Formal Prayer Matters
The evil spirit teaches us that we must not pray. ANY TIME SOMEONE advises us against talking to God, it is of the Devil.
Formal prayer is an act of devotion that can occur at least three times a day requiring the use of the entire body. Of course, formal prayer can occur anytime the practitioner has the ability to do so. Many faithful have a morning and evening devotional at least. Mid-day devotion is a privilege that many may not have.
Yet, there are other types of prayer that follow the same pattern that show no outward appearance of prayer. In this article, we will discuss the importance of making time in our day for formal supplication before God.
We must pray.
First, God commands His faithful, all people who believe to pray. In 2 Nephi 32:8 it reads in part
...if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.
It is of great concern that there are many Christians who think that they do not need to pray. It is not acceptable to ONLY have a pastor or others pray on a believer's behalf.
The Spirit teaches us to pray. The Holy Spirit is who teaches us to pray because He reminds us of all the truths that God has revealed to us as Jesus promised His disciples during His mortal ministry in John 14:26, saying:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. .
Generally, those feelings are pure knowledge and peace in our hearts and minds.
The evil spirit teaches us that we must not pray. ANY TIME SOMEONE advises us against talking to God it is of the Devil. Only the Devil benefits if we do not pray because it makes it easier for him to persuade us away from good.
The Morning of Prayer (Individual)
When we rise in the morning, we rise unto the Lord.
We open the day with a prayer before we do anything else. The proper way to pray to the Lord, or the respectful way, is to do so fully clothed.
We should cover ourselves properly out of respect for addressing our God. We should kneel where capable and address Him with our voice where appropriate.
Verbal prayers for formal prayers are always the option to be taken unless the situation warrants otherwise. A spoken prayer carries with it, power.
This first prayer we offer to consecrate our performance unto the Lord for service throughout the day and bless our paths.
This provides the mental focus we need to accomplish the tasks that need to be performed for the day, but not to forget to keep our hearts open to promptings that God gives to perform other tasks.
Of course, we pray about what we will. We set aside time for God for the morning--anything from one minute to an hour! God loves all the time we are willing to give to Him in conversation.
The Morning Prayer (Couple)
When married, as most of us will eventually do, we should schedule formal prayer for the day where we set aside time to speak to the Lord together in a kneeling prayer.
It is the privilege of the husband and wife to kneel before God and offer up earnest pleas on behalf of their relationship.
In this way, the spouse can see how the other approaches God on his or her behalf and become united in faith. It helps to inspire humility in the marriage and strengthens ties.
Kneeling before God in earnest prayer together provides a psychological link. By the very act, both spouses acknowledge a higher authority in their relationship making them equal before God.
The Morning Prayer (Family)
After personal and couple prayer, the entire family should kneel in formal prayer before the Lord. Such prayers do not need to be elaborate but should be respectful of God and the members in the family.
The simplest and most general pleas to God for family unity and protection can occur. Remember the formal prayer helps to acknowledge God's supremacy and His hand in all creation. It is a great equalizing prayer as all kneel before God to acknowledge His role as the guiding light of the family.
Mid-Day Prayer (Personal, Couple and Family)
Generally speaking, most of us do not get to meet together as a family during the middle of the day, but we do have opportunities to schedule time during the day to supplicate God formally. We have 10- or 15-minute breaks at work. We can go to our cars and pray. We can go to a secluded area and pray. We are commanded by Jesus Christ not to bring unnecessary attention to ourselves, so we adjust ourselves accordingly
...[W]hen thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men...[E]nter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret... Matthew 6:5-6
The Evening Prayer (Family)
The family should all meet together at the close of the day to offer kneeling devotion to God. This is a time for the family to reflect on the activities of the day and recognize that they have by the grace of God come together again to acknowledge His hand in preserving them. Again, the family can pray for anything it needs as long as it is a formal prayer, or time set aside to acknowledge God.
Of course, if you do not have a family yet, this comes later.
The Evening prayer (Couple)
Husbands and wives should retire together and close the day in prayer. We should kneel and offer up formal prayers to God offering Him time and attention to bless our unions.
As spouses cleave to each other, as we are instructed in the scriptures, we rise and retire where possible on the same schedule. This helps us to focus our lives towards God.
The Evening Prayer (Personal)
This time we set aside for God to ask for forgiveness for any thing we have not repented of throughout the day. We designate three prayers a day to God for a definitive meeting and then add others as needed throughout the day. We kneel during this prayer and review the day--asking about our needs and wants. We repent of sins we may have committed and forgive others. We listen for answers to our prayers.
What is the Point of it all?
The point of formal prayer, a kneeling prayer, is not to gratify God's supremacy since He does not need us to do that to maintain His status. Formal prayer is a mechanism whereby we humble ourselves so that we can be receptive to God when He does speak to us through His Holy Spirit. God, like any other person, wants our time and attention. He does not ask for much. He wants one day out of seven as a day of devotion to His work alone. He wants one out of every ten dollars. He only wants a small amount of our devotion in time for which He gives us a large number of blessings. Let us recognize the formal prayers with God and be humble.
This is an anonymous poll. Please participate and see how we are doing generally with our formal prayers.
© 2013 Rodric Anthony Johnson