For sinhala translation click here > මම යාච්ඤා කරන්නේ කෙසේද
A lot of people especially new believers have this question how do I pray? Is there some method, format or special way in which prayer must be done? Well what does the Bible say?
Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13. He gave this to us as a model prayer. Repeating this prayer is a good start for our prayer life. However, prayer is more than repeating this. It is a personal, intimate fellowship with God. So how do we have this personal, intimate fellowship with God? Well let me give you some easy points.
- Matthew 6:6 ‘pray to your Father’ – Remember we are praying to our heavenly Father. When we come to Him in prayer, we do not approach Him as King or Judge but as our Heavenly Father. He loves you as His child and you love Him as a Father. So, there is no need for any kind of fear. 1 John 4:18 ‘perfect love drives out fear.’ You can boldly come before Him in prayer. Hebrews 4:16 ‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’
- Prayer is a discussion or chat between you and your Heavenly Father. Look at Abraham. He spoke to the Lord like a friend. In Genesis chapter 15 we see Abraham talking to the Lord and the Lord talking to Abraham. Some think praying means you have to put on a serious face, shout, scream, shake and put on a big scene for God to consider it as a true prayer. There is no need for anything like that. You can just close your eyes and begin to talk. My style of prayer is very quiet and silent. I just close my eyes and my mouth and talk to Jesus from my heart. I will tell Him things like ‘Lord, I feel very weak in faith today and discouraged, please give me strength. Please fill me with your Spirit.’ I also tell Him things like ‘Lord why are these people doing all these crazy things in Your Name, why don’t you put a stop.’ I also tell Him, Lord I just got angry, I am really sorry Father, help me to exercise control over my emotions. It is just a chat with Him. No big noise. In response Holy Spirit begins to impart things into my spirit and mind even leading me to read certain portions of scripture that give me answers to my questions.
- Prayer can be a time of singing songs of praise and worship. Ephesians 5:19 ‘Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord’. This is what I do the most during my prayer time. Just singing hymns and choruses in English, Sinhala and Tamil non-stop. The presence of God is so amazing as we begin to praise the Lord and worship Him by singing His word as songs. If you don’t have words to say to the Lord just start singing. God loves everyone’s voice because you are His child. Don’t say I can’t sing. When Holy Spirit comes upon, He will give you the ability.
- Prayer does not have to always be long. You can allocate time to pray from your daily schedule where you spend time alone with God in your room and talk to Him (Matthew 6:6). You can also throughout the day whilst doing your other work chat with the Lord from your heart. Even if you pray only 5-10 minutes, if it is a sincere prayer from a true heart, that prayer will move God in Heaven to do miracles for you on earth. Holy Spirit Himself will lead you to pray longer. Important thing is not to rely on your flesh to pray longer. Let the Lord lead you, then it becomes easy. Then you will not even feel the time going.
- A prayer must come from a sincere and true heart. James 5:16 says ‘The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.’ Who is a righteous person? Only Jesus can make us righteous (Romans 5:1). He makes us righteous, when we repent and ask forgiveness from Him for all our sins. After this, we must surrender to His Holy Spirit daily and put to death all the bad habits and attitudes in our life (Romans chapters 6 and 8). Yes, daily tell the Lord, give me Your strength to live a life that pleases you. Convict me if I do something wrong. Show me my weaknesses and give me Your grace to overcome all the weaknesses of my flesh. Holy Spirit will daily transform your life to become more like Jesus each day when you commune with Him in prayer.
May Holy Spirit help you to pray from today onwards.