Prayer can seem complicated. Sometimes you know exactly what to say, while at others you can barely get out the canned prayer that you learned as a kid. You may be wondering if there is a right way to pray. Did you know that God gave us a how-to guide to prayer? I’m sure you have heard the Lord’s Prayer that is found in Matthew 6:9-13:
“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.”
Let’s go verse by verse and look at Jesus’ example on how to pray. Let’s start with verse 9:
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
Now, you don’t have to pray this exact prayer. When Jesus said “After this manner”, He meant, pray like this, but don’t just repeat it. He is giving us an example. Jesus starts off prayer by acknowledging that God is in heaven and that His name is holy. First, we need to give respect to God. We start off by acknowledging that God is Creator over all and that His name is always higher than ours.
“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
In the next verse, Jesus continues praising God. God is going to come back to earth – a day that all those who are saved long for. Jesus then precedes the prayer requests by saying that God’s will should be done – whatever God chooses to answer in prayer is acceptable because it is His will. After all, if God can make the world in 6 days, He should be competent enough to handle our requests if they need to be resolved.
“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Jesus tells us that we don’t need to ask for what we need two months from now. He guides us by saying that we only need to pray for what we need today. As we know, tomorrow is not guaranteed. Just worry about today and worry about tomorrow later.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Jesus reminds us that we need to ask for forgiveness for what we have done that was against God’s Word. He then subtly points out that we must also forgive those who have wronged us. I mean, after all, God sent His Son to die for us, and then willingly forgave us for what we have done. The least we can do is forgive those who hurt us.
“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.”
Lastly, Jesus tells us to ask for strength to resist the temptations that will be thrown at us during the day. He then closes out the prayer by praising God and honoring Him.
So what are the steps to prayer? 1) Praise God 2) Rejoice in His coming 3) Accept that God’s will shall be done 4) Ask for what you need today 5) Ask for forgiveness for your sins 6) Ask for deliverance from temptations that you will come across 7) Praise God.
Following God’s guide to prayer, you praise Him for all the good that He has done, accept that He will only answer what He deems should be answered (you probably don’t really need that Porsche anyways…), you ask Him only for what you need today, you ask Him to forgive you for your sins (because we sin multiple times a day and you know what ran through your head when you saw that person, and don’t pretend otherwise), you ask Him to deliver you and strengthen you through the trials and temptations that you will face today, and then you close out by praising Him for his infinite goodness.
It doesn’t need to be a complicated “holier-than-thou” prayer that you spit out (and we’ve all heard those). Just follow God’s example and know that He understands your heart.
If you do not know 100% that you will be going to Heaven when you die, now is the time to repent and put your faith and trust in Christ Jesus. If you have any questions or doubts about your salvation, click here to read how you can be saved.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version.