting me live in a country were I have the freedom to pray to my LORD God Almighty. I thank you God for all the many blessings you have given me in my life, please do not let me take for granted, this precious freedom of prayer with You, that I enjoy!  I love you Lord with all my heart!  I praise your name above all names, Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour!  Thank you Jesus! I pray all things in Your name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

In all places at all times.

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 1 Timothy 2:8

We are to pray everywhere, lifting up hands, without wrath and without doubting.

 

When assembled with believers.

And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. Acts 1:13,14

 

House to house.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostlesí doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they continued daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  Praising God, and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:42-47

 

In prison.

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. Acts 16:25

Imprisoned, Paul and Silas didn't pray to get out of prison, they prayed to God in spite of being in prison. 

If we were placed in prison because of our faith in God, how would we act?  Would we hold onto our faith and trust in our Lord, would we be able to pray and sing praises to our God, in spite of our circumstances?

It seems as though it doesn't take much for us sometimes to lose the song in our hearts, to forget the wonders of our Lord.  We may not be placed in prison for believing in Christ Jesus, but we as believers face tribulation in this life.  We lose a job, have a car accident, we are hospitalized, we are diagnosed with an illness, we lose a loved one, face legal or financial problems, do we in our times of diversity place our faith in God and sing praises to Him?  Or do we murmur with doubt and feel abandoned by our God.

God promises all His children trials and tribulations in this world, because we believe in His Son.  Sorrow, pain, and tribulation is no secret to God's children.  BUT God promises us strength, through His Son, through all that this life can throw at us.  God promises all His children that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that in the end, all who hold onto faith in Christ Jesus, will inherit His Kingdom.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Philippians 3:8-11

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9

 


Am I praying wrong?

Many people do not feel confident about their prayers. 

Some people may ask, "Does God hear me? Am I praying wrong?".

The word of God answers these questions.

God said we receive not from our prayers because we ask amiss, when our motives are not pure.

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. James 4:3

God says ungodly, lustful, sinful prayers are amiss, they are wrong and you will receive not.

Our Almighty God will NOT answer prayers of sin, or for sinful things, or harmful.

How can we pray without praying amiss or asking amiss, without praying wrong?  Through obedience and submission to God.

When we diligently seek God, when we deny our 'self' and let God lead our lives, then we are submitting ourselves to God.

We must give all the control (that we think we have) over our own lives completely to God, with nothing held back. 

God does not serve us, we serve Him, we must become the servant of God.  We are not the master of God, God is the Master.  We are do not have wisdom, God holds wisdom, we must become the student of God.  God doesn't work for us, we work for God, we must labor for Him.  We do not own God, God owns us, we are nothing without Him.

When we walk in the ways of Christ and stay focused on God we will be in tune with the will of God and will not ask amiss.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doeth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3

Studying the word of God and fellowship with Jesus helps us cultivate and grow a successful prayer life.

We must check our motives.  Be mindful of why you are asking for a certain thing from God.

With every prayer that we pray, we must ask ourselves:  How will it glorify God?

He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. Proverbs 28:9

If we continually seek God and study His word, we will be guided by the word of God, our hearts will be filled with God and we will not pray wrong.

 

King Solomon's prayer

An example of what to pray and what NOT to pray is detailed in the scriptures in a prayer by King Solomon.

What would you say if God asked you, "ASK WHAT I SHALL GIVE THEE"What would be your response?  What would you ask of God?

That is what God asked Solomon, and here is what Solomon said.

In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants. 1 Kings 3:5-15

 

Solomon did NOT ask God for money, or for God's favor on him, or for revenge of his enemies, or for a long life, or for anything selfish.  Solomon asked for the wisdom to judge his people fairly and justly.  Solomon's wish was to serve the Lord and serve His kingdom, His people with wisdom and justice.  Solomon asked for wisdom to know the will of God.

If you read the rest of 1 Kings chapter 3, you will read about the two woman who claim to be the mother of the same baby.  How Solomon commanded that the baby be cut into two pieces, divided in two, so that each mother can have an equal share of the baby.  Of course, the baby was not cut into two pieces, the true mother begged that the other woman be given her baby to spare its life.  The courts were amazed at Solomon's wisdom.  Solomon knew that the true mother of this child would not let harm come to her baby.  Solomon knew that the true mother would give away her baby instead of seeing it killed.  God had given Solomon wisdom to rule his people.

God gave Solomon wisdom and an understanding heart, such wisdom that was never seen before.

And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment. 1 Kings 3:28

 

By studying these verses, we can see the steps Solomon took before he answered God's question, "Ask what I shall give thee?".

  1. Knowledge of God - Past, Present, and Future - Solomon knew the mercy of God intimately.  Solomon had a history with God knowing the mercy God had given to his father David. And Solomon had a current personal relationship with God.  Solomon had faith that he would have a future destiny with God in his life after death.
  2. Obedience to God - Solomon knew obedience through faith, walking in truth and in righteousness and in uprightness of heart with God kept him living in faith to his Creator.  That through the obedience of his father David, he was given his throne.
  3. Reverence to His Creator - Solomon knew his place, he had nothing that was not given to him from the Lord.  He knew that God had made him king, that he didn't make himself king.  God gave David a son to sit on his throne.
  4. Praise to God"O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king".  Solomon knew God had made him king, and gave God the praise due Him.
  5. Humility - "I am but a little child".  Solomon knew his position was nothing without the guidance of his Almighty God. 
  6. Servitude - "thy servant is in the midst of thy people".  Solomon knew that he was God's servant, and the people were God's people, not his own.  We are servants of God, God is NOT our servant.  God owns us, controls us, we do NOT own God.  Through faith in Christ Jesus, we belong to God.  We are to serve God's people, they are never "our people", all things belong to God.
  7. God's truth - Solomon knew God is truth.  Solomon knew there was not his truth and God's truth, there is only one truth, which is the truth of God.  God has chosen a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.  Solomon was one person, the family of God is without number.
  8. Purity of heart - Solomon's motive was to serve His Lord God, to do what God wanted him to do, to do God's will, and NOT to get things for himself, NOT to follow his own self will.  Solomon asked for an understand heart, wisdom to justly rule and to serve God's people, NOT to rule his people.  Solomon knew all was God's, even the people.  Solomon was placed as ruler to serve the people of God, "thy people", not Solomon's people.
  9. Motive - Solomon asked God to give him an understanding heart to judge God's people, so that he may discern between good and bad.  Solomon asked God for understanding to discern judgment.
  10. Selfless - Solomon humbly asked God for wisdom to serve, as God wanted him to serveSolomon didn't ask God anything for himself.  Solomon was seeking to follow the will of God, and NOT his own will. 

 

It is important to note what Solomon didn't ask for:

  1. A long life
  2. Riches for himself
  3. Revenge, the life of thine enemies

 

So, what did God give Solomon?  God gave Solomon what he asked for, PLUS much more that Solomon didn't ask for, because of what he asked for and not for things for himself.

  1. A wise and understanding heart
  2. Riches
  3. Honor

The gifts from God to Solomon were sealed with a covenant.  If Solomon walks in the ways of God, keeping all of God's statutes and God's commandments, as did his father David before him, then God will lengthen his days.

When we know God and Christ Jesus abides in our hearts, when we walk in the ways of the Lord, when we live by faith, when we are led by the Spirit of God, we too, will know what to answer God, when He asks us, "Ask what I shall give thee?".

Just like King Solomon, God asks all His children, "Ask what I shall give thee?".  God is waiting on all of His own, to seek His will, to ask Him what He shall give to us.  What shall God give you?  What do you want God to give to you?


God is the same today as He was yesterday.

God still today answers every prayer.


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