How do you pray? Do you believe there is a specific way to pray? How you answer these two questions will, in some cases, depend on your denomination and tradition. But have you ever wondered what the Bible has to say about prayer? Tradition and denominational ideas are just human-made ideas that have got nothing to do with prayer. If we do not pray the way the Bible teaches us, our prayers are futile and unable to do anything for us. Therefore, we must put tradition and denominational views aside and pray as the Bible teaches us to pray.
The only one who knows the right way to pray is Yeshua (Jesus Christ). In the Gospels, we see how He taught us to pray to Yehovah, our Father, in His (the Fathers) name. Praying in His name refers to two things: praying in the Father’s character and personality and speaking the Father’s actual name.
How do we pray in the Father’s character and personality? By imitating Him in everything He did, just as Yeshua could do nothing of His own, He could only do what He saw His Father doing. By imitating Yeshua’s life (1.John 2, 1.Cor 11), we pray in the Father’s character and personality. What are the character and nature of Yehovah and Yeshua? They both share the same love for the Torah (the written law of Moses.) (John 14.) Their unity comes from being one in character and personality. So when you obey the Torah, you are one with Yeshua (1.John 2), one with Yehovah (John 17) and praying in the Fathers and Son’s name.
Praying in His name is also speaking the name of Yehovah, our Father. It says, in Rom 10:13, whoever calls upon the name of Yehovah will be saved. So praying in His name is also calling upon Yehovah, our Father whom we are praying to, by speaking out His name aloud or thinking about His name.
So if you obey the Torah, and you speak aloud/thinking and meditating on His name when praying, you are praying in His name. According to the Bible, this is the right way to pray. (John 14:13)
Even though you are doing all of the above, according to Yeshua in the Lord prayer, it is also essential to sanctify His name while praying.
What does it mean to “sanctify His name”?
It means to give glory where glory is due when praying.
What do I mean by this?
Take, for example, if you need money to pay your bills, most Christians will come up with the perfect plan on how they think Yehovah should meet their needs. They will then instruct Yehovah how to answer their prayer, and if it gets responded to, they will take some of the glory and credit for it because they “prayed hard” and be grateful to those who played a role in it. The Bible says Yehovah does not share His glory with anyone, not even His own Son Yeshua. (Isaiah 42:8)
Having a legitimate need for money is not sinful, and it is nothing wrong with asking Yehovah for the money you need. But if you do not instruct Him how to give you what you need, He and He alone is the one who gets the glory when your prayers are answered.
This will also help you to be persistent in prayer, especially when you do not see the answer right away.
If you need money and come up with a preconceived idea of how Yehovah should do it, your opinion on how He should do it might not be the best way. Perhaps Yehovah chooses to answer your prayer differently, but because you are so focused on your way, you will misinterpret His reaction as a no and stop praying. When you stop praying, the answer that was on its way will never reach you.
One such good example is Daniel in the old testament. When he prays, it takes quite sometime before the angel reaches him with the answer. One of the first things he says to Daniel is that his prayer was heard the first day and answered immediately. But because of spiritual warfare, the angel had to call for backup to fight to get through to Daniel, so he was delayed. If Daniel had interpreted this as a no to his prayer, he would have stopped praying, and the angel would have never have reached him.
If we give Yehovah total freedom to meet our needs, we will never become guilty of hindering His answer to our prayers.
Now that we have learned how to pray, the question then gives itself, when do we pray?
Just as we pray, how you would answer this question depends on tradition and denominational background. But just as how we pray, only the Bible can teach us when we should pray.
There is no specific time for prayer mentioned in the Bible when we are outside Israel and dont have access to the temple. Then it is up to us when we are to pray, but considering how Yehovah is our source for everything and we can not live without Him, it would be beneficial for us to live in continued prayer.
How is that possible, considering how we all live hectic lives?
In the Gospel of John, the Bible says that if you pray in His name, He (Yehovah) lives in you. Why? Because praying in His name means you keep Torah, and the Bible says in the Gospel of John, everyone who keeps Torah loves Yehovah, and because of their love, Yehovah has taken up residence in them.
If He lives in you, you do not have to speak out aloud to pray. It is nothing wrong with speaking aloud when praying, but it is not necessary. Someone living on the inside of you has full access to your thought life, can hear and read everything you hear, read, and think and knows your attitude and focus of life.
Prayer is so much more than just words said aloud or a passing thought; prayer is also our attitude and focus of life.
Remember what we learned some time ago, how faith always has to show itself in action to be a saving faith?
If your focus and attitude are wrong, saying all the right words in prayer can not help you because your faith is dead. But if your focus and attitude line up with your prayers, then prayer will bring results and, at the same time, go from being just verbal prayer to becoming a nonverbal prayer as well. And if prayer is non-verbal, then we can live a continued life of prayer.
If you genuinely believe Yehovah is your source for everything in your life, then your focus and attitude should always be Yehovah. So whatever happens in your life, your thoughts should always focus on Yehovah instead of your needs. And this makes it possible to live in continued non-verbal prayer, with a continued focus on Yehovah, whatever happens to you.
As I am writing this, my focus in my mind is Yehovah. I have chosen to trust Yehovah as my source because I keep Torah, and I know I am reconciled to Him by the Blood of Yeshua. So I am not worried about how I will write this; I trust Yehovah to give me the words and how I should phrase them.
Whenever I have a need, a need for healing, for money, I choose to trust Yehovah and only Yehovah to meet that need. Even if I know other people are involved, and other people can make it more comfortable or difficult for my needs to be met, I choose still to trust Yehovah to meet my needs the way He sees best when He sees best.
This helps me not worry because I know He is my source, so I know if I am obeying Torah, He will heal, He will provide, He will help, He will save when the time is right. And while I am waiting, He will see me through waiting time just as He did with our forefathers in the desert.
So I live in continued prayer, not by saying aloud or thinking a lot of words but by my attitude. My perspective is: Yehovah will see to this, I trust Yehovah to meet my needs.
Do I sometimes resort to using words?
Of course, sometimes I pray under my breath or out aloud using words, but always with the attitude of “Yehovah will see to this, I trust Yehovah to meet my needs.” So it is nothing wrong with praying aloud, or in your mind as long as your faith in your prayer matches up with your attitude of prayer. Then, and only then is your faith alive and able to save you.
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