Why and how should I pray?

iStock_000001019769_Large (1)So what is prayer. The word pray is the Greek word ‘proseuchomai’ which means to give thanks and to make requests. When we pray we modestly come before God, adore Him, praise Him and pay homage to Him in worship. We speak to Him about our problems, our fears, our wishes and we also pray for other people. Prayer involves God in our lives and enables us to have a relationship with Him.

Let us consider the qualities of God. He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. That is all knowing, forever present, present everywhere and in everything. He is also all powerful. Nothing is impossible for Him.

We have nothing to tell Him that He does not know already. We have nothing to offer Him that He does not have already. He is the Lord of all lords and the King of all kings. He created the universe. He spoke worlds into existence. He flung stars into space. Whether we choose to have a relationship with God or not He will always be there. But where will we be? What will become of us if we choose not to have a relationship with God?

Truth of the matter is we are not created by chance. God is interested in us and God loves us. Why? Well thats because we are His creation. God loves us but he also wants us to love Him back. How many times have you that one and only desire for someone to love you back. It works the same way with God.

The reality is He does not need you but He wants you because He loves you. He wants a relationship with you but He also wants to know that you will love Him back. God wants to hear from us, and get involved with us. He will not intrude and waits patiently for our invitation.

When we accept God into our lives he works within us. He also knows our needs better than we do. When we pray to God with our requests He knows the answer before we have even asked.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him – Matt. 6:8

If God already knows about my needs then what is the purpose of prayer?

God wants us to admit our needs to Him so that we can draw into a relationship with Him.

I have prayed to God but my prayers were not answered?

God always listens to our prayers and He will answer them. But sometimes it is not in the way that we think. Especially when we pray selfish prayers or prayers that we may think are important at that moment. This is because God knows about our needs more than we do. But when you come to God in faith, no matter what and draw close to Him in relationship..

…that’s when God goes to work.

Some of us may have some bad habits or addictions that we just can’t shake off. When you bring them before God in prayer His supernatural grace pours out. But remember results are based on His timing not our timing. Sometimes it may feel like this addiction will never go away. The only important part for us is to have faith as God knows our situation better than we do.

We start to become aware that our individual needs are not important unless they are in line with the will of God. It is not about fulfilling our individual will but its about fulfilling Gods will. This is the only way that we can be totally fulfilled. God knows what is good for us and that is to simply pray for Gods will to be done in our lives. Have the attitude of a servant and desire Gods will and not your own.

Remember God loves you and loves to hear from you.

So how to we pray? The first step is to act upon your faith that God is creator of the universe, is your Heavenly Father and is the most important part of your life. You must have regular and consistant prayer habits so you can be filled with the Holy Spirit. Even if you are busy, the Lord does not mind the length of your prayers. The only important thing is that they are sincere. A sincere prayer lasting five seconds is much better than several minutes of insincere words. .

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” – Mathew 6:7-8

You can begin your prayer by saying “Dear God”, “Dear Lord”, “Heavenly Father” etc. Be Yourself! You don’t have to be formal here. As He is your Heavenly Father talk to Him as you would talk to your own father. He is the owner of all things but He remains as your Heavenly Father who ‘will deny you no good thing’.

Every one of us has our own unique set of circumstances. Some of us struggle with life with its many problems and difficulties, whilst others may lead comfortable lives. Whatever situation you’re in it is important to start your prayer off…

…by thanking God for what you do have.

Thanking God for the small things makes you realize just how many wonderful blessings you do have in your life. When you thank God for what you do have He multiplies the blessings back to you.

When Jesus wanted to feed five thousand people He only had five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus thanked the Lord for what He did have. What did the Lord do?

The Lord multiplied the blessings back to Him.

Not only did the five thousand people eat ‘as much as they wanted’ but there was plenty more left over.

“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten – John 6 : 9-13.

Now what I am about to tell you is important. The Lord will multiply His blessings back to you but only as long as they are in line with the will of God.

Such blessings could be the health and welfare of other people. Recovery from an illness or passing an exam. As you draw closer to God in prayer, over time, He will start to annoint you with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Ask God each day for these gifts.

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

These are knowledge, wisdom, the gift of prophesy, the gift of faith, the gift of healing, the working of miracles, the discerning of spirits, praying in tongues and the interpretation of tongues. These gifts are given to us by God by grace so that we can carry out His will. Not everyone has all of these gifts but over time we are usually given some of these. That all depends on what Gods plan is for us in our lives.

It is always important to tell God how much you love Him and adore Him. Thank Him for sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we are made right with Him.

Ask God to help you with things that may not be going well in your life. Ask Him to change you into that person that He wants you to be. Ask Him for strength, faith, healing, forgiveness and to help you forgive others. Ask God to remove any spirit of doubt and fear in your life. Thank Him for working through you with the confidence that…

If God be for me. Who dare be against me!

You could end your prayers for by saying;

“Thank you God, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” or “In Jesus’ name, Amen” “Thank you” or virtually any way you feel appropriate.

He will answer you whether or not you ever end your prayer. Pray without ceasing… Be in a spirit of prayer. When you don’t feel like praying, pray more.

We all lead busy lives and sometimes we may feel that we have no time to pray. Remember that the Lord does not mind short prayers. A prayer that lasts one second shows that you are acknowledging Him and He loves to hear from you.