Prayer 101- The Basic Principles of a Prayer; A study

Prayerlighthouse's picture

The basic principles Jesus gives us are in Mat. 6:6(NIV) -"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Here we see five (5) principles for a prayer.

1. Make time to pray - "when you pray"
2. Have a place to pray - "go into your room"
3. Have privacy - "close the door"
4. Pray to God only - "pray to your Father" (Specific Person-why? People pray to other idols and gods). "Our Father in Heaven" Matthew 6:9
5. God will answer prayer - "Then your Father will reward you"

We should consider Jesus Christ lessons about prayer very carefully. The verse of Mat 6:6 Jesus' teaches us that to conduct our personal prayer is simple and concise. He teaches the necessity to bring our request to God, and assures us His willingness to hear and answer our prayers.

Jesus later said to His disciples in John 16:24 - "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."

On my next post I will discuss the questions many people have "What God expect from our prayers".

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JeffLogan's picture

Praying in private

Is this an interactive Bible Study?

I agree that we should all have a private prayer time. But we may pray in public as well. In fact, we may pray any where. The truth is we should be always in prayer.

To me, the counsel of Jesus in Matthew 6:6-7 addresses some very specific issues. First, the hypocrites prayed loudly in public so that their "piety" would be known of all men. They did not pray to glorify God but rather themselves. Jesus said not to be like them.

Another issue Jesus' counsel addresses is praying to men. Here Jesus tells us to pray in secret to our heavenly Father. There is a time to confess our faults to men if we have wronged them. But our deepest, darkest, sins against God should be confessed in private for God's ears only. He is willing and able to forgive us of all of our sins. But if we have wronged a brother or sister we should go to them and make things right with them first, then seek God's forgiveness.

Yet another issue Jesus' council addresses is vain repetitions. To me, vain repetition represents praying memorized or written prayers without engaging the heart. They are dry and formal prayers recited as if the act of reciting them elicits an action from God. But the sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite heart. God takes pity upon us when we come to him humbly confessing our sins. But He is not obligated to forgive us simply because we recite specific words.

The "Lord's Prayer" found in Matthew 6 has been recited on many occasions in such a way as to qualify as vain repetition. We should consider this prayer a model prayer rather than a collection of words which if recited will bring great blessing.

You will receive more blessing from a one word prayer of "Help" if the heart is right than from repeating a memorized prayer 50 times. Our prayers are not to be viewed as a tool which obligates God to act like some charmer's incantation. God responds to our heartfelt pleas. He resist the proud but gives ear to the humble. If I come to him in contrition and ask for forgiveness two short words "forgive me" prayed once will profit more than repeating a memorized prayer 50 times with no remorse for my sin.

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“The path of true piety is so plain as to require
but little political direction.” --George Washington,
re: absence of "Jesus Christ" in U.S. Constitution.

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“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."