How to Pray to God, our Father
Many people pray. Many even say that they will pray for someone, or something, at a certain time, or for a special reason. Some people even pray everyday, or even at times all throughout the day.
So then, the questions "how do I pray," "am I praying in the correct way, or, for the correct things?" are questions that almost every Christian at one time or another has asked. Even Jesus' disciples had even asked Him how to pray, and He explained and told them.
So let's explore prayer and learn from Father and His Word just what prayer is and how to properly pray to Him.
We will start with the definition of the words "pray and prayer" and what they mean in both the Hebrew and the Greek. There are 306 verses in the King James Version Bible with the word "pray;" 239 in the Old Testament, and 66 in the New Testament; as identified by James Strong and included in his Concordance, the word pray is identified as having 11 different Hebrew\Chaldee and 6 Greek meanings. Conversely there are 107 verses that contain the word "prayer" in the King James Bible; 76 in the Old Testament and 31 in the New Testament and likewise the word prayer has 3 Hebrew\Chaldee and 4 Greek meanings.
The word "pray" is best defined as when used by Jesus in Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you; -> As used here the word "pray" in the Strong's Concordance is Greek word number G4336 - proseuchomai, pronounced - pros-yoo'-khom-ahee and means: From G4314 and 2172; to pray to God, that is supplicate, worship: - pray (X earnestly, for), make prayer. So as used in our example verse, Jesus was telling us that we should go to Father in prayer for our enemies and ask Him to intercede in their lives to change them to conform to His will and way.
With that being said, I'd now like to cover a few things before we learn, "how to pray:" (1) John 4:6 Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. -> Immanuel - God with us; our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, IS the only name by which our prayers to YHVH are heard. We can pray long and hard all day long, but if we pray not in Jesus' name, our prayers won't be accepted. Why? Because if you don't accept God's gift to us - that He became flesh as His Son - Jesus, then He likewise won't accept you. John 3:16-18 is very clear, especially John 3:17 For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. [3:18] he that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This verse tells us that when we pray, we are to "close" our prayer in His name; (2) Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receiveth them, and ye shall have them. -> This is true to a point, and no, I am not saying that Jesus was lying, nor am I saying I know more or better than Jesus. What I am saying is this: we must pray that what we want be in Father's will and to better, or further, His cause, then He will give us what we need\desire. We can't ask for something that will hurt us and expect Him to provide it for us. Likewise also, the things we desire, as Pastor Arnold Murray says, "He'll provide the bricks for the building of the church, but, you have to do the labor in building it"; and (3) Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. -> First and foremost, as the second paragraph in this verse states, if we don't believe that god exists, why are we praying to Him in the first place? Secondly, if we don't have the faith that He will provide those bricks, or the healing we seek (again if it is in His will) then why are we praying to him? We may all not have the faith of Abraham, but if you believe what this verse says, then you have faith. How do we diligently seek Father? By studying His Word - the Bible. Think of the Bible as the instruction manual for our life. If we have questions - His word has the answers.
OK, let's continue on with our Study and learn "how to pray:" Jesus taught His disciples and us how to pray in Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. -> We today have seen them and they are not different today than when Jesus walked in the flesh. There were and are those that love to be seen looking "oh, so religious - look at me praying." There is nothing wrong praying in public but don't do it because you want to draw attention to yourself to make yourself appear holier than somebody else or for "one up-manship." Pray if there is a need, or over your meal at a restaurant.
Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father Which is in secret; and thy Father Which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. -> Go somewhere where you can be alone to talk with God. There is no special place, or "way." He loves the fact that you are coming to Him and conversing with Him. You don't have to close you eyes, you don't have to kneel, it is more important that you are coming to Him, than the manner in which you are coming to him - come as you are. I deliver the mail and spend many hours talking with Him while I'm driving my vehicle, obviously I can't have my eyes closed or be on my knees while I'm doing that.
Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. -> Don't use worthless stammering, long flowery prayers with many adjectives as some do,
we have all heard them, and they love to be heard. They are like the ones in verse 5 above who love to stand on the corners and be seen of men. Father is saying - those who love to be seen and heard of men, have been and that was their reward and have nothing more to come.
Matthew 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him. -> Speak to Father from your heart; talk with Him like you're talking with your best friend, after all He is your closest relative. He sees from above and knows what we need and He is waiting for us to come to Him and ask of Him.
Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father Which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. -> This prayer, known as "The Lord's Prayer," is an example prayer that Jesus was giving to us, not to pray, but to show us "How to Pray." He didn't want us to pray this prayer repetitiously, or every time we prayed. He was showing us how to "open" our prayer and Who to pray to.
Matthew 6:10 Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. -> In all things we should pray that His Will be done. He is our maker and creator, all things were and are created by Him, He is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. His Word was written billions of years ago and He knows what happens next and we should want what He has written to come to pass. No, we don't care for the evil that is taking place in this present time but it must come to pass in order for things to transpire and continue to the fulfillment and Jesus' return.
Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. -> This is not a prayer for "food" or something to eat, because as He already told us in verse 8 above "...Father knoweth what things ye have need of..." so no, this prayer is for something much more important: John 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' -> Do you comprehend that Father gave the Israelites "angel's food"? This is literal food that sustained both the angel's in heaven, and the Israelite's physical bodies while they were in the wilderness. But, at the same time, and more importantly, they were receiving the Spiritual Bread of life, for they were witnessing, writing and living the Word of God, which we have for our ensamples today. Only for them as Jesus tells us in John 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.. Yeah they were dead, Jesus upon His crucifixion had to go back to them and redeem them also. John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. -> Sadly they, like many today, still think the only bread they ate in the wilderness was physical bread, their spiritual eyes, nor the scriptures, have not yet been opened to them as is taught in Luke 24:45. What bread was Jesus referring to? John 6:50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. [6:51] I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I give is My flesh, which I give for the life of the world. John 6:33For the bread of God is He Which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world." -> There is no other name by which we have eternal life, Jesus is the only name! John 6:34 Then said they unto Him, "Lord, evermore give us this bread." -> Even though He as right there and explaining it to them, they still did not have their eyes opened as they were concentrating too much on their stomachs. Had they given thought and desired the deeper meaning, He would have revealed it to them and opened both their eyes and the scriptures in order for them to understand. Sharpen up for me for this next verse is why we came here. John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst. -> "I am" is The Sacred name that Father used when Moses asked Him "Who he should tell the Israelites sent him to lead them out of their bondage to the Egyptians in the Book of Exodus. Jesus is making it clear that He is the tree of Life from the Garden of Eden, which provides food for all seasons; Jesus is making it very clear that what He is offering is spiritual food, the only food by which we can partake of eternal life with Him and our heavenly Father. He is the tree from which in Revelation 22:2, we partake of every month in the eternity. Jesus further substantiates this in John 6:48 I am that bread of life.. John 6:36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen Me, and believe not. -> Jesus was telling His disciples, and anybody else who was in earshot, that they were just like the Israelites when Father led them up out of Egypt and wanted to give them the Promised Land. They believed not therefore they wandered in the desert for 38 years. Likewise also, those with Jesus had witnessed His miracles, but all they wanted was another piece of fish and some more bread. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. -> All that Father gave Jesus were those of His Elect, and down through the years they have continued to come to Him. They are the ones who hold fast to the Truth in His Word, not allowing it to be turned into traditions of man or lies. We can read about them in the many places but for this study we'll read about them in the Books of Romans and Ephesians. Ephesians 1:4 According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: -> The chosen were and are the ones that Father has given Jesus and as it states here, they were given Him from the time right after satan's casting down (foundation of the world). Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, -> God's Elect were chosen, predestinated, justified, and glorified according to God's good pleasure, and that is part of the plan of God. The plan of God is "the Will and good pleasure of God." When satan rebelled in the first earth age, He took one third of the angels or souls with Him, in the defiance of God. The Elect were those souls in that earth age that were immovable against satan, and because of their stand with Father then, He has already judged them to righteousness, they already have part in the first resurrection. This is why it is only these which can commit the unpardonable sin. God predestined those souls and adopted each of them to himself for His good pleasure. These are the souls that the "All that the Father giveth to Me that shall come unto Me..."
God the Father gave His Son to even to this generation, so that in the final generation these witness His Word and Will might be fulfilled. If you understand the plan of God it is no accident, then God will seal that Will or plan into the minds of each of His Elect. God's Elect will not be deceived by satan in his role of the antichrist and all the wonders and deceptions that satan, the antichrist will do. We'll next read a little about them in Romans 8:29 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. [8:30] Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.. John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him That sent Me. -> John 1:1 tells us that The Word of God was written in the beginning - billions of years ago, therefore it has always been His plan, His Will, for Him to be made man as the Son, and be the Saviour of the World in order to gather us all back to Him. This was and is Jesus' mission and He will not fail His Father. Every soul is given the opportunity to be born once through the womb of women John 3:1-8 and have the "free-will" to love Him or not. John 6:39 And this is the Father's Will Which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. -> Further, His Will is that Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem., who was in Jerusalem? The House of Judah - the Tribes of Judah, Benjamin and a few of Manasseh and Levi. But also with them were mixed in some of the nethinim and kenites. And again in II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. -> This is what His Will is, that none of His children perish in the Lake of Fire at the end of The Lord's Day, but that they repent in order to be with Him in the eternity - "...raise it up again at the last day.". John 6:40 And this is the will of Him That sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, AND believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." -> Father fulfilled His part of the Promise - His coming in the flesh and going to the cross - thereby shedding His blood (Lamb of God - The Passover Lamb) in order to redeem us back to Him. All we have to do then is Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [10:10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; AND with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. -> It is just that simple but yet man, in all his "wisdom," rejects that which is so easy. All you need to do to be accepted by Him, is, go to Him in prayer, confess you sins to Him and not man, repent of them, and be saved and raised up at the last day. This verse is the reason we stayed in John 6 for so long - John 6:41 The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." -> These so called "Jews" which were murmuring against Jesus were either the kenites, or they were following the orders of the kenites - either way, they were the chief priest, pharisees, sadducees, scribes, nethinims and elders that were installed by the Roman Governor, they weren't of the House of Judah or the Levites. They knew the law - the Old Testament, but only accepted those parts that would conform to their traditions. Many of the things that these nethinims plotted against Jesus, the men of true Judah would not be caught doing. Remember that the word "Jews" meant "from the Land of Judaea," and included all those living inside the borders of Judaea. Christ taught this in the Book of Revelation: Revelation 2:9 I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Even to the final day of this flesh age we are to be aware of these offspring of Cain, whether they call themselves "Jews," or Christian for that matter. Let's return now to Matthew 6:12:
Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. -> As we would see if we continued to verse 14, below, we must forgive to be forgiven. Do we necessarily have to tell the one we're forgiving that we are forgiving them? No, but we should tell Father and then do it. Does this mean that we should forgive every thing that a man does? No. If a man commits a crime, he must pay. If a man, or woman for that matter, murders, rapes or does both, that person must pay their debt to society and the community must carry out the instructions from God set out in Numbers 35:16 and Deuteronomy 17.
Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. -> Every day we should ask Father to assist us in resisting satan's temptations. He is our Father and loves us all and it is His desire that we turn to Him and ask Him for His assistance, He and His Son - Jesus have the power and in Christ's name do we have the power over our enemies. What does Father think when satan and our enemies attack us? Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give peace unto wrath: for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the LORD." -> which is quoted from Isaiah 63:4.
OK, so we learned Who to pray to, how to pray and Who vengeance belongs to. So now let's learn What to pray for. For the start of this we begin in John 14.
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. -> Jesus is with the Father and by faith we shall do greater works as He told us but, these greater works do not mean He will give us anything we ask for. As I said earlier when I quoted Mark 11:24, He won't give us something that He knows will hurt us, He won't assist us in getting a shiny new fancy car and such, but He will assist us in getting the things to better spreading His Word and furthering His ministry.
John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. -> The end of this verse says it correctly - "...that the Father may be glorified in the Son." If it brings glory to the Father, we shall ask it in Jesus' name and He will provide it for us.
John 14:14 If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it. -> The best thing we can ask for is Father's Understanding of His Word, His Knowledge in His Word and His Wisdom through His Word, ask Him to open your eyes in order to "see" what you read, the ears to "hear" the truth in His Word, the opening of your heart and mind so as to be like a child in receiving the strong meat that we can only find in His Word. These are the things He desires us to ask of Him, talk about asking for the bricks to build the chruch! But sadly far too many people desire the things of this world and not Spiritual things which is what we should desire; too many people, pastors and preachers worry about their "prosperity doctrines."
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep My commandments. -> That also should be The Desire of Our Hearts - If We Love Him, We should keep His commandments. How about the small things - do they matter? Not once did He say, I am the Son of God and if you believe in Me, you can sin on purpose all week long and then on Sunday I'll forgive it. Pay attention as you drive down the street, uh oh, I'll probably step on some toes here - how many cars do you see driving with the ICTHUS ><> badges on the back of their cars, driving 5, 10 or 15 miles an hour faster than the speed limit, we should be setting the example for the heathen to follow, not following the heathen, too many Christians long to be in this world and not enough in Christ.