Understanding the benefits of prayer will help us to understand why we should pray. Most people, believers and non-believers alike, only pray in a time of need, when things are out of their control. The problem is that prayer should be the first thing you, as a believer, do every morning and the last thing you, as a believer, do before you go to sleep. This is not to say that these are the only times that you should pray because the scripture say that we should pray always, without ceasing.
“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:17-18).
We are told to pray without ceasing, but did you notice what else we are to do when praying? Scripture tells us that we should give “thanks in everything.” According to this passage, prayer is not just something we do in our hour of need, but something that we should constantly do, constantly giving thanks to God in every situation, because “this is the will of God for us.”
“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth (Luke 11:1-2).
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray as John taught his disciples to pray, the first thing Jesus did was to teach them to give honor and praise to God. Jesus said, when we pray, we should say, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Jesus basically told them to revere the name of the Father and to honor him for his holiness.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4).
When we come before God, we are to enter into his gates with great thanksgiving and as we enter into his courts, we enter with praise. Yes, when we come before God, we need to first thank God, we need to first praise God, we need to first worship God, and we need to first glorify God. Then on top of all of that, we need to be thankful to God. And last but not least, we need to bless his holy name.
“I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace. I will boast of all his kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart. Let us praise the Lord together and exalt his name” (Psalm 34:1-3 TLB). “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3).
We know that this somewhat different from the way you have been taught to pray, but this is how Jesus told his disciple to pray and what he told them to do. When we pray, we need to give praise to the Lord God. When we pray, we need to speak of his glories and of his grace. When we pray, we need to boast of his kindness. When we pray, we need to give thanks and to bless his holy name. When we pray, we need to exalt his holy name. When we pray, we need to pray for these reasons. Notice that we did not say that these were the only reasons we need to pray, but they do be the primary reasons. Prayer is a process and there is more to come in the near future.
Here is one other thing that we found most interesting in all of this; the fact that the disciples had asked Jesus to teach them to pray as John the Baptist had taught his disciples to pray. There is not much mentioned in scripture as to what or how John the Baptist taught his disciples about prayer, but we do know that John was the forerunner of Jesus Christ; that he prepared the way for Jesus; and that John and Jesus had many similarities between their ministries. With that being said, we can conclude that he must have taught his disciples the same if not a very similar way to pray as Jesus did, saying, “When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”
We pray that today’s inspirational message will give you a new perspective on “prayer and why we pray.” We also pray that this message will bless you, inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it. If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well. Amen.
Enjoy your blessings - KW