What’s your understanding of how to properly pray

Nov 30, 2014
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Hi everyone.

I was wandering on what’s your understanding of how to properly pray? Are you suppose to keep it relatively short when praying in private? Do you for instance at the end of the prayer have to say: in Jesus Christ’s name amen, etc.
 
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Sep 3, 2009
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Hi everyone.

I was wandering on what’s your understanding of how to properly pray? Are you suppose to keep it relatively short when praying in private? Do you for instance at the end of the prayer have to say: in Jesus Christ’s name amen, etc.
Excellent question.

As with most all questions, as soon as someone gives you their advice, someone will tell you something else.

When I am asked about Bible "things" I always use the Bible for the answer. So then, what does the Bible tell us?

A prayer has four simple steps. They are evident in the Lord's prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13...…….
"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."

From those verses as a model we can se that the proper way to pray has 4 elements........
1. Address our heavenly Father with praise and adoration for who He is and what He does.
2. Thank Him for all the blessings of life.
3. Than ask Him for His blessings.
4. Do it all in the name of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Should we close praying by saying..."In Jesus Name"?

YES!...…...WHY?

Because it is the only way God has approved for us to approach Him. Jesus said in John 14:6...……..
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus also told his faithful apostles in John 16:23...…...
“Most truly I say to you, If you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you in my name.

Then that same Bible tells us to pray allways. He also taught us to pray with sincerity. and avoid vain repetitions.
We must pray with faith that does not waver and with heart felt intent.
 
Feb 10, 2015
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There are many forms of prayer.
There is private prayer.
There is group prayer.
There is formal prayer.
There is informal prayer.
There is listening to an other's prayer and affirming/supporting it in your heart.
There is meditation on His word and its meaning applied to your life.
There is also listening to the Lords answer.
There is also applying what the Spirit says.
There is being sensitive and willing for yourself to be the instrument of the Lord's answer.
There is acceptance when His answer is not to your specification.
All are Christ centered and brings one closer to God,

As far as praying in Jesus's name, YES, but that is more than saying a few syllables. To do anything in the name of another is to consciously acknowledge that the other is the authority for your action. Make sure that it honors that authority.

To pray in His name is to pray that His will be done, not that His will be determined by your desires.
 
Sep 7, 2019
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Excellent posts thus far. I wish to add there is no right or wrong way to pray, to our Father in the name of his Son Jesus Christ.
Im in semi constant prayer silently in my head most of the day, as I try converse with God in my thoughts on a regular basis.
My prayer routine has become second nature, and informal yet I show reverence in the very act of doing so.

Should I pray aloud on my knees with my head bowed? Im sure God can hear my silent secret prayers even with my eyes open.
 
Nov 30, 2014
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Excellent question.

As with most all questions, as soon as someone gives you their advice, someone will tell you something else.

When I am asked about Bible "things" I always use the Bible for the answer. So then, what does the Bible tell us?

A prayer has four simple steps. They are evident in the Lord's prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13...…….
"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."

From those verses as a model we can se that the proper way to pray has 4 elements........
1. Address our heavenly Father with praise and adoration for who He is and what He does.
2. Thank Him for all the blessings of life.
3. Than ask Him for His blessings.
4. Do it all in the name of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Should we close praying by saying..."In Jesus Name"?

YES!...…...WHY?

Because it is the only way God has approved for us to approach Him. Jesus said in John 14:6...……..
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus also told his faithful apostles in John 16:23...…...
“Most truly I say to you, If you ask the Father for anything he will give it to you in my name.

Then that same Bible tells us to pray allways. He also taught us to pray with sincerity. and avoid vain repetitions.
We must pray with faith that does not waver and with heart felt intent.
hi Major and others.

I want to ask you and others what is everyones understanding of not using vain repetitions. I obviously know what it could mean literally interpreted, but a fair bit in the Bible is not to be understood literally.

In the past I knew someone who said that he had trouble praying because he couldn’t think of the words, as in what to say.

I know I can/and i should pray for help with that, like I/we can pray for anything(good), but someone who knows the Bible lot better can maybe give better guidance.

Thanks
 
Feb 10, 2015
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hi Major and others.

I want to ask you and others what is everyones understanding of not using vain repetitions. I obviously know what it could mean literally interpreted, but a fair bit in the Bible is not to be understood literally.

In the past I knew someone who said that he had trouble praying because he couldn’t think of the words, as in what to say.

I know I can/and i should pray for help with that, like I/we can pray for anything(good), but someone who knows the Bible lot better can maybe give better guidance.

Thanks
I have not found that repetitious prayers and chanting to be personally edifying. Others have a different experience and I would not take that away.

As far as thinking of the words, sometimes prayer is mentally going before God and letting the Spirit speak. Prayer is talking with God. You do not always need to be the one talking. Sometimes He needs to talk to you. If it is a prayer regarding your perceived needs, He already knows. Prayer in that case is making His knowledge of your need 'real' in your own experience.

Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

While knowledge and understanding of the Bible greatly aids in prayer, it is not a pre-requisite.
What is most helpful is a worshipful heart.


As far as whether the Bible should be understood literally, I have struggled with that for 45 years. I find that as my understanding of God's word grows within my heart, and my understanding of God's world expands, I find that for myself that less and less of the teachings of the Bible are incompatible with a consistent understanding of the sciences. Sometimes the percieving the consistency between the two needs to wait until my understanding of them increases.
 
Sep 3, 2009
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hi Major and others.

I want to ask you and others what is everyones understanding of not using vain repetitions. I obviously know what it could mean literally interpreted, but a fair bit in the Bible is not to be understood literally.

In the past I knew someone who said that he had trouble praying because he couldn’t think of the words, as in what to say.

I know I can/and i should pray for help with that, like I/we can pray for anything(good), but someone who knows the Bible lot better can maybe give better guidance.

Thanks
Hello my friend! Welcome to this site and I look forward to helping you as best as I can.

First of all, God Himself said in Matthew 6:7...……….
“When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” .

Consider first of that the word vain means “empty” or “useless”; so Jesus is warning us that repeating worthless phrases in our prayers will not help them be heard by God.

Personally I think that means that we are NOT to "Chant" or say the same words over and over and over again. Neither are we to "read" prayers that someelse may have formulated in the past.

When we pray we are to speak from our heart (Center of our being) directly to God. A prayer that was written by someone years ago and then read back to God means that we believe that God has a bad memory. Again...…...Personally, I think that prayers should be short and to the point, but that is just me.

I remember years ago that my grandmother would pray for a very long time. My father once said......
"don't ever ask your grandmother to pray for a meal......
we will all starve to death before she says Amen"!!!!!!!

It had nothing to do with the quality of her prayers but everything with the length of them. She would be so involved in her conversation to God she forgot how to say …….Amen. That means to mean that the attention span of man is not very long. I do not know the attention span of God.

All I know is that there are not many long prayers recorded in Scripture.

Now...….being persistent in prayer is not the same as using vain repetitions. There is nothing wrong with praying for the same thing more than once. After all, Jesus taught us that we should “always pray and not give up” in Luke 18:1. But it’s understood that our prayers are from the heart, spontaneous, and honoring to God, not the repeating of words written by someone else.
 
Sep 3, 2009
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I have not found that repetitious prayers and chanting to be personally edifying. Others have a different experience and I would not take that away.

As far as thinking of the words, sometimes prayer is mentally going before God and letting the Spirit speak. Prayer is talking with God. You do not always need to be the one talking. Sometimes He needs to talk to you. If it is a prayer regarding your perceived needs, He already knows. Prayer in that case is making His knowledge of your need 'real' in your own experience.

Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

While knowledge and understanding of the Bible greatly aids in prayer, it is not a pre-requisite.
What is most helpful is a worshipful heart.


As far as whether the Bible should be understood literally, I have struggled with that for 45 years. I find that as my understanding of God's word grows within my heart, and my understanding of God's world expands, I find that for myself that less and less of the teachings of the Bible are incompatible with a consistent understanding of the sciences. Sometimes the percieving the consistency between the two needs to wait until my understanding of them increases.
I agree with you, but only would give some advice about the literal understanding of the Scriptures.

Originally, I attended a very liberal seminary. There, pretty much everything was challenged and then re-explained under the idea of...….."
"God has to be wrong, so now let me tell you what God meant to say". That is the central concept of liberalism.

I thank God daily that He rescued me from that situation. I followed His direction to a completely different idea which is...…….
"God said what He meant to say in every thing He said".

2 Timothy 2:15...…….
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."

For ME......
Not only can I take the Bible literally, but I must take the Bible literally. This is the only way to determine what God really is trying to communicate to us. If we do not do that and we change any part of Scripture we open the door of opportunity to in some way diminish the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ as God in the flesh and His resurrection. Without those FACTS we then question the salvation of God for humanity which is exactly what Satan wants to do.

Although I take the Bible literally, there are still figures of speech within its pages which must be accepted as such. An example of a figure of speech would be that if someone said "it is raining cats and dogs outside," you would know that they did not really mean that REAL cats and dogs were falling from the sky. It simply means that the phrase would mean it is raining really hard.

There are figures of speech in the Bible which are not to be taken literally, but those are obvious. I would suggest Psalms 17:8 for example.
"Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,"

Always a blessing to speak with you.........stay safe in these perilous times!
 
Sep 7, 2019
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Vain repetitions... funny to me you should ask. Im sure we all have our own personal spiritual philosophies based on scripture, as the holy ghost gives us each different gifts. Therefore we each individually have the same verses speak to us in a separate manner.

Ive debated this issue many times with different pastors, priests, and with different members of the same body of Christ. I will give you two analogies. One is when our children constantly ask or bug us for something, do we give in or discipline them? Does it aggravate us, or motivate us into the response they desire? Another is in scripture. When the neighbor banged that door in the middle of the night, did his repetitions get him a loaf of bread? Read Luke chapter 11. How do you think God might feel about us constantly asking for the same thing?

My conclusion is I pray for something once. I pray for extremely important things, concerning myself when fasting. Sometimes I pray more than once if its pressing in my heart or conscious, because the holy spirit leads me to do so. Most of the time those compassionate prayers for others are answered, even with one simple request.

We are all different, and thankfully so.
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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my understanding if you are praying in private you go into your room/closet/car and shut the door. Its between you and God. It can be long or short just depends on how long you want to spend with Him. In groups settings I keep prayers short as am mindful that nobody likes to sit through lengthy prayers.

At then end of prayers in a group I do end them with In Jesus name amen just to signal I've finished praying. Sometimes I pray in tongues or even have no words. Sometimes I just sit and listen. If I'm having a hard time and can't articulate, I might say the Lords prayer or pray a psalm. As long as its from my heart. Doesn't have to be loud.

There's no 'proper' prayer in a religious sense..though some people find it comforting to recite set prayers. Vain repetitions I take it to mean you say the same thing over and over like a stuck record. I have heard some people say the 'sinners prayer' and get other people to repeat after them. I don't know why they do that but I suppose if you are praying for the first time you may need some help. Sometimes Bible teachers do that to get everyone to pray the same thing. I prefer if I am praying for others to pray a short prayer and they can say amen at the end.
 
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Just add have been clearing a space in my closet/wardrobe so I can sit there and pray. I have a few cushions, a bible, my guitar and scripture on the walls, and I can close the door if I need privacy. If you can find a quiet space where you pray regularly then it helps get into the habit of setting aside time to pray. Some people pray in bed or first thing in the morning. Daniel prayed three times a day.

You can pray anywhere, but it does help to set aside a regular time to do it.
 
Sep 3, 2009
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Vain repetitions... funny to me you should ask. Im sure we all have our own personal spiritual philosophies based on scripture, as the holy ghost gives us each different gifts. Therefore we each individually have the same verses speak to us in a separate manner.

Ive debated this issue many times with different pastors, priests, and with different members of the same body of Christ. I will give you two analogies. One is when our children constantly ask or bug us for something, do we give in or discipline them? Does it aggravate us, or motivate us into the response they desire? Another is in scripture. When the neighbor banged that door in the middle of the night, did his repetitions get him a loaf of bread? Read Luke chapter 11. How do you think God might feel about us constantly asking for the same thing?

My conclusion is I pray for something once. I pray for extremely important things, concerning myself when fasting. Sometimes I pray more than once if its pressing in my heart or conscious, because the holy spirit leads me to do so. Most of the time those compassionate prayers for others are answered, even with one simple request.

We are all different, and thankfully so.
I agree. If we keep repeating the same thing to God, are we not then believing that He is hard of hearing????
 
Nov 30, 2014
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Thanks everyone. I thought I might explain how I pray. I say first God Yahweh, sometimes I might say say bit of a prayer and then say God Yahweh, then I ask for whatever and I finish with in Jesus Christ name Amen.

I normally say the longest prayer before I eat. I finish of normally with asking God Yahweh to bless the food and I thank him for it and then in Jesus Christ’s name Amen.

I might be a bit repetative when I ask for forgiveness for a sin( current sin, not like full on wilful and etc) because there’s not many ways to say it . So it’s like God Yahweh please forgive me for .... and help me in Jesus Christ name amen. Or sometimes I say God Yahweh forgive me and help me in Jesus Christ name amen,this last one is obviously without actually saying what for because God Yahweh knows. So that’s a bit repetitive, but it’s for different sin time of sin.

If someone thinks that I need to make changes please let me know.

Thanks
 
Last edited:

Via dolarossa

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Hi Peki.
IVe struggled a lot on how to pray correctly and only recently have I found that when I think Im not doing it right I just let it go and voila..
I’m immersed in prayer
Maybe it’s similar to what Jesus when he said
“Father, if your willing take this cup from me”
it’s kind of a relief feeling
Hope that helps x
 

Via dolarossa

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I forgot to add..
I drop trying to change things. Like I fullY accept the situation without resigning to the awful state.
Submission to God? You bet😂
 
Sep 3, 2009
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Thanks everyone. I thought I might explain how I pray. I say first God Yahweh, sometimes I might say say bit of a prayer and then say God Yahweh, then I ask for whatever and I finish with in Jesus Christ name Amen.

I normally say the longest prayer before I eat. I finish of normally with asking God Yahweh to bless the food and I thank him for it and then in Jesus Christ’s name Amen.

I might be a bit repetative when I ask for forgiveness for a sin( current sin, not like full on wilful and etc) because there’s not many ways to say it . So it’s like God Yahweh please forgive me for .... and help me in Jesus Christ name amen. Or sometimes I say God Yahweh forgive me and help me in Jesus Christ name amen,this last one is obviously without actually saying what for because God Yahweh knows. So that’s a bit repetitive, but it’s for different sin time of sin.

If someone thinks that I need to make changes please let me know.

Thanks
The Holy Spirit will let you know!