Firm Foundations Two (18 of 55) How Do I Pray?

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How Do I Pray?

Prayer is when a believer speaks to God. This includes: asking, supplication, thanksgivings, praise, confession and intercessions. Believers know that God can hear them and that He will respond according to His will. Believers should be constantly praying and paying attention to what is going on so that they can make their requests known to God and thank Him for when He answers prayer.

Prayer Is For Believers

  • Our New Relationship: As believers, we are born again, meaning that we have a new relationship with God —- that of a son and father relationship. Because God is our Father, we can boldly speak to Him and know that He will hear us.
    Galatians 4:6–7; 1 Peter 3:12; Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 5:15
  • Our Helper: As believers, the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. We often do not know how to pray or what to say, so the Holy Spirit prays for us to the Father. Thus, we can know that God is working through us even though we have faults.
    Ephesians 6:18–20; Jude 20–21
  • Our Privilege: As believers, we have the new privilege of asking in the name of Jesus. We don’t have to worry like nonbelievers, nor be anxious about everything. Instead, in everything we can pray in Jesus’ name, making our request known to the Father.
    Philippians 4:4–7; John 14:13-14

How To Pray

  • The Example Prayer: Jesus gave us an example prayer so that we would know how to pray. He addressed God and asked Him to do many things. His prayer included: His desire to see God glorified and God’s will to be done, asking God to provide for that day’s needs, for God’s grace, and help to live right.
    Matthew 6:9–13; Luke 11:1–4
  • Three Types of Prayer: (1) Supplication is when we earnestly and humbly ask God for something specific. (2) Intercession is when we pray for someone else. (3) Thanksgiving is when we thank God for who He is, what He has done, is doing, and is going to do.
    Colossians 1:3–4; 1 Timothy 4:4–5
  • Watching: Prayer is to be a constant part of our Christian life. We should be paying attention to our lives and those around us, constantly asking God to do a work and thanking Him when He does.
    Romans 12:12; Ephesians 1:16; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17–18
  • Examples in Acts: The church in Acts exemplified the praying life for us. They were devoted to prayer: prayed when making decisions, prayed when they performed miracles, pastors saw it as part of their main work, they prayed when they laid hands on people, and they prayed for those in persecution.
    Acts 1:14, 24; 2:41–42; 6:4, 6; 9:40; 13:3; 12:5, 12; 14:23; 20:36; 21:5
  • Bible Prayer Request: The Bible gives us several examples of prayer requests that we should be praying for, or that would help us in our prayer life. We should use the Bible to help us pray.
    Philippians 1:9–11; Colossians 1:9–10; 4:12–13; Matthew 5:43–48; 9:36–38; 26:41; Luke 6:27–28;10:1–2; Romans 10:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:2–3; 3:9–10; 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12; Philemon 4–7; l; 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Prayer Principles

  • Prayer is not to be used to show off. When you pray, you should not pray to be seen of others, but you should find a place to pray in secret. Jesus exemplified this for us as He often went away to a place by Himself to pray.
    Matthew 6:5–6; 14:23; Mark 1:35; 6:46; Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:18; 20:45–47
  • Prayer is not repeating the same words over and over. We are to pray with our minds, meaning we are thinking about what we are praying and not just saying simple phrases over and over thinking we will be heard because of our repetition.
    Matthew 6:7–8
  • Jesus went off and prayed by himself three times and the disciples were also to be watching and praying, but they fell asleep. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
    Matthew 26:36–45; Mark 14:32–41
  • Prayer is submitting to God’s will. We should pray for God’s will to be done over our personal preference. Jesus asked God to deliver Him and then He said that if there is no other way, let Your will be done. As we ask God to intervene in our lives, we should always be willing to submit to His will over our own.
    Luke 22:41–45; 1 John 5:14
  • Prayer is an expression of faith. Whatever we ask in prayer through faith, believing that it will come to pass, we will receive it and it will be ours.
    Matthew 21:18–22; Mark 9:14–29; 11:20–25
  • Prayer is to be consistent. God invites us to ask Him for what we need. We should be persistent in praying and seeking God for those things if we really desire to obtain them. Remember, if our earthly father knows how to take care of an earthly son, how much more does God know how to take care of His child.
    Luke 11:5–13
  • Prayer requires waiting. We might not always see a prayer answered immediately, but Jesus tells us that God will give justice to those who cry to Him day and night.
    Luke 18:1–8
  • Prayer requires us to be humble. We do not come to God bragging about how good we are, but we come with a humble heart, knowing that we are sinners and only made good by the grace of God.
    Luke 18:9–14
  • Prayer can be hindered. Not asking, asking with wrong motives, unbelief, doubt, sin, praying without understanding (praying in tongues), or even having a bad relationship with your spouse can hinder your prayers.
    1 Peter 3:7; 1 Corinthians 14:13–15; 1 Peter 4:7; James 4:2–3

Review Questions

  • What kind of relationship do we have with God?
  • Who helps us pray?
  • What are the three types of prayer?
  • What does it mean to watch and pray?
  • What are some prayer principles?

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