What is prayer?

What is prayer? Prayer is simply us talking with God about our lives and the things we and those around us are facing. In prayer, we must be completely open and honest with God about everything. But prayer is much more than just telling God what we want. Prayer should be a vital part of our daily lives. Prayer was such a vital part of the life of Jesus that His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. So, in Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus gave them a model for how to pray. Jesus said:

“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9).

Prayer should begin with addressing God and praising Him for who He is. If He has been gracious and forgiving, if He has provided for you, or whatever the case may be to you personally, thank Him and adore Him for His attributes that He has revealed to you. You can address Him by names that correspond to these attributes. For instance, you might say, “Jehovah Shalom (the Lord of peace), thank You for being my peace in this difficult time.” If you want to learn more names of God to praise Him by, visit our Names of God page.

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

After appropriately addressing and praising the Lord God, we then need to line ourselves up in the right position; we should place ourselves right behind Him, following and seeking after His will. Our desires and their ideal timing are not as important as God’s desires and His perfect timing.

“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).

God has given us minds to plan for the future, but we are to live in the now. If we focus too much on the past or the future, we could miss out on what God has in store for us today. When we have faith in Him to provide only what is needed for now, this faith places Him in charge and allows us to give Him glory for what and how He provides.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).

If prayer is to rightly align us with the Lord, we must make sure we are forgiving toward others. Holding grudges of any kind prohibits true fellowship with the Lord. Sin affects us, but sin is truly against God because only God is holy. God is not only holy, but He is also forgiving. Therefore, if we are not willing to forgive others, we are effectively calling ourselves exempt from God’s command to forgive. If we won’t forgive others, God will not forgive us.

“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13).

In closing, we are to ask the Lord to help us live holier lives and to help us pursue Him with our whole beings. End the prayer by praising Him again for the great God He is.

One of the best things about prayer is the fact that God Himself has said that we can come to Him at any time. Day, night, beside our beds, at church, or in the car, we can always come before His throne of grace. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:6).