When we approach God, we must realize where we are and who He is! I remember as a kid going into people’s houses and the elder saying, “you’re supposed to speak when you walk into someone’s house.” Meaning, there’s a level of honor you must have for those above you. How much greater honor should we show God, when we pray?!
During times of need, it's easy to skip protocol and jump right to the part where you ask God to supply your needs. But when Jesus instructed His disciples on how to pray, He gave them the model of prayer, purposefully. (Matthew 6:9-13) He revealed the pathway of honor to God's throne, and how to receive answered prayer requests.
Many of us have fallen into prayerless-ness, because it seems that prayer doesn't work. But when your wi-fi suddenly goes out, you just go and check the connection right? Why's that? Because you know that you paid the bill and there's power there. It's the same way with prayer. Jesus paid the bill, and there's plenty power in God. Therefore, the issue must lie within your connection...
A Tool for Effective Prayer: (Having set times to pray, helps tremendously with consistency!!)
Follow these in a step-wise manner, and overtime, you will begin to see your prayer life change tremendously. For me, it helps to write prayers down and speak them forth out loud, however, do whatever you are led.
This is the moment I write down anything that is burdening me. Typically, the very thing I am entering supplication for, is what I will write here. And I don't go to the next step until I actually have laid it down at His feet. (picturing this also helps)
I then give myself a brief pause and ask the Holy Spirit to remind me of a moment of adoration. To prevent myself from being robotic and saying a whole bunch of words with no true intent behind them (you are good, oh you are great etc), I immerse myself into a memory of God. By doing this, my gaze is now completely focused on Him, as is the purpose of this step of prayer.
I use this moment, to be completely honest and seek forgiveness for myself. As well as repent AND ensure that I open my heart to forgive those who may have offended me. It's written in Psalm 66:18, that when we have a known sin in our heart and won't confess it, God won't hear it! Also in Mark 11:24-25, that we should forgive, so that our prayers won't be hindered! Without this step, many of our prayers have been in vain. Also, SEEK MERCY!
We must be thankful! How much more will you do for a person in your life, that is grateful? It is written in 2 Thessalonians 5:18, that we should give thanks in all circumstances! Also it is written in Psalm 100:4, that we enter His gates with thanksgiving. And Philippians 4:6 tells us to present our requests before God with thanksgiving. Therefore, we should always keep a heart of gratitude before Him.
This is the point at which you present your case before God. Using scriptures help greatly here. It reminds me of a court case, where the lawyers use previous cases to convince the Judge to rule in their favor. It's also a great way to learn scriptures!
This is the point at which you pray for others. You can switch this with supplication, it's up to you!
But the goal here is to give you a format that works and also falls in alignment with The Model Prayer in Matthew 6. When you begin to understand each step has a purpose, you see prayer less as a burden and more as an honor.
"As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few."
Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 NLT
"“This, then, is how you should 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 today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
Matthew 6:9-13 NIV
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Song(s) Meditation: When I Pray by DOE
To listen to today's song meditation, click here.
Reflection Question(s): We invite you to discuss below.
Have you ever tried to follow Jesus' prayer? Did it work for you? If not, how do you pray with understanding? (Not speaking of praying in your spiritual language)