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Prayer: What, Who, Why, When, Where, How?

Updated on March 6, 2019
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes Bible lessons and motivational articles.

Man praying
Man praying

Who Should Pray?

If you can talk, then you can pray. Praying is simply communication with God. Therefore, everyone can and should pray. Small children are taught to pray at bedtime and at meal times.

Some people say they are not great orators and cannot pray like others. Those are not the requirements for praying. God is not expecting flowery words. He is not expecting a duplication of what others have said. God is expecting people to pray with a sincere heart.

Praying is communicating with God.
Praying is communicating with God.

Why Pray?

People wonder why pray when God knows our needs. They wonder what's the point of praying when God knows the future and is already in control of everything. They say since we cannot change God's mind, why should we pray?

Some people make it a habit of praying all the time. You might wonder why they pray and why you should pray.

There are several reasons you should pray.

  1. God commanded it.
  2. Jesus did it.'
  3. Biblical accounts show that men of God did it.
  4. Prayer puts you in oneness with God. It is a very good way to get into the presence of God.
  5. We can intercede for others by praying for them.
  6. When we are down, prayer will lift us up.
  7. Prayer gives us power to triumph over our troubles.
  8. We pray because we believe God wants to hear from us.

When to Pray?

Prayer should be a lifestyle. First Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to "Pray without ceasing."

The psalmists and other biblical people prayed morning, noon, and night. Jesus got away often to be alone to pray to His Father. We should do the same.

Some people choose to pray as soon as they wake up in the morning and just before falling to sleep at night. They pray during the day, including saying the grace at meals.

There are special times when prayers are sent up to God. Such times include when traveling, when going on an interview, when a person is sick, and definitely when trouble comes.

When to Pray
Scripture Reference
All the time
1 Thessalonians 5:7
"Pray without ceasing"
Psalm 5:3
"In the morning, O Lord, yu hear my voice."
Acts 3:1
Peter and John went to the temple to pray at three in the afternoon.
Before meals
Mark 8:6
When Jesus fed the multitude, he pray of the bread and fish before they ate the meal..
At bed time
Psalm 63:6
"On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night."

ASAP - Always Say A Prayer

Where to Pray?

You do not need to wait until you get to church to pray. You can pray wherever you happen to be. Of course, all your prayers do not need to be audible. For instance, you whisper a prayer if you are sitting in the doctor's office or in a courtroom.

There are corporate prayers that you pray in church with other believers. There are prayers you pray when you touch and agree with individuals. Then there are personal and private prayers that you pray at home, in your car, or in your office when you are alone.

Don't be misled to think you always have to be on your knees to pray. You can pray anyplace and in any position.

PUSH - Pray Until Something Happens

How to Pray?

This may sound strange, but you open your mouth and speak to God just like you would speak to anyone else.

There are different formulas for praying that some people love to follow. The simplest one to use is similar to the following method.

A - Acknowledge who God is

C - Confess sins and ask forgiveness

T - Thank God for His many blessings

S - Supplicate, that means making requests to God.

When you get in the habit of prayer, you will not think about a formula or pattern. You will find yourself praying simple prayers during the day while you are doing housework, garden work, or driving.

Prayers don't need to be long and drawn out. It could be something as simple as "Lord, have mercy!" or simply calling on the name of the Lord by saying, "Jesus!"

Pray for your nation.
Pray for your nation.

What to Pray For?

Nothing that is important to you is too trivial to pray about. What you should not do is to let your prayer requests pile up and give them to God all at once. It is better to speak to God on a regular basis.

No request to God is too big or too small. We are the ones who put a size to our prayers, not God.

According to Philippians 4:6, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."

If you need suggestions about who to pray for, begin by praying for yourself like Jesus did in John 17. Pray for your family, your church families, people on your job, those in your community, your nation, and for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).

There are prayers for all occasions. For instance, you wouldn't pray the same prayer over a sick person that you pray for over a meal. Use words to fit the occasions and by all means, pray the solution and not the problem.

ASK means Ask, Seek, Knock
ASK means Ask, Seek, Knock

Do you pray on a regular basis?

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