Talking to God

Does It Matter When and Where We Pray?

When Jesus introduced prayer by saying, Our Father (Matthew 6:9), he reminded us that prayer is more personal than prescriptive. Prayer is a “divine dialogue” between God and those who have a relationship with him. Therefore, we are welcome to come to God anytime and anywhere.

Like Jesus, we may pray early in the morning (Mark 1:35) or in the evening (Mark 14:32). We may pray when we are afraid (Psalm 119:145–146), when we are in need (Matthew 7:7–12) or when we lack wisdom (James 1:5). We may also pray to express the joy (Philippians 1:4) and the gratitude (1Thessalonians 5:16–18) we feel when we see God at work around us. And while many of our prayers include requests for our personal needs, it is right to pray for others (1Thessalonians 5:25), including those in authority (1Timothy 2:1–2) and even our enemies (Matthew 5:44). We should pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:18).

Our prayers at any time may also be offered in any place. Hannah’s prayer in the temple (1Samuel 1:9–11) was no more spiritual than Moses’ prayer in the desert (Exodus 32:11–14). Jesus prayed in a garden (Mark 14:32–42). Jonah prayed in the belly of a fish (Jonah 2:1 10). Paul prayed in prison (Acts 16:22–25). Nehemiah prayed in the king’s court (Nehemiah 2:4). No matter where we are, we can always be assured of reception with God when we pray.

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Making Prayer a Priority-Part 4

HOW TO PRAY (Matthew 6:7-15)
In Matthew 6:7, Jesus cautioned against meaningless repetition when talking to the Father. Just two verses later, He left a pattern to help us pray. However, in using this passage, which is known as the Lord’s Prayer, we’re often guilty of the very thing Jesus warned against: Instead of thoughtfully praying each line, we run through the words mindlessly. But if we take time to carefully examine Christ’s words, we’ll find the pattern that can transform our prayer life.

ADORATION OF THE FATHER (Matt. 6:9). God the Father is the focus of all our prayers. We should never forget what a privilege it is to bend our knees on earth and reach almighty God in heaven.

SUBMISSION TO HIS WILL (Matt. 6:10). Prayer should reflect a desire to align ourselves with God’s goals and purposes, not to get Him to follow our plans.

PETITION GOD FOR OUR NEEDS (Matt. 6:11). We are dependent upon the Lord, and He wants us to come to Him with our requests.

 CONFESSION OF SINS (Matt. 6:12). When we repent and forgive others, we maintain fellowship with God. But if we hold grudges, that fellowship is broken. God loves to answer our prayers when the lines of communication are not disrupted.

DELIVERANCE FROM EVIL (Matt. 6:13). Our enemy is too strong for us, but Christ has already won the victory over him. Jesus ended the prayer where He began—with praise to the Father for His kingdom, power, and glory (Matt. 6:13). Next time you say this prayer, concentrate on each verse. Then, following this pattern will result in a more dynamic and effective prayer life because it will be God-centered.