Prayer: How-to Pray According to Scripture
Prayer: How-to Pray According to Scripture
Although there is no “right way to pray”, there are a few tips that the Bible gives us which helps God to hear us. Yes, it’s true that harboring sin can hinder your prayers.
God commands us to not harbor-or- cherish sin:
“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;” (Psalm 66:16 NIV)
When we hold sin in our hearts, sit on unforgiveness, and most importantly ignore repenting to God, He will not feel inclined to listen to your prayers. It may seem a bit harsh, but would you continue to listen to someone who never takes your advice? God instructs us to repent of our sins, let go of a sinful lifestyle or behavior, and in doing that we are heeding His commandments. In turn, God won’t be thinking “Wait a minute. You’re asking me for this when you haven’t even done what I asked?”
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2 NIV)
God detests the prayers coming from those who deliberately ignore Him:
”If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.” (Proverbs 28:9 NIV)
Remember, God knows your heart, if you’re coming to Him based on a tradition your family instilled in you, you should pull back and re-evaluate how you truly feel. God says your heart is far from Him, and this will not get your prayers heard.
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught…” (Isaiah 29:13 NIV)
“By offering defiled food on my altar. But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 1:7-9 NIV)
This verse can easily be taken to another level. Who are you to offer yourself to me when you haven’t even made an effort to obey My commandments? This is unacceptable- I need more from you than words.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6 NIV)
Do not be hypocritical or public in your prayer. Often times when someone prays publicly they are seeking outward attention, with no eye on The Heavenly Father. If you’re tempted to pray in a room full of people, and your motives are for personal gain in any way, your prayer will not be heard.
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14 NIV)
This is probably my favorite verse of this message. It speaks volumes of a topic which I feel is so important. Those who “exalt themselves will be humbled,” which means that those who applaud themselves will be humbled. And those who humble themselves, will be applauded. It speaks to the truth of being humbled in everything you do and say. And prayer counts.
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NIV)
Again, the Bible tells us here that your motives should never be selfish.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6 NIV)
Many Christians forget this verse and admittedly, I do too. Sometimes when we pray, we pray earnestly and we’re humbled, yet we forget the confidence in knowing that our prayer will be answered. This ties in to trusting the Lord to carrying out your prayers according to His Will.
I hope this clears up some things with regard to Prayer. Often times, we may be so focused on praying about one person or one thing, that we forget to stop and say Thank You to The Lord who has blessed us in so many ways. No matter your circumstance, the Bible commands to ask all things, in thanksgiving. (Colossians 1:12 NIV)
Additionally, we may be focused on praying for one person and their faults and wrong-doings, when God wants you to change.
Try focusing on being thankful, humble, ask for His Will, and be confident it is done.
Posted on June 26, 2013, in Articles on God, Bible Learning and tagged bible, Christ, Colossians 1:12 NIV, God, Isaiah 29:13 NIV, Isaiah 59:2 NIV, James 1:6 NIV, James 4:3 NIV, Luke 18:14 NIV, Malachi 1:7-9 NIV, Matthew 6:5-6 NIV, pray, Prayer, Proverbs 28:9 NIV, Psalm 66:16 NIV, scripture. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.