How Should I Pray? Part Two
In Part One we looked at the answer Jesus gave to His disciples when they asked Him to teach them to pray. Within His answer we were given a prayer and a method of praying.
I asked you, Do you pray? Have you ever prayed? Do you know how to pray? Who should we pray to, what should we pray, where should we pray, when should we pray and why should we pray? Oh yeah, and how should we pray?
This week I want to offer additional scripture that helps to answer these questions. As you continue to walk with God, you will continue to find find scripture that will help you understand and perfect your prayer.
What should our posture be?
Kneel? Lie face down on the floor? Eyes Closed? Hands clasped together? Well, in John 11:41 and 17:1 Jesus looked up to heaven, Psalm 28:2 and 1 Timothy 2:8 hands are lifted while praying, in Ephesians 3:14 kneeling is indicated and in Genesis 24:52 the one praying bows down.
Consider these verses:
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 51:17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Isaiah 59:2 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Notice these scriptures do not qualify themselves with instructions on how to position your body but rather indicate how we should position our heart. If I were to lie face down on the floor with my hands lifted heavenward and my eyes closed but did not believe that God would listen or that He was Lord, does it make sense that He would hear? What should our posture be? A heart that is faithful, delighted, and humbly seeking God. There’s nothing wrong with any of the positional postures as long as they are an outward expression of your heart.
To Whom should I address the Prayer?
Well, as we saw last week, when Jesus taught the disciples to pray He instructed them to pray to the Father. Throughout scripture when Jesus prayed He prayed to the Father. So, it would follow that we should address God the Father.
But What About Jesus?
Again, let’s look at scripture.
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You did not choose me(Jesus), but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
In that day you will no longer ask me (Jesus) anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
In that day you will ask in my name (Jesus). I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
It’s Jesus that allows us to come to the Father and it’s because we stand in Jesus’ name that the Father listens. Jesus died on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven IF we admit we are sinful and need to be forgiven and IF we believe that Jesus is Lord and is alive today because He rose from the dead. You know, the Easter story.
And What About Praying to Anyone Else?
We’ve offered scripture to support praying to the Father and praying to the Father in Jesus name but there is no scripture which indicates we should pray to anyone else or to the Father in anyone else’s name.
Pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus But What Part Does the Holy Spirit Play in Prayer?
Consider the following verses.
Romans 8:26 …the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words.
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
So here’s some closing questions to ponder about your prayer process.
1. Are you addressing your prayer to God the Father?
2. Do you believe in your heart that He exists and wants to hear you?
3. Is your heart humbled and are you asking for forgiveness for your iniquities from God, as well as, from others?
4. Have you forgiven others of their sin against you?
5. Are you praying in Jesus’ name? Do you confess Jesus is Lord?
So how are you doing? Don’t be intimidated by the scripture. Read it over and pray about it. Prayer is communion with God, a relationship, He wants you to understand and He wants you to be with Him.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9