Have you ever felt like you don’t have the words for God and that your prayers fall flat? Join the club because that is something I’ve struggled with FOR YEARS. It wasn’t very long ago that I asked the Lord how I could be more effective in my prayer life. He did what God does, and showed me the answer in His word.
He doesn’t desire long and fancy words from us, but instead asks that we genuinely come to Him with hearts ready and expecting. The Lord simply wants to hear from us and He is listening.
How Are You Supposed To Pray?
It is so like me to try and overcomplicate things like prayer. I am so guilty of this because my insecurities result in me fumbling my words and sometimes even cause my mind to go blank. Lord forgive me, I even mess this up! Am I alone? Something tells me I’m not.
In Luke 11 one of Jesus’ disciples came to Him and asked if He could teach them how to pray. What Jesus did next is He gave them an example of how to pray and gave us a guideline for what we should be asking and thanking Him for. When I read these verses it clicked for me (thank you Jesus) and it was comforting to know that I wasn’t alone. The disciples who stood with Jesus didn’t even know how to pray but all it takes is a heart that is willing to learn.
Jesus’ Instructions on Daily Prayer
“Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.””
Luke 11:2-4 NLT
Father, may your name be kept holy
- We are to give Him the honor and glory He is due.
- We begin with praising His name as all powerful and mighty. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
May your Kingdom come soon
- Asking Him to return soon is something that will help us be ready for when He returns for His Church.
- Speaking this reveals a longing in our heart to be with our Creator and to be in our true home.
Give us each day the food we need
- We ask Him for the bare necessities and the things we need to get through our everyday life.
- We acknowledge that He is our provider and we thank Him for meeting our day-to-day needs.
And forgive us our sins
- This is an admittance that we fall short and are in need of His grace.
- Without a repentant heart we might continue in our sin. It’s important to ask the Lord to make us more like Himself.
As we forgive those who sin against us
- We ask for forgiveness for our sins but that means we should be merciful towards others.
- Pray for our enemies.
And don’t let us yield to temptation
- Keep us strong and guard our hearts.
- Ask to be kept from falling into temptation.
More on Prayer
Our God has graciously given us a blueprint for our prayer life and where to begin. These are things that we should be in the habit of praying for daily but this isn’t where our prayer life ends. What else does the Lord say about prayer?
“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:5-6 NLT
God doesn’t want us putting on a show but instead wants our prayers coming from sincere hearts. Are we only praying in front of others at Church or are we praying behind closed doors? I believe there is a healthy balance. It’s such a beautiful feeling to know that our Father wants to have intimate time with us.
“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!”
Matthew 6:7-8 NLT
What a comfort to know that I don’t have to repeat the same words over and over again and that He actually knows what I need before I even ask. In fact, in Ecclesiastes 5:2 it says that we are to weigh our words and use few of them. Whoa…how many times have I let my mind wander during prayer? How many times have I made a vow I haven’t kept? Each word spoken should have meaning and special consideration behind them as they are being spoken to God in Heaven. Let our words be spoken in reverent fear of Him.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8 NLT
The Lord wants us to keep praying, and there should be a continual conversation with Him because once in a while just isn’t enough. There isn’t any need that we have that is too small, any request too large, any burden too difficult that He doesn’t want laid at His feet. We can bring each and every thing to Him and wait with expectant hearts that we will answer as a Father who answers His children. Sometimes that answer will be no, however He will not let your prayer go unanswered. Just keep asking, He hears and He cares. Never stop praying.
“Never stop praying.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT