How should we pray as a Christian? Is there a “correct” or “proper” way to talk with the Lord? What does Jesus and the Bible teach us about prayer?
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Many times, I find myself getting into mundane and tedious prayer habits. Often I make the mistake of “praying for the sake of praying”, rather than praying from the heart. If I am tired or don’t have a lot of time, I say a quick and almost “rehearsed” prayer to squeeze it into my day.
But this of course is not how we should communicate with our Lord. God wants a deep and meaningful relationship with us. He does not want to be an acquaintance who we make small talk with. Rather, he wants us to talk to him intimately, with passion and enthusiasm.
Prayer should be a conversation from heart
In Matthew 6:7, the Bible gives us an example of how NOT to pray to the Lord:
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.
This verse tells us that practices from other religious systems like mantras and hesychasm are not Biblical. Practices like this are shallow, and aren’t conducive to a deep and meaningful relationship with the Father. In order to know God more deeply, we need to have deep conversations, or prayers, with him.
If this is how we are NOT supposed to pray, we can deduce a pretty clear picture of the correct way. Rather than using vain repetitions, we should have an organic, “free-flowing” conversation with God.
Pray that God’s will be done
Additionally in Matthew 6:9-13 we find a prayer “outline” from Jesus often referred to as The Lord’s Prayer. This prayer is a specific framework from Jesus on how we should pray. In the prayer we find a very important phrase which illustrates further the answer to this question of “how should we pray?”.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
This verse is paramount in understanding how we should pray to God. All of our prayers should be inline with HIS will, not only ours. Whenever we pray, we should ask ourselves, “Is this what God wants for me?”. If the answer is no, then we probably shouldn’t be praying for it.
Conclusion: How Should We Pray?
In conclusion, prayer should be an intimate conversation with the Lord our Father. But most importantly, it should be inline with HIS will, not only ours. Prayer should not be rehearsed or repetitious, as the Bible clearly states. Prayer is how we talk with God, and it should be exactly that – a conversation. Don’t fall into the mistake of “mundane prayer”. Speak with the Lord intimately and with depth.