There is a divine pattern for prayer. There is a “how” to pray for God to answer, and answer quick.
Prayer is assumed to be one of the commonest spiritual activities, yet it is the most abused. Amongst all spiritual instruments, prayer is such that is done most wrongly. Today, there are lots of prayer activities or much praying being offered than ever, but we rarely see results commensurate to the level of efforts invested therein.
Effective prayer is not measured by quantity, but by quality. It is not about “how much time” you spend praying, but “how much well” you pray.
Jesus disciples were marveled at how well He prayed, and the resultant effects of His kind of praying, so much so that they were really perplexed. Their entire understanding and concept of Prayer were confounded, until one day in distress they cried out “Lord, teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1.
The disciples have been praying all their lives; in and out of synagogue, and at family altars of prayer, but they are tired of inoperable rituals and now desperate for Jesus’s kind of results in prayer.
Notice that the disciple did not ask Jesus “what to pray” but “how they should pray”. Because Jesus already told them that God already knows “what they want to pray” about, but the issue is “how to pray” the “what” to get answers from God.
“Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
This, then, is how you should pray” Matthew 6:8-9
How should you pray?
What is called the Lord’s Prayer today is not a prayer recital, or meant for daily repetition during praying times. Jesus provided His disciples a Template or Model that can guide them in their prayers, and as well enrich our praying experience.
Personally, this has been helpful to me, and I want to share with you this treasurable template for prayer in Matthew 6:9-13
This, then, is how you should pray:
- “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…”
The first thing we learn is that, prayer must be initiated by acknowledging and confessing that God is the source of all things. “Our Father in heaven” means “Our Source in heaven”.
Secondly, the place of prayer is to be entered in reverence, and awe of God’s presence. Worship, Praise, and Adoration must be the fragrance of your entrance.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
“ Psalm 100:4
Do not enter the gate of prayer in desperation, but in adoration, however pressing the need. Do not enter the court of prayer with rage, but with praise. Start by thanking Him for the priviledge to approach his Holy presence. Proceed to worship Him for His power and might. Appraise his Name for His wonders and dreadful works as God of the universe.
Do this each time, without a haste or urgency. Take time to Hallow God!
- “…your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
Always put God’s agenda first before any other personal or corporate needs.
Regardless of your reason for prayer at any point in time, do not be in a rush to push your prayer list to God. Seek His will first and foremost.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Submit your heart and mind to the will of God by praying in the Holy Ghost, while your mind is actively engaged on God’s purpose. Read my publication title: Prayer Booster: Holy Ghost Assisted Prayer, to learn more about how to engage your mind praying in the Holy Ghost.
Be still, and let the light of God’s will permeate and penetrate your mind, and pray accordingly.
For me, it has turned out many times that, the very needs that drove me into prayer, were just instrument God used to get my attention and cause me to seek Him in His presence to pray for higher realities. In the very instant God’s will is revealed, comprehended, appropriated, and prayed about, my needs dissolve and my problems resolve. I now begin to see a higher purpose than my pressing needs, and more urgent realities than environmental induced facts; problems and issues around.
Dr. Myles Munroe wrote “We should always ask for the fulfillment of God’s prayer list before our own. He will bless you in the course of accomplishing His work on earth”
Divine realities deflate human realities; when a higher purpose is revealed, lower concerns are neutralized. In other words, God takes care of our needs when we are on mission with Him. He releases provision for every vision He gives.
3. “Give us today our daily bread.”
It is interesting to know that God knows our needs and prepares to meet them ahead of time, even before we ask Him.
As a husband, and father, I am always under constant watch, anticipation, and preparation to meet my family’s need, even at times at the expense of my personal comfort. This is so, because it is the obligation and responsibility of my role in this spiritual hemisphere –the Family. How much more will God –the Almighty, your Father, the Faithful, the Sovereign in power, and the Unlimited in resources –care for His own pleasure –YOU.
…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8
God is always disposed to meet and provide for our daily obligations; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He cares for us beyond how much we can comprehend His goodness.
Therefore, cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:7
Dr. Myle Munroe explained that in Jesus’ day, the term “daily bread” was cultural idiom that referred to everything necessary for the making of Bread. Therefore, when you say, “Give us today our daily bread” you are not only praying for food, but for the whole process that is necessary to make the food possible.
So let’s present our daily request and definite needs to God in prayer.
He will provide!
4. “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
Now comes a vital moment in the place of prayer, the moment of mercy.
God is always ready to answer our prayers, and in fact instantly releases answers when we pray. But Satan, also always bring up accusations and occasions against us before God, so as to hinder our answers.
Sin is no longer an issue with God; Jesus had been made Atonement for Sin, but sin is still a strong weapon for Satan against the believer. Satan uses this weapon to create a foothold of accusation and affliction, temporarily breaks fellowship and communion with God, steals joy and confidence in the Lord, kills conviction and faith in God, and ultimate aims at destroying relationship a believer has with God in Christ Jesus.
But God is faithful, in Him and with Him; there is grace for forgiveness, and provision for cleansing
”If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
Sin is Satan’s virtue, and currency, running on a credit system, so when we spend it, we owe him. He knows that we cannot pay him back on our terms; therefore, it is very important to bring up every issue of “debts” of sin to Satan before God ahead of Satan. So that the blood of Jesus Christ can be dispensed at once to fully refresh.
Therefore, ask for forgiveness for every known wrongdoing, clear your mind of bitterness, and declare others forgiven for wrongs done against you.
Forgive others, and hold no grudge against anyone, so that you can be well positioned to receiving forgiveness from God.
5. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
We need to be alert to the temptations and weaknesses that could harm our fellowship with God and our testimony of Him before men; things that Satan can and will exploit to cause us to stumble. That is why this is a critical moment in the prayer place.
Here is the moment of grace; the moment in prayer when you discuss your personal struggles with God BOLDLY and ask Him for help and strength to overcome. Here is the moment you express your desires to God to lead a life pleasing to Him, and a walk that glorifies Him.
As a matter of fact, how well this is done will determine how successful your spiritual walk with God, and how forceful your resistance level against Satan will be for the given day.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”
The scripture above calls this moment a time to find grace to help, ahead of the pressure of need that will arise – during the day. Why many believers fail at a resistant position is because adequate grace hadn’t been earlier secured at a support level –throne of grace, to withstand the occasion of trouble.
You need to constantly pray for wisdom and sound judgment, so that you will no longer make bad decisions that compromises your relationship with God and Men.
This moment in our prayer times is that of grace and strength
Wow, What a great way to pray!
6. “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”
We do not only offer praise and worship as entrance to prayer, but we also exit prayer with praise, adoration and worship. By this we acknowledge His Power and extol His Might in bringing about the manifestation all we have prayed about.
When you do so, according to Dr Myles Munroe, You are saying to God, “I know you are going to answer this prayer; therefore, I am going to thank You ahead of time. I am going to give You all the glory that comes from what happens. When the answer is manifested, I am going to tell everybody that it’s all because of you”
In conclusion, this Divine Template for prayer is the golden secret of Jesus’ effectiveness for ministry, and likewise His Apostles. This secret has now been revealed to us, and its grace endowed on us for our effectiveness in life and ministry also.