Is There a Right or Wrong Way to Prayer?

February 25, 2021

Is There a Right or Wrong Way to Prayer?

To move forward in prayer the question of right and wrong isn’t nearly as helpful as asking ----what will move me towards the goal of meaningful connection with God? There’s lots of helpful answers to that question. 

The whole narrative of Scripture points to the fact that God longs for a meaningful connection with you. You were made to live life with Him at the center, being your Source, your help, your wisdom, and your heart’s true home. Prayer is the link that connects us to God.

If we want to learn the most effective way to pray our best example and teacher is Jesus. He lived a life of prayer---of deep and intimate connection with God the Father. His disciples witnessed this as so they asked Jesus to teach them to pray. The model prayer Jesus gave them is undoubted the most famous prayer ever. We often call it the Lord’s Prayer. We can learn so much from this model prayer but here’s a few starters. This is found in your Bible in Matthew 6.

"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name."

From the start Jesus teaches us to remember who we pray to…not a remote unknown deity but a personal and relational Father. Jesus address God as Father 77 times in the book of John alone. Although God longs to have an intimate relationship with us hallowed, or holy, is your name reminds us that we aren’t approaching an equal or a buddy but the God of the universe and we come with reverence and respect.

10 "your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven."
Secondly, Jesus reminds us that there an overarching goal that leads to life and goodness. It’s when the ways of God’s kingdom are lived out on this earth. When He is ruler and Lord. So we pray that His loving rule will happen in our and in our lives.

11 "Give us today our daily bread."
This is an invitation to ask God for all our needs---everything that nourishes and sustains life.

12 "And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors."

Here Jesus gives us the most freeing and most challenging aspect of life in His Kingdom—as we have been forgiven, we are to extend forgiveness to those around us.

13 "And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one"

Evil is a reality in our world but God never intended us to face it alone. Jesus conquered sin and death and He is our help and our deliverer.

The Prayer Course is an 8 week free online study that walks through the Lord’s Prayer and is a great tool for digging deeper. It’s best experienced in community.

Here are two more great tools for learning to have meaningful conversation with God.

The Psalms - The Psalms are a collection of prayers. In the Psalms we learn that we can pour out our hearts to God about every aspect of our lives. It’s been said that every human emotion is represented in the book of Psalms. Some prayers are filled with incredible praise and gratitude, some are angry, some express deep loneliness and depression, others filled with great hope and joy. In the Psalms we learn to share all of life with God---to process everything with

Gathering to Pray with Others - Another great way to learn to pray is by participating in prayer gatherings where you’ll hear others talking to God. As you listen you’ll notice that there are similarities but also that each person prayer uniquely in the way God has made them. Praying together is something that Scripture instruct us to do. It’s a powerful gift not only in learning to pray but also in receiving prayer for your needs and learning the joy of praying for others.

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