Did you know, that when you pray, you are actually talking to God? That's right, every time you pray, you and God are having a conversation... he might not speak back to you like you are speaking to him, but God always listens to our prayers, and he always answers them. What we need to realize about God and prayer is three things:
1) Sometimes God answers our prayers with "no."
2) God is not our personal genie... he can make anything happen, but he is not there to do every little thing we ask of him.
3) God loves us, and will always hear our prayers no matter what.
Sometimes God gives us the power to answer our own prayers. Now, God does make miracles happen sometimes like in the Bible, but most of the time God gives us the answers to our prayers through us. What does that mean? If you ask God to make your room clean, he answers your prayers by giving you the power to clean your room... sometimes God also answers our prayers by providing us with the knowledge we need to get things done (he gives us knowledge (answers) through His Word the Bible).
Praying can bring you closer to God... you don't always have to pray for things you want or need... sometimes you should pray about how good God is. I know that I always like it when a friend or family member tells me how good I am doing, so why wouldn't God like it if we praised Him? Everybody likes being praised. Take a look below at a few of the other types of prayer there are:
A few types of prayer:
- Prayers for the salvation of others (Sometimes it helps to ask God to go into the heart of somebody who is not saved (somebody who does not know Jesus Christ as their personal savior) and just show them that he is there. I think it also helps when you go to talk to somebody about God to save them to ask God to give you the right Words to say).
- Prayers for your own salvation
- Prayers for things people need
- Prayers for something you need
- Prayers praising God (telling God how good He is)
- Prayers asking for God's help with anything
If you don't know what to pray for it's definitely ok to ask God for help in knowing what to pray for. Just as God knows what's best for us, he knows what's best for us to pray for (and he may show us by bringing things and people that we need to pray for to mind).
So, what does the Bible say about praying? Take a look below!
Here are a few things about prayer straight from the scriptures:
*If we pray God will listen, and if we ask for help, He will be there for us:
The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer. (God will always hear our prayers).
He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. (God doesn't see our prayers to him as a burden, so why should we see praying as a burden?)
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
*The Lords Prayer:
Below Jesus Christ (God's Son) shows us how to pray. If you don't understand the prayer, read below it for an explanation.
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 of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
What this means is: Don't go around shouting your prayers so that everybody else hears them and sees you praying (this only makes you look good, and does not make God look good). Instead make your prayers in private (it's still ok to pray with other people though).
Also, God knows everything you need before you ask him. You don't need to pray the same thing over and over again the same way every time... The Bible clearly tells us not to do that.
It's ok for your prayers to be short or long, and they don't have to be worded perfectly. God knows what you need... just speak to him like a friend.
Now, notice how Jesus shows us to pray to God: "Hallowed be thy name" this is basically praising God by saying, "God, you are holy." When he says, "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," Jesus is basically saying, "God, the earth and the heavens are your kingdom... you created them and everything in them. We will do what you want here on earth as your will is done in heaven."
"Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
To me this says: "Please give us what we need for the day (notice that's not what we want but what we need). And please forgive us of our sins... just as you want us to forgive others of their sins."
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." Here the prayer asks for God to keep evil things and temptations away from us, and asks God not to tempt us with sinful things. And again the prayer ends with a praise to God.
Sounds like a pretty awesome prayer to me that Jesus has just shown us, and Jesus would know.
*Never stop praying (or praising God):
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (This means that its ok to pray all the time, never stopping... And we sometimes think that praying for five minutes is tough).
Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (Continually in prayer... which means never-stopping. It's ok to walk around praying all the time, this is not something to be ashamed about, but in fact something the Bible tells us is a good thing)!
In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. (God makes it so we don't have to fear what other people will do to us. We know that whatever happens to us in this world, that if we are saved he will not let anything happen to our soul... sounds like a pretty good reason to praise God to me).
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (Look at all of the things God does for us! He deserves to be praised! And not just praised once a day or once a month, or once a year either but all the time)!
And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long. (Its good to tell God how good He is, even all day long)!
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Again, it's a good thing to praise God in prayer a lot)!
*We should pray for the salvation of others:
Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
*Pray for others in general:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (We should pray for people who need help, like those who are sick. If we pray for them, God will help them. If we pray for God to forgive other people's sins, He will help them).
*In thanksgiving give our prayers:
*Praying for good vs. bad:
The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. (To me this verse says: If you pray for somebody to be murdered, or die in an explosion unjustly God is probably going to ignore your prayer, but if you are praying for something righteous and good, he will listen... pray for good things, not harmful things).
Now we know:
1) God hears our prayers
2) How to pray (the example Jesus gave for us in the Lord's Prayer)
3) How not to pray (Don't pray for bad things to happen to people)
4) What to pray for (Pray for salvation, pray for help, pray for things you need, pray for God to show you the way, pray to say how good God is)
5) Who to pray for (Everybody)
6) How long to pray for (Pray all the time!)
(For the full version of this article, please click here)