How Should I Pray?

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Is there a right way to pray?

I’ve been doing my quiet time regularly now for the past few years. And yet, there are times when I experience dry spells in my spiritual journey. This has lead me to question whether I may be doing it wrong. Am I not praying the right way? Or is there even a right way to pray?

This led me to purchase Timothy Kellers book entitled Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. Deeper intimacy with the Lord is a popular prayer request among my Christian friends. And knowing how to pray can certainly help with that.

What other nation is so great as to have their Gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
Deuteronomy 4:7

Prayer is an important part of our Christian walk. It is when we pray that we allow Christ to enter our life and make his will for us known. In fact, the bible calls on us to pray without ceasing.

To fail to pray, is not to merely break some religious rule-it is failure to treat God as God.
Timothy Keller, Prayer

What is prayer?

Keller defines prayer as a personal,  communicative response to the knowledge of God. It is how we, as Christians, connect to the Most High. It’s an intimate conversation with Him. It’s a response to the knowledge of God.

Prayer is both a duty and discipline. There are going to be times when you wont feel like prayer. But when we doggedly do what we must, that’s when we experience break though.

How should we pray?

There are a lot of ways to pray. And yet, according to Keller, the best model is still the Lords Prayer. He calls it the prayer of prayers.

Step 1: Praise

Our Father who art in Heaven. Hallowed be thy name, the Kingdom come.

This calls us to recall who we are and who God is. God is God, and we are his servants. This calls for us to glorify Him. Sometimes we become to familiar with God and treat his casually. Yet this part of the Lords Prayers reminds us that He is Holy and we should treat Him as such. John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion advises us to treat God with reverence and awe. To “hallow” God’s name is not merely to live righteous lives but to have a  heart of grateful joy toward God – and even more wondrous sense of his beauty.

Plagiarism is considered a big deal because it’s taking someone else’s work and making it your own. And yet when we refuse to praise God and give thanks to all He has done, we are committing cosmic plagiarism. All that we have is a gift from God. And yet when we take credit for something God has given us, that’s cosmic plagiarism.

Step 2: Repent

Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors

Asking for forgiveness changes our hearts for it allows us to bow down in humility. It is only when we have understood who  God is and the magnitude of what He has done for us, that we can be merciful towards those who have hurt us. Our relationship with God is directly proportional to our relationship with others. 

Step 3: Ask

Give us this day our daily bread.

As God’s children we are given the privilege to ask for anything – according to His will. Like a Father, the Lord wants to give us what we ask for. But the condition is that it must be according to His will for He knows what’s best for us better that we do.

And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us
-1 John 5:14

Step 4: Yield to the Spirit

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from Evil.
Thy Will be Done….

The end of goal prayer should be for us to yield to the spirit. Because without submission to Gods leading, the whole exercise would be pointless. Since prayer is about knowing God and His will for us, then we are to submit ourselves to his plans and not ours. There maybe many things that we want in life, and that’s ok. But it’s important to discern what God wants for us and submit to His leading.

The acronym here is PRAY. Praise,Repent ,Ask, and Yield.

Daily prayer is an important part of our Christian journey. Kellers book has enlightened me on the right way to pray. I hope you’ll try this out as well – if you haven’t been doing so already.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

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