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How To Pray

The Lord's Prayer

(Matthew 6:5-18 NKJV) "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. {6} "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. {7} "And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. {8} "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. {9} "In this manner, therefore, pray: 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 forgive our debtors. {13} And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. {14} "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. {15} "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. {16} "Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. {17} "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, {18} "so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Some basic truths about prayer...

The passage above tells us a few very basic truths about prayer. They are that we should pray:

1)Believing that God hears what we pray even in secret.

2)We are not to pray for public show but so as to be heard by God.

3) That we are to pray for God's honor and glory and Christian work (His Kingdom). For things to be done right on earth as they are in heaven, for our basic needs, for forgiveness and deliverance from sin. This is a balanced prayer diet that proceeds from the most important items to the less important and which starts us praying in a positive and worshipful way.

4) The Lord's prayer can be used as a "backbone' to hang other prayers off. When you pray "Thy kingdom come..it can trigger you praying for something happening in your church, or on the mission field or the salvation of a friend. And so on with each of the sections of the Lord's prayer triggering appropriate reflections and requests.

Where, When and How To Pray

(Luke 5:16 NKJV) So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

(Hebrews 5:7 NKJV) who (Jesus), in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,

When Jesus prayed it was often a) alone b) in a quiet place c) with deep emotion and intimate language to God who He called "Abba Father" (literally "Daddy") d) with force and persistence e) with holiness and godly fear. This is a good pattern for you to follow. Find a quiet place, take your Bible and pour out your heart to God as fully as you can in a godly and reverent way. The words are not that important. God understands you. Just speak in a way that is respectful and truthful and yet bold and which really asks big things of God. He is our Father and He wants children that are willing to speak what is in their heart to Him.

For more information on prayer go to our ARTICLES ON PRAYER page or to our short course PRAYER 101- its free

Read the next article in the series - "What Is God Like"

Other articles in this series include:

1. How To Be Sure You Really Are A Christian
2. How To Read The Bible
3. How To Pray
4. What Is God Like?
5. What Has Happened To Me?
6. Meeting God's People
7. Breaking Free From Sin
8. What About Heaven and Hell?
9. What About My Friends?
10. Loving Your Neighbor



This article may be freely reproduced for non-profit ministry purposes but may not be sold in any way. For permission to use articles in your ministry, e-mail the editor, John Edmiston at johned@aibi.ph.