In the first article, I wrote on definitions on prayer, when prayer starts and some of the components of prayer. While in the second article I finished my brief exegesis on components of prayer. The third article is centered on those who should pray. The fourth is on some of the reasons why talk (pray) to our heavenly father. The fifth article is on places of prayer while the sixth and seventh centered on occasions that move men to pray unto God. The eight article is on period (time) that men can pray.
I will want us to see some things about how we should be praying in this article.
9. How we Should be Praying
Having seen some things notes from the scriptures on the time that people of the ancient times do pray, it will do us good to also know some things about how we should pray, how we should talk to our heavenly father.
We know that in different establishments there are different leaderships, those leaderships actions and interactions with their subjects varies. Some would be accommodating while some would not. Again, some would have some laid down rules for anyone who wants to meet with him for discussion and in case anyone flaunts such rule, then the person is on his or her own because the leader would not answer the person.
We also know in the world that different religions have different means of worshiping and talking with their gods. You cannot say you are wise and would not alter the laid down means of talking to that god, people would not agree with you, neither would that gad answer you too not to talk about the probability of the person being attacked by that god for flaunting the rules governing its worship.
So here in, let us also see some of the means people of old used in talking to Yahweh, the Unseen God that does physical things among man.
(i) Cry Aloud
Some people of the ancient days, have said that when we cry aloud we shall be heard by God, because they have tried the means and it has worked for them, they thence cannot but document this for others coming after them like we are to also know that through such means we can also talk to God he would not see us as being rude neither disturbing him.
“As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.
“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Ps. 55:16-17; 28:1; 56:9; 57:2; 88:2; 89:26; 102:1)
When we are calling a person, that cannot be done in silent, it would be uttered out.
Other means of prayer that has been practiced and which have been found to be effective is the one called silent prayer. In this instance, you do not speak out you simply talk within you, talk in your mind. However, on some instances, your mouth may be seen moving by the people as it happened to Hannah at Shiloh according to the story in the bible.
“Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.” (I Sam. 1:13)
Jesus himself encourages this when he was teaching his disciples about prayer.
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Mt. 6:6)
When we pray in secret as Jesus stated here, it means we do not cry to arouse people’s attention that we are praying where we are, we do this silently, having the faith that there is a God who sees in the secret who will also see us and answer us accordingly.
(iii) Sometimes with Tears
We can be overwhelmed by the situation of things such that we cannot but shed tears when praying to God in some instances, this is allowed.
What is not good is someone crying without talking to God about his plight. That is not good, therefore the hymn writer writes that,
“weeping will not save me!
Though my face were bathed in tears
That could not wash the sins of years
Weeping will not save me!
Jesus wept and died for me
Jesus suffered on the tree
Jesus waits to make me free
He alone can save me!”
Praying with tears is not the same as sitting down and weeping but not talking to God.
“And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,” (Neh. 1:4; Ps. 42:3; 106:44)
Through our sighing when we are in difficult situations we are communing and talking with the Lord. That was the common things during the period of Israelis in Egypt land. we shall recall that then there was yet to be a temple, and there was yet to be where they would be gathered together to raise their voice, even if the place exists which though does not exist they would be scattered by the Egyptians who have put them under severe bondage then.
“And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.
“And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” (Ex. 2:23-24)
You can see from this book that the documentations say that God heard their groanings, because they were groaning at different places and their groaning where they were, were centered on their deliverance, it was a groaning of unity.
These are some of the ways of talking to our father and which we shall receive attention thereby, no one of this supersedes the other they could all be used, in the real sense they are being used interchangeably, because there are sometimes when we would not be able to pray loud where we are and at some other places, it is only groaning that we can be making to our God, whichever one we do, he knows sees and hears all and would hear us.
You Can Know How
Many a one has come to me asking me of how to improve themselves in this wonderful art and act, prayer. Having learnt how to pray through simple dedication, discipline and determination, I have been able to instruct them along that line too. Having given them those simple instructions, they have afterwards been able to wake up to talking to their father and my father, which is the heavenly God.
As you also go along with me in this articles on prayer, I do not have reservations in my heart that you would also be stimulated to be talking to your heavenly father frequently than before.
When you tried a means of praying and you are not comfortable with it, change to the other means, as some law enforcement agencies would say, change to alternative channel. You can also change to another channel through this when you are praying.
I remember when I was in university a christian brother walks to us that he has found it extremely hard for couple of weeks to pray, then we asked him the means of praying and he said he was using the silent means because we live in the hostels, then we told him to change the channel, to change to crying aloud but in doing this he would have to sacrifice his comfort zone, he would be going to the arena of prayer, the student fellowship building where such is allowed for that. When he changed to this alternate channel, he was restored and could even go back to silently praying in the hostel.
Devil will always want to prevent us from praying, but we must be wiser than the devil by changing the frequencies.
In the next article I shall be writing on types of prayer.
© 2020 OLUSEGUN