By Billy Kangas
“A day without morning and evening prayers and personal intercessions is actually a day without meaning or importance.”
Asking “How does one pray?” is a question that has been asked for thousands of years. Just take a look at Luke 11:1 “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Even those who lived day in and day out with Jesus still had trouble understanding how to pray!
Before we get into how… I think it’s important to talk about why… there are innumerable reasons to pray. Stop and think for a second before reading… Why would one pray? Come up with a reason in your mind…
I can think of a few reasons:
Ephesians 3:14-19 – It strengthens our relationship with God
A person prays, said Augustine, "that he himself may be constructed, not that God may be instructed."
Luke 22:39-41 – Avoid Temptation
Luke 10:2 It empowers us to see God’s will
Soren Kierkegaard once wrote: “the true relation in prayer is not when God hears what is prayed for, but when the person praying continues to pray until he is the one who hears, who hears what God wills.”
and empowers us do it (look at the next command of Jesus in Verse 3)
Prayer is really practical! As St. Thomas More once prayed, "The things, good Lord, that we pray for, give us the grace to labor for."
Ephesians 6:10-20 - Warfare
One of my favorite quotes about prayer comes from Karl Barth who wrote, "To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world."
Requests – Philippians 4:6
“God,” said Pascal, “instituted prayer in order to lend to His creatures the dignity of causality.” That’s a really cool idea to me!
One Final thought by Eugene Peterson: ““Be slow to pray. Praying puts us at risk of getting involved with God’s conditions…. Praying most often doesn’t get us what we want but what God wants, something quite at variance with what we conceive to be in our best interests. And when we realize what is going on, it is often too late to go back.””