What Prayer Is, What Prayer Isn’t, And What Prayer Shouldn’t Be
Prayer is important. Trust me. If you’re new to prayer, then you need to get a few things right about prayer. And the sooner you learn some of this stuff, the better.
What prayer is
Prayer is talking to God.
My sister lives in Connecticut. I live in Oregon. I don’t just talk to her, I have to call her or send her an email. It’s the same way with God. We need a way to communicate with Him. We do that though prayer.
What Prayer isn’t
Prayer isn’t something weird and mystical. You don’t have to be special to pray. You don’t need to pray using special words or language. Prayer isn’t something that only pastors or spiritual people do. Prayer isn’t old-timey.
What prayer shouldn’t be
Prayer shouldn’t be all about you. It also shouldn’t just be a time when you ask God for things. Prayer shouldn’t be something you only do in front of people. Prayer shouldn’t be something you only do alone. Prayer shouldn’t be a ritual. Prayer shouldn’t just be reciting lines.
Why should I pray?
The Bible commands that we pray. But we shouldn’t just do it because we are told to. We pray to talk to God.
God knows everything. He can do anything. If you were able to be friends with someone like that, wouldn’t you? Prayer is how we become friends with God. You can’t be friends with someone without ever talking to them. And the more you talk the better your friendship becomes. So without praying to God, you can’t be friends with Him. And the more you pray, the better friends you’ll be.
How do I pray?
Prayer is one of the easiest things you can do. Basically, you just start talking.
When I’m with my wife, we don’t always talk, but if I want to talk to her, I just start. As soon as I start speaking, she starts listening. But if I’m not with my wife and I start talking, she can’t hear me. But that’s the cool thing about God. No matter where I am, not matter who I’m with, if I start to pray and talk to God, He can hear me.
What do I say?
Well, if I’m around other people praying I like to start by saying “Dear Father,” and end by saying “In Jesus’ name, amen.” But if I’m alone, I say whatever I want.
The best format for prayer was given by Jesus in the Bible,
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
If you just pray those words, you’ll probably be in good shape, but it’s more of a template than the actual words you should say.
The template goes like this;
- Who is this prayer to? Our Father.
- Is our Father awesome? Oh yeah. Tell Him that.
- What is it we should want? What He wants to happen. Tell Him that too.
- Okay, now what do you want? Ask for it.
- You’re a jerk. Ask for forgiveness.
- People have been jerks to you too. Forgive them.
- You’re pretty dumb. Ask for God’s guidance.
This is the basic template for the best prayers ever, according to Jesus. And Jesus knows His stuff.
When should I pray?
All the time. The Bible says to pray without ceasing. I pretty much pray whenever I think of it. But that’s not as often as I should be praying. We should literally always be talking to God. You don’t even have to say all of them out loud. God can read thoughts, so you know, pray in your head when you can’t pray out loud.
What do I do now?
Start praying! The sooner the better! If you start talking to God, you’ll be surprised what starts to happen. Suddenly you’ll start to know what to do. You’ll have more peace. You’ll pray for something and it will happen. And you know what? Soon you’ll start to hear God talk to you too! It’s not just a one way thing, God talks back!
Prayer is an open line directly to the most powerful guy in the universe! Why not get to know the guy?