Prayer is a conversation with the God of the universe. Wow! Isn’t that an awesome thought? I think we sometimes forget how wonderful that truly is.
And what a privilege it is. A communing with the Lord of lords and King of kings. Hearing His whispers into our very souls. For guidance, comfort, discipline, encouragement, strength, joy, and all the other things He desires to give us. It is a dialogue, a discourse.
Prayer is not an “open-says-me” list of requests or formulas. We somehow formulate an opinion that there must be some recipe or blueprint to follow. Prayer does not have a formula. However, there are certain conditions to consider if we desire to pray correctly. And receive the answers we need.
One day, when the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1b NKJV), He said to them…
“In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
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.”
(Matt. 6:9-13 NKJV)
Along with this model prayer, Scripture advises us to get away and be alone with God, even closing the door to our room/closet (Matt. 6:6), to not be like the hypocrites (v5), to not be repetitious (v7), and to forgive others, otherwise we are not forgiven (v14-15).
The Bible also tells us to pray 1) to the Father, 2) in Jesus’ Name, 3) in faith, believing we receive, 4) according to His Word, His will, and His promises, 5) in boldness, 6) in expectancy, 7) in patience, 8) with the Holy Spirit’s help, 9) until we have peace, and 10) with praise and thanksgiving.
1) To the Father…as Jesus taught the disciples.
2) In Jesus’ name…He also told the disciples, “The truth is, you can go directly to the Father and ask Him, and He will grant your request because you use My name…If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 16:23 NLT, John 14:14 NKJV)
3) In faith, believing we receive…Jesus told the disciples, “Therefore I say to you, All things, whatever you ask, praying, believe that you will receive, and it will be to you.” (Mark 11:24 RGT)
Spurgeon said, “Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.”
4) According to His Word and His will…The above verse is not selfish name-it-and-claim-it; it is having faith to ask in accordance to God’s Word and will.
There is a boundary to prayer; it is God’s will and His Word. Jesus said, “If you make yourselves at home with Me and My words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.” (John 15:7 Msg)
Therefore, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15 NIV)
***Join me next time for the rest of the story! May all your prayers be offered in Jesus’ Name, in faith, believing you have received, and according to God’s Word and His will, so that you receive all His best YES answers!