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First, Jesus instructs us to approach God as Father. God is our Heavenly Father. For many, envisioning God as Father is not a very flattering thought. Often great pain is brought about because of the absence or because of presence of a hurtful father. However, all that is lacking in our earthly fathers is found in our Heavenly Father. He loves and cares for us more than we’ll ever know. He desires to give good things to us, even His presence through Holy Spirit . The word father is probably too stuffy a term to define Him. Daddy would be more appropriate. He cherishes us over all His creation. He is our Dad and He cares for our every need and circumstance.
Hallowed be your name
Prayer Three Times A Day
There is also ample evidence for patterns of praying at three set times per day, which is corroborated in the New Testament as a pattern picked up by first-century Christians.
Alongside the twofold recitation of the Shema we find in Rabbinic Judaism the quite different custom of praying three times a day morning, afternoon, and evening, the first and last being in practice combined with the saying of the Shema. The observance of the afternoon time of prayer is mentioned in the New Testament: Peter and John go up to the Temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour , and Cornelius the centurion keeps the night hour of prayer in his house . The ninth hour, 3p.m., appears to have been chose for the afternoon prayer in order that it might coincide with the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice in the Herodian Temple.
It is believed that the practice of threefold daily prayer came about because of the influence of two passages in the Old Testament. Psalm 57:17 says, Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.
You Should Pray Scripture Because Gods People In The Ot And Nt Did
Its not always logical to argue that we should do something merely because the Bible records Gods people doing it. Sometimes OT narratives or the book of Acts describe practices without prescribing them. But I cant think of a one good reason that we shouldnt emulate these two examples.
First, an example from the OT: When the Israelites confess their sins in Neh 9, the Levites lead the people in prayer . The entire prayer is scripturally informed ,1 and verse 17 quotes previous Scripture:
They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. Even when they had made for themselves a golden calf and said, This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt, and had committed great blasphemies . . . .
In the middle of their prayer, they quote Exod 34:6. They apply that Scripture to their specific context.
Second, an example from the NT: After the antagonistic Sanhedrin release Peter and John in Acts 4, how does the early church respond?
And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,
Why did the Gentiles rage,
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God Speaks To Us Through The Bible
God does, however, speak to us through the Bible ” rel=”nofollow”> 2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is our main source of knowledge about God and His will for our lives. We have the Ten Commandments ” rel=”nofollow”> Exodus 20:1-17) as a basis for everyday living. We have Jesus’Great Commandments, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” ” rel=”nofollow”> Matthew 22:37-40, , , ), as principles to guide every decision we make. We have Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount” rel=”nofollow”> Luke 6:20-49) to help us apply those principles to everyday life. To give us courage, strength and hope, we have Jesus’ assurance of eternal life for those who are faithful and obedient ” rel=”nofollow”> Matthew 25:31-46, , , , , ).
Romans : 2: The Importance Of The Holy Spirit To Pray For Us
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with Gods will.
St. Paul describes to us the supernatural role that the Holy Spirit plays in our ability to pray. Paul points out that when we have trouble finding the right words, the Holy Spirit takes our efforts, reads our hearts and intercedes on our behalf in ways that bypass our understanding. The power of the Holy Spirit is crucial, since the Holy Spirit searches our hearts and puts them in alignment with the mind of God.
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You Should Pray Scripture Because It Helps You Pray Confidently
Since Scripture is entirely truthful, you should pray confidently when you pray Scripture. Its safe, secure, firm ground. You dont need to wonder, Is this a good thing or a bad thing to pray? Scripture expresses Gods will, Gods character, and Gods promises. So if you are praying Scripture, then you dont need to worry about being self-deceived or that youre working yourself up for something ephemeral . Obviously, youll need wisdom regarding how to pray Scripture with reference to specific people and circumstances, especially in light of Jesus extravagant promises about what we ask for with faith . When youre praying Scripture, you can be sure that what youre praying is in keeping with Gods will, that youre asking in Jesus name: Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it . And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us .
Does God Hear The Prayers Of Sinners Or Unsaved Persons
Rather, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
In context ” rel=”nofollow”> Isaiah 59:1-8), God heard the prayers of the Israelites . However, Isaiah was warning the Israelites that their prayers would not be answered because of their persistent sin and refusal to repent.
This verse in John is also cited:
We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will.
This was actually a comment from a man that Jesus had healed, so it reflects his own understanding rather than a Bible teaching.
We are all sinners in our own ways ” rel=”nofollow”> Romans 3:23, ), so these verses cannot be interpreted to mean that God will not listen to the prayers of any sinner. The overall Bible teaching is that God will accept the prayers of anyone who prays sincerely for forgiveness ” rel=”nofollow”> Luke 18:10-14). We are also cautioned not to make judgments about who is a sinner ” rel=”nofollow”> Matthew 7:1-5, , , ). Only God can make that judgment.
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Bible Verses About Prayer
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6 ESV
f you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7 ESV
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. –
pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 ESV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. – Romans 8:26 ESV
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.– Matthew 6:6-7 ESV
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find knock, and it will be opened to you. – Luke 11:9 ESV
you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. – Jeremiah 33:3 ESV
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. – James 5:16 ESV
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Philippians : 6: Pray About Everything
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.
This advice on prayer was written by the apostle Paul to early church members to encourage them to pray to God about anything and everything that troubled them. It gives a pattern for a straight forward way of praying where we are encouraged to present our requests to God with thankful hearts.
Some once told me that they werent praying for a new job, which they desperately needed, because they felt like they shouldnt bother God with it since there were other people with much bigger needs like serious diseases. This Bible verse tells us Gods ears and heart are always open to hear about anything, big or small, that makes us feel anxious or worried. What may seem like a small matter to someone else may be a big thing to you. God cares and he is listening.
In Theory: Pray Alone Or In A Group
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A study published in the September issue of the Southern Medical Journal, titled Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Proximal Intercessory Prayer on Auditory and Visual Impairments in Mozambique involved examining two groups of people 14 with impaired hearing and 11 with impaired vision before and after members of a local church prayed for their healing. The subjects reported a small but statistically significant improvement in hearing and vision following the prayers. Critics of the study say it did not account for psychosomatic factors , the pre-existing beliefs of the patients, and the small number of patients studied.
What do you think? Is there strength in numbers? Do you believe group prayer works better than praying alone. Or does it all get to God either way, regardless of the numbers?
As a Catholic, I believe firmly in the power of prayer. I also believe that the highest form of prayer is the celebration of the Mass. The Mass is a communal celebration. The assembly gathers to hear the word of God together and to come to the altar to pray the great eucharistic prayer. Afterward, we share the consecrated bread and wine which is the body and blood of Christ.
Catholics believe that, through the Mass, we as a community are formed into a living sacrifice of praise of the Father. We hold that Christ is the victim and the riest at each Mass and that his offering of himself is fully accepted by the Father.
The Rev. Richard Albarano
What Does The Bible Say We Are To Pray For
1. Pray for Gods People“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lords people.” – Ephesians 6:18
2. Pray for Your EnemiesBut I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, – Matthew 5:44
3. Pray for Gods WillDo not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will ishis good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2
4. Pray for the SickIs anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. – James 5:14
5. Pray for Your ProtectionWatch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. – Matthew 26:41
Too many times we try to do things in our own strength and we burn out. We can tire easily and isolate ourselves from others and God. Prayer is a necessity to keep us from temptation. Jesus tells His disciples to pray.
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Praying Twice Daily: Night And Day
The Scriptural evidence for night and day prayer begins early in the Old Testament and runs through the New Testament. One of the most revered and recited passages in the Old Testament is found in Deuteronomy 6: 4-9:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
There are numerous examples of godly men and women praying day and night in the Bible, fulfilling the commands to regularly seek God in this way. For example, when Nehemiah heard the news that the walls of Jerusalem were still down, symbolizing Gods abandonment of Israel, he prayed night and day. Nehemiah 1:4-6 says,
In the Gospels:
The twice-a-day pattern continues into the New Testament with the Gospels. Anna, the prophetess, made it her regular practice to pray, worship, and fast night and day over the course of many years. In the first century, young men and women often married at the age of 14. Since her husband died after seven years and she lived until age 84, she prayed night and day for 63 years. Luke 2:26-37 says,
In the Epistles:
Other New Testament Books:
Examples Of Prayer In Scripture
As we read stories about how people in the Bible prayed, we can be reminded that God longs for us to pray to Him so that He may answer us.
Abrahams Prayer for Sodom & Gomorrah
The story of Abraham pleading on behalf of Sodom takes place in Genesis 18:16-33. Sodom and Gomorrah were two cities filled with wickedness, sexual immorality: rape, homosexuality, and premarital intercourse. These people lived without any regard for the law.
On the other hand, Abraham was a man of God, therefore, God told him about his plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their exceedingly grave sins.
Abraham replied with a request for mercy, he said, Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
Far be it from you to do such a thingto kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?
Abraham asks God another question, would he destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if he found 50 righteous people within the cities?
Graciously, God says for the sake of 50 righteous people, he would spare the cities. But, Abraham was not done with his request for mercy, he goes on to ask what if were 45 people, then 40, what about 30, and all the way down to ten people. Again, God declares he would not destroy the city if ten righteous people can be found.
God did not find ten people within Sodom and Gomorrah who were righteous. Genesis 19:23 says, Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah.
You Should Pray Scripture Because It Kindles Your Affections
Ray Ortlund writes, I have learned to see the Bible as kindling for a holy fire. Scripture is meant to inform us, and thus to inflame us. It is meant to illuminate our thoughts of God, and thus to ignite our affections for God.8
John Pipers chapter on Scripture in Desiring God is called Scripture: Kindling for Christian Hedonism.9 He closes by sharing from George Müllers autobiography how he started his day:
The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. . . .
Before this time my practice had been, at least for ten years previously, as an habitual thing, to give myself to prayer, after having dressed in the morning. Now I saw, that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental, communion with the Lord. I began therefore, to meditate on the New Testament, from the beginning, early in the morning.