Approach prayer with the right attitude
"When you pray, do not be like these hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men." Matthew 6:5
"But when you pray go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:6
"Don't recite the same prayer over and over as the heathen do, who think prayers are answered only by repeating them again and again. Remember, your Father knows exactly what you need before you ask Him!" Matthew 6:7-8
Use the Model Jesus Gave Us
Jesus gave us the Lord's Prayer as a model of how to pray. The below looks at the "parts" of the Lord's Prayer and how we can use it as a model when we pray.
"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name..."
We begin by expressing our love for God. Two types of praise that we could consider here are adoration (praising God for who He is) and thanksgiving (praising God for what he has done).
"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..."
Pray for God's will to be done... in my family... my church... my ministry... my job... my future... my city... my nation... the world. Then let go of the outcome.
"Give us this day, our daily bread..."
We ask God to provide for our daily needs. There is nothing too great for God's power to take care of and there's nothing too insignificant for His concern. God knows what we need. He knows everything about us -- but prayer is our personal declaration of dependence on God.
"Forgive us our trespasses..."
We ask God to forgive our sins. Consider the following steps in the process of seeking forgiveness:
~ Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal every sin.
~ Confess each sin specifically.
~ Make restitution to others when necessary.
~ By faith, accept God's forgiveness.
"...as we forgive those who trespass against us."
It is important to remember that God is working in the lives of the people we pray for even when we can't see it. If there's someone you've been praying for, even for a long time, and you don't see any evidence of change, you don't want to give up... God certainly hasn't.
~ Experience forgiveness from God for yourself.
~ Accept that you will always need the forgiveness of God and others.
~ Accept you will always forgive others.
~ Understand that forgiving others is a process of daily choices to forgive, the difficulty of which depends on the offense.
~ Forgive because you need forgiveness.
~ Forgive because you want to be like Jesus
~ Forgive because you want to be emotionally and psychologically healthy.
~ If you do not forgive, the resentment and bitterness will destroy you, not the other person.
~ If you are unable or unwilling to forgive, surrender that powerlessness to God, asking Him to do for you what you cannot do for yourself.
~ Communicate openly with a safe person, and seek help when needed.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
Believers face spiritual battles every day. Satan wants to defeat us through temptation and fear. We need protection as we face daily temptations from the world, the flesh, and the devil. By praying for protection, we can have the confidence to face every situation during the day.
"For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen."
We accept our weakness and powerlessness as we acknowledge and surrender to our genuine source of strength and power.