“Be joyful always, pray at all times; be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18)
Prayer is one of the most basic elements in Christianity.
The way people pray, and to whom, varies within different religions and even differs within the different branches of Christianity. Prayer isn’t asking God for what we want. Prayer is asking God to unveil His will for us and thanking Him for doing so. It is wise, however, to follow the example of Jesus, Himself, who taught the Apostles how to pray. We should all learn from His example:
“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.” (Matthew 6: 8-13)
Pray to the Father - Prayer is to be directed to God the Father in heaven. The Father is the source of every good gift. We pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, the only mediator between God and man. We also pray to the Holy Spirit for wisdom.
Pray to praise God - Out of respect, we should humbly acknowledge God’s authority and use prayer as a way to praise (Hallow means to hold in high esteem) Him.
Pray for God’s Kingdom here on earth - That God will come again at the end of time to take His Church to where He resides is a central theme throughout the New Testament. As we live in a fallen world, we should be inspired to pray that God’s will be done through us.
Pray for God’s daily provisions - God wants us to have faith that He will supply all our needs when we seek Him (and His righteousness) first, above all things. We demonstrate our faith by bringing our needs before Him and trusting in His provisions.
Pray for forgiveness - We are once (and forever) forgiven of our sins by faith, but those sins that we commit daily, we must confess them before a holy and righteous God and seek His help to overcome them in the future. We pray for the strength to forgive others as God has forgiven us.
Pray to be delivered from Temptation - Sin and Satan’s influence on the world system (which Satan controls) are constant dangers for Christians. We ask God for the armor to battle these temptations.
Pray to reinforce God’s worship - We close prayer by acknowledging Him for who He is and praising Him for what He does for us now and forever.
Additional References: Ephesians 6:18, 1 John 5:14, 2 Chronicles 7:14
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