How Should I Pray?

People describe prayer as speaking with God. How does one do this?

Many denominations ascribe a formula or method to prayer or even offer pre-written prayers to recite. Jesus did give an example of how to pray when He recited what is commonly referred to as the Lord's Prayer. In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus said, "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. Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."

Jesus did not give this example so that we could recite it over and over again. Instead, He was trying to teach about the components of a prayer. First, He began with praise to God. He then gave God control by saying, "Your will be done." Next, He placed confession as an important part of prayer. Lastly, He appealed for help. That is a great way to pray. The modern description of that type of praying is called ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.

Regardless of how you pray, it takes time to develop intimacy. I promise that if you begin to speak to the Lord, from your heart, you will grow in relationship with Him. It takes two to build a relationship. The Lord will respond to your prayers. It may be through His Word, through a message at church, or most often, through the still small voice in your heart that is the Holy Spirit. Ask God to reveal himself to you as you pray. He promises, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who ask receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8).

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