If you want to develop a deeper relationship with God, then you must learn how to pray. We don’t need to make prayer complicated. However, we do need to know it does take practice and time to discover how to do it effectively.
People who don’t know how to pray either are new converts or people who don’t do it at all. If you don’t pray, then you have a poor relationship with God. Reading this will help amend that. If you are a new Believer, then you need to learn how to pray. The guideline of the Lord’s Prayer below will show how God wants you to pray. It will also help those of you like me who just want to pray better.
Prayer is talking to God. The purpose of it is to help you enter into a deeper relationship with Him. Now when you talk to God, most people will tell you to just pray from your heart, and this is good if your heart is right with God. However, if your heart isn’t right, then don’t expect God to hear. There were people in the Bible who God refused to hear; for proof, look at the words of the Psalmist, when he said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” (Psalm 66:18)
When a Christian prays, he enters into the presence of God. This is a very serious thing. Our heart needs to be in the right state in order for Him to hear. If your heart isn’t right, you can still pray, and maybe God will hear some, but you will need to put effort into finding out what your heart truly desires; that is, if you really want a strong relationship with God. If you clear your mind and examine yourself with all honesty, you should not have a problem getting your heart right.”
Learn How to Pray Better
Every sincere Christian wants to learn how to pray better. Now I’m not talking about praying beautiful or long prayers with big words and repetitions to make yourself sound spiritual. Rather, I’m talking about getting God’s attention and praying effectually. This kind of prayer changes lives!
Sometimes you pray only because you have problems. There is nothing wrong with this, but if we fail to pray when life is normal, then God should cause many problems in our lives!
If our heart isn’t completely right with God, then it should show by the amount of spiritual problems we face. For example, Christians who harbor ill-will and jealousy in the heart are experiencing more spiritual problems than normal. It’s problems like these that need to be resolved. Otherwise, that deep relationship with God cannot be had.
Once these problems are resolved, you should have liberty to pray prayers that God hears. A heart void of iniquity creates an open door for answered prayer!A heart void of iniquity creates an open door for answered prayer!Click To Tweet
Genuine prayer is what God is looking for in Believers. Genuine prayers are sincere prayers that produce positive answers according to the will of God. We need to be honest with ourselves in order to pray genuine prayers.
Learning how to pray better requires honesty. First, we get honest with ourselves, and then we can get honest with God. When Jesus was asked to teach His disciples how to pray, one of the first things He said was don’t be as a hypocrite (Matthew 6:5). The reason is because hypocrites aren’t honest with themselves and their hearts aren’t in a state for God to hear.
Learn How To Pray The Lord’s Prayer
Now that you know what it takes to get a hearing with God, it’s time to start praying!
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus Christ provides a guide to praying what we commonly call The Lord’s Prayer. A slightly different version is in Luke’s Gospel, but I personally prefer Matthew’s account.
Matthew 6:9-13: After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 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.
The reason I prefer Matthew’s account above is because he provides an easier outline to follow. If you want to read Luke’s account, you can find it in Luke 11:1-4.
Also, when I pray the Lord’s Prayer, I don’t always say the exact words in Matthew’s account. However, I do try to stay with the guideline Jesus provided. Sometimes the Spirit will direct me to do it differently; and sometimes He will prompt me to focus more on one part than the other. The point is you are praying to God in a condition ready for answered prayer.
Start with praise
Almost every time I pray, I begin with praise and adoration. I love praising God. And to me there’s no better way to enter into His presence than to lift Him up far beyond myself.
When Jesus said to pray “Our Father which art in Heaven,” He is encouraging us to acknowledge God in Heaven. The Father is in the Heavens sitting upon His throne waiting for us to enter His presence in prayer. This is an exciting truth to help our spirit connect with His.
God is the only Being that is everywhere at one time. The Bible doesn’t diminish His omnipresence by saying He can be everywhere. No, we see in this Scripture that He occupies every Heaven. We know this because the word heaven is plural signifying He is all around us.
So the first thing the Lord wants us to do as we learn how to pray is praise the Father. We humble ourselves by acknowledging the attributes of God no other being possesses . In this, we also exalt God.
Follow with offering adoration
After you take a minute to praise the Father, next take a minute to offer adoration. This will help your spirit recognize Him in various aspects of His nature.
God has no beginning and He is thrice holy. This means that He is far beyond us in character and power. Taking a moment during praise or after, to pay honor to Him will deepen our understanding of His nature. In addition, it will enhance our spiritual understanding of His will in our daily lives. As a result, you will gain a deeper intimacy with God.
We see all the things in the words “Hallowed be thy name.” This is giving reverence to God. Essentially, we are stating that there is none other like God; he is unique. Your prayer may look something like the words of the Psalmist…
Psalm 86:8-9: Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. 9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
God wants a place in our heart that none other can fill. We give Him this place when we treat Him like no one and nothing is equal to Him. When we learn how to pray by coming to God in praise and adoration, we enter into the spirit of worship. God is seeking after people like this.
Seek His authority
After we spend a few moments praising and adoring God, we should seek His authority. The people who give Him most authority, want Him involved in every moment of their lives.
Hopefully God has yielded authority over your life. What I mean is, you are yielding to His will. There is a difference in His authority. We know He has all-power, but He does not violate our will. In other words, He doesn’t force himself upon anyone. The Lord wants us to willfully give Him authority.
Jesus said to pray: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” We are to seek God’s rulership over our lives. If your heart is right, you should have no problem giving the Father His rightful place as the God of our will.
At this time, it’s wise to evaluate your circumstances to see if there is any area in your life unsubmitted to God. If you want to experience God in a deeper level daily, you must make Him your Lord. Most Christians only know the Father as a Being far away; however, He doesn’t have to be far away.
If you really want to learn how to pray, you need to understand that there is more to praying than blessing your food. If you’ve made it to this point, you should see that. Although, we should always give thanks before eating, especially if we’re eating something unhealthy…
God wants to get personal with us. This is why Jesus said to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Such a prayer is a simple request that includes God in the important, yet seemingly small areas of our lives.
The purpose in making requests is to acknowledge God in all our ways. Yes, we want Him to answer, but in reality, we just want His supervision. Prayer like this makes God responsible for our wellbeing.
Request forgiveness & forgive
When we ask God to “forgive us our debts,” we are confessing our sins. When we sin, we become indebted to God, and therefore, need cleansing. In Luke’s account, Jesus says, “And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.”
At this point of praying through the Lord’s Prayer, I examine myself. It’s good to take a minute to let God reveal your sins, especially if you don’t have any on your mind. Taking a few moments for the Lord to show you a time when you failed to do something good is beneficial for spiritual growth. If you need to, take your time to get things right with God here.
It’s also important for you to forgive. The Bible says if we don’t forgive, neither will the Heavenly Father forgive us. Therefore, we need to make sure we have forgiven any past hurts. It’s never good to hold a grudge, and doing so will only hurt God’s relationship with you. In other words, He may not be able to bless you like He desires.
It’s very important that as you learn how to pray, you also learn how to forgive.
Pray for divine protection & deliverance
Now that you have taken the time to learn how to pray praising, adoring, submitting, seeking, and forgiving, it’s time to pray for protection and deliverance.
There are many struggles in the Christian life that could be avoided by asking. Some people may believe in praying for temptation, but this is obviously contrary to the will of Christ. We are to pray: “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” There are already enough temptations in our lives, so we don’t need to pray for more.
Temptation is evil, but it should have no power over the Believer. Christians are never forced to yield to temptation. Temptation comes so we sin, but God can use it so we don’t. And even though some part of us dies every time we sin, there is still forgiveness in confession. The point however is that we pray for divine guidance away from evil.
Trust in Him
The last part of praying through the Lord’s prayer requires trust. If we fail to pray in faith, we simply just are speaking words. It’s absolutely necessary that you learn how to pray in faith.
Jesus said, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” This proves that God can take charge of our lives and the temptation that comes our way. Confessing that the Kingdom, power, and glory is God’s forever comes from a faith-filled heart.
When you reach the point of admitting the sovereignty of God, you will begin getting victory over sin in your personal life. In addition, the things that once caused you to fall will no longer have the same hold on you. All this comes about by learning to trust in Him.
Jesus Christ wants us to learn how to pray; therefore, He has given us a guideline to help.
Praying the Lord’s Prayer will deepen your relationship with God. You will learn how to praise Him, offer adoration, seek His authority, make requests, forgive and be forgiven, conquer sin, and trust the Father more.
Here’s an outline to practice:
- Praise God (Our Father which art in Heaven)
- Offer Adoration (Hallowed be thy name)
- Seek His Authority (Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven)
- Request Provisions (Give us this day our daily bread)
- Forgive & Be Forgiven (And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors)
- Pray For Protection & Deliverance (And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil)
- Trust Him (For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen)
This is a seven step outline to pray as Jesus willed. Also, keep in mind that we need to take a moment to clear our minds and get our heart right to enter into the Lord’s presence.
These simple steps will help you learn how to pray better using the Lord’s Prayer as a guideline. May it also strengthen your relationship with God!