One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1 NIV
I have tried the laying on of hands to pray for Danni so she would be healed from her dislike and abuse of other dogs. When Bella’s tail was to be amputated, I prayed that the wounds would heal and she could keep her long, lovely Pointer tail. In both cases, I realize a bit of training and self-control would go a long way to solving the problems but did I pray wrong? Did God not hear my prayers because Danni still hates other dogs and Bella’s tail looks more like a Doberman’s now.
The Bible says that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Am I not righteous? I know I am as it says in II Corinthians 5:21 that, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” I have Jesus’ righteousness.
A popular acronym for prayer is ACTS. This stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. It is preached that if we start off with adoration of God, we will recognize his greatness which will lead to confession of our sins. Then we follow it up with thanksgiving and then we can ask for the things on our heart. Many of the Psalms follow this pattern. Psalm 100:4 tells us to, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” He is deserving of our praise.
Jesus is asked by his disciples to teach them to pray. He responds by acknowledging who God is and his holiness. He then prays for God’s will to be done. He asks for food daily and our sins to be forgiven. Jesus adds that we are forgiven as we forgive others. He ends with asking for protection from temptation and deliverance from evil.
In John 17, Jesus gives us another perfect prayer. He knows his time on earth is almost over and he talks to God about his mission and how it was completed and he is coming home again soon. He prays for his disciples to be strong as they have to stay in the world. Then he prays for all believers through the ages. He asks that we might know his love and that love would stay in us that we might know him.
Jesus tells us the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18:9-14. Some people were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on others so he told this story about two men praying. The Pharisee was very cocky and loud. He made sure everyone could hear him when he thanked God for not being like evil people. He told everything he did for God expecting a blessing. The tax collector was quiet and humble saying, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Jesus ends by saying those who exalt themselves will be humbled but those who are humble will be exalted.
There are many more examples of prayer in the bible. Some are as simple as thanking God for your food before a meal. There are two common denominators in each of these prayers; you and God. It doesn’t matter the method of prayer as long as you are offering it from your heart to a loving father that you know is listening. A conversation between a parent and his child. One on one time with your best friend.
He is holy and his greatness is overwhelming but he is as close as the mention of his name. Whisper a prayer in the morning. Get on your knees at noon. Fall on your face before the throne in the evening. Stand up and shout bible verses that you are claiming and are believing to come to pass. Sing praises to him in the car. Have a talk with Jesus and believe because he hears you and loves you.