How to Pray
And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites
who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues
where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward
they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the
door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father,
who knows all secrets will reward you.
When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions
do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their
words again and again. Don't be like them, because your Father knows
exactly what you need even before you ask Him!
Pray Like This:
Our Father in heaven,
May your name be honored.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done here on earth just as it is in heaven.
Give us our food today, and forgive us our sins,
just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.
And don't let us yield to temptation,Â but deliver us from the evil
If you forgive those who sin against you; Your heavenly Father will
But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive
Tyndale Life Application Study Bible,
New Living Translation
What Is Prayer:
The greatest power in the world today is the power of people to
communicate with Almighty God.
Prayer is not a scheme whereby we can move God into our lives but
rather a spiritual exercise through which we draw ourselves toward
God until we are a part of his plan and his purpose.
The purpose of prayer is not to give you what you want when you want
it but to make you the kind of person God wanted you to be when he
put you on the planet Earth.
- Dr. Robert Schuller
Six Steps to Prayer:
Step 1 - Pursue God -
Begin by confession of sin, be specific, use harsh, embarrassing
words that bluntly describe you as you are. "If with all your heart
you truly seek Him, you shall surely find Him . . ." (Deut. 4:29)
Step 2 - Re-examine yourself -
Ask yourself, "Am I sincerely honest?" Play no games! Make no
pretenses! If your problem is doubt, then admit it. For instance,
pray, "I thank you, God, that you love me even when my faith is dim,
dark, and dreary."
Step 3 - Affirm positively what God is able to do in youÂ -
In your honesty, do remain affirmative. Negative praying only
weakens you. Pray, "I know that you love me anyway. I know that you
are waiting eagerly to forgive me for . . ."
Step 4 - Yield your self-will to God -
"Not my will, but yours be done, O God." Luke 22:42
Step 5 - Expect positive results -
Anticipate positive emotions, sense the joy, peace, and faith
flowing into you. "If you have faith, all things are possible."
Step 6 - Rejoice!
In thanking God, be specific, detail your thanks. For example,
"Thank you, God, for eyes to see the faces of those I love, for ears
to hear my favorite music, the sound of a friend's voice on the
telephone in the middle of a lonely hour of life.
Pray with a Worshipful Heart:
'Come, let's worship him and bow down. Let's kneel before the LORD
who made us.'Â
Worship. In two thousand years we haven't worked out the kinks. We
still struggle for the right words in prayer. We still fumble over
Scripture. We don't know when to kneel. We don't know when to stand.
We don't know how to pray.
Worship is a daunting task.
For that reason, God gave us the Psalms -- a praise book for God's
people . . . This collection of hymns and petitions are strung
together by one thread -- a heart hungry for God.
Some are defiant. Others are reverent. Some are to be sung. Others
are to be prayed. Some are intensely personal. Others are written as
if the whole world would use them.
The very variety should remind us that worship is personal. No
secret formula exists. What moves you may stymie another. Each
worships differently. But each should worship.
The Inspirational Study Bible
by Max Lucado
Affirm God's Love:
Accept God's love and forgiveness. Don't keep on confessing your
sins. Don't continue to tell God what a miserable person you are. To
continue to do so will only feed the negative self-image you have of
yourself. Now is the time to stop repenting and start affirming:
"God loves me. God loves me even though I am not perfect. God loves
me even though I do not have the faith that I ought to have. This
must mean I am a wonderful person."
From this point on, abolish all negative statements from your prayer
activity. You can pray yourself into a great and wonderful
self-concept, or you can pray yourself into believing you are still
a miserable, inadequate, inferior, ineffective person. The Bible
says, "God is faithful and just. If we confess our sins God is
faithful to forgive us of all of our iniquities." This means that if
you have truly exercised the catharsis of confession you are
forgiven and clean. Affirm out loud: "I am God's friend. God loves
me. If God has chosen me for His friend I must be a marvelous
Probably the hardest assignment you have will be to regularly,
vocally, positively to repeat these self-confidence-generating
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I have
powers within me that I have not uncovered. I have great
potentialities. I can accomplish impossible feats because God and I
are working together.
By Dr. Robert Schuller
Talking with God:
"Be still, and know that I am God." -Psalm 46:10
I had never seen an avocado. Even though I went to college and took
three years of postgraduate work, I had never heard of an avocado!
Then I moved to California and all kinds of people gave our family
what I thought were the biggest, most luscious, most unusual pears
I'd ever seen. I tried every way to eat them, but finally gave up
and ended up throwing them away. Fortunately, someone finally
discovered my ignorance and showed me how to enjoy eating an
So many people have thrown away prayer the same way I threw all
those avocados away. They talk to God and it doesn't work. So, they
just give up. Let me describe how you can enjoy the experience of
Begin by relaxing, closing your eyes and blocking out the
distractions of the eye and the world. Meditate and focus your mind
on something or some scene that will calm you. Then, when you are
relaxed, quietly wait until you feel the stillness of God's presence
Now ask the Holy Spirit to control your thinking so that God's
thoughts and ideas will come into your mind. Then begin, in a
humble, expectant attitude to ask God questions. As you ask each
question, pause and wait for God to answer your question.
Lord, it's hard to shut off the noise around me, but I sense Your
stillness and I am hearing Your voice.