|For this reason, I kneel before the Father from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.~(Ephesians 3:14-21) |
Surprisingly enough, there are many Christians out there who do not know how to pray. Throughout the book of Ephesians, Paul provides guidelines to help us improve our prayer lives. He starts in Chapter 1 by reminding us of the motivation behind prayer, and that is communicating with the One who is in control of all things. He starts by giving thanks to God. We should always remember to express our thankfulness, joyfulness, and praise to him in prayer. I personally like to do this in the beginning of my prayer because I think that it is very essential to let God know that you appreciate him first, to let him know that you are thankful for everything he has done for you up to that moment.
Next, Paul in his prayers approached God with a specific posture – a demeanor of submission and reverence. He said that he kneels before the father. We ought to come before the throne of God in reverence just like Paul did. When people bow before a king, they go down to the knees to show their submission; this is the same way we need to treat God. He is the king of the universe, and we need to acknowledge this whenever we come before him.
When we pray to God, we need to come to him with specific requests, not using phrases like God bless the whole world. Instead, pray for specific issues concerning the world, (i.e the earthquake in East Asia that has killed almost 50,000 people). [Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in Heaven and your are on earth, so let your words be few.-Eccl. 5:2] We also need to understand that nothing is too big for the Lord, so don’t put a limit on what you think God can handle. Most importantly, we need to be real with him. He sees your heart, so you have no reason to hide anything from him. Confess your sins to him, tell him what areas you need help with, tell him what it is you are struggling with, ask him for forgiveness… Make sure that your prayers are in line with his will for our lives that are outlined throughout the Bible.
The Bible instructs us that no sin can stand before God, so it is imperative for us to lay down our sins and transgressions at his altar of grace in all of our prayers at all times. Many of us too often forget this very essential prayer element. [ But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear...-Isaiah 59:2]
In conclusion, make sure your prayers bring glory to God. If you have any doubts about your prayer life, turn to the Bible and use Paul’s life as an example. Ask God for guidance and I assure you that he will respond expeditiously.
Prayer is the medium through which we communicate with God; it helps us develop a closer and stronger relationship with him, so let us take it very seriously. Like it says in the Sunshine magazine, “Don’t expect a thousand-dollar answer to a ten-cent prayer.”
Stay blessed and spread the word.