Pray From The Heart As The Bible Teaches
New believers often ask how to pray and the answer is clearly explained in the bible. To pray in earnest is found throughout the bible. God always welcomes and hears the prayer of a sincere heart. Jesus tells his believers, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” (Mat. 7:7)
Pray from the Heart
A prayer is a privilege and is said meaningfully from the heart. C. H. Spurgeon once said, “The heart of prayer is the prayer of the heart.” It is our means of conversing with the Lord. Jesus taught us to avoid “vain repetitions” when we pray, so that our words are not empty but are uniquely our own. Prayers can take the forms of adoration, thanksgiving, confession, repentance, and supplication. People pray for personal benefit, on behalf of others, to request divine grace, or for spiritual connection. It doesn’t matter where, when or what position we pray in. Simply put, we are to pray for God’s help in filling needs and following a righteous life. It does not consist simply of words, gestures, forms or eloquence. According to Spurgeon, “Prayer is the address of a poor creature on earth to a great Creator and loving Father in Heaven.”
The Lord’s Prayer
Jesus taught us how to pray by giving us His example which we know as the Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
on Earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Pray by Example
The Lord’s Prayer consists of seven petitions. The first three address God and the other four relate to human needs and concerns.
Petitions Addressing God
The Lord’s Prayer begins with the salutation “Our Father,” acknowledging our close relationship with God as His children.
The words, “Hallowed be thy name,” affirms our reverence towards Him and the holiness of His Deity.
We align our will with God’s will when we express, “Thy will be done.” Ours is in submission to His, and asking for His to prevail.
Petitions for Human Needs and Concerns
Asking for “daily bread” portrays our need for spiritual as well as physical sustenance that only God can provide. Jesus, called Himself “the bread of life,” [John 6:35] and promised believers: “He that cometh to me shall never hunger.” [John 6:5]. Not only does this illustrate the abundant providence of God but also our total dependence on Him to fill all our needs.
We then acknowledge our need for forgiveness, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” pledges our obedience to God’s command to forgive one another. Forgiveness is fundamental for righteous living, as Jesus taught us, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” [Ephesians 4:32].
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” is our plea to the Lord for His strength and protection against our weakness of succumbing to temptation and evil. As we strive to live righteously, the Lord promises us, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” [1 Corinthians 10:13].
The prayer closes with recognition of God’s eternal power and glory. “Amen”, meaning “truly” or “verily”, affirming the solemnity of the prayer.
The Importance of Prayer
Scripture stresses the importance of prayer by mentioning it over 250 times. Prayer is vital in our daily life and affirms the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father. As Spurgeon said, “Nothing, can set a barrier between a praying soul and its God.” Take advantage of this divine connection between you and God. Take the time to talk with Him and pray every day. He is a available 24/7 to hear you.