The HOW of Prayer

It’s PRAYER-O-RAMA 2021 here on GUWG. So far, we’ve looked at the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY of prayer. Today, we’ll look at the HOW.

So, how should we pray? First, let’s start with how NOT to pray:

  • Don’t do it for show. Jesus said: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.” (Matthew 6:5)
  • Don’t babble. Jesus also said: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matthew 6:7)

So how SHOULD we pray?

Jesus shows us the way:

  • Pray often. “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)
  • Be vigilant. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” (Mark 14:38)
  • Ask, seek, knock. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)
  • Pray with passion. “And being in anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)
  • God’s will, not ours. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Theologians have debated and discussed prayer for centuries. Here are some of their deepest thoughts on how we should approach prayer:

  • “Prayer is the sweat of the soul.” (Martin Luther)
  • “We must wrestle earnestly in prayer, like men contending with a deadly enemy for life.” (J.C. Ryle)
  • “Prayer is the nearest approach to God and the highest enjoyment of him that we are capable of in this world.” (William Law)
  • “Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Spirit, for such things as God has promised.” (John Bunyan)
  • “He prays well who is so absorbed with God that he does not know he is praying.” (Francois de Sales)
  • “When you kneel to pray, don’t give orders — report for duty!” (Anonymous)

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