Prayer is for the glory of God and not just for our needs, but that isn’t to say that God doesn’t appreciate our prayers of need, because He relishes in the prayers of the needy, because when He fulfills our needs He is glorified. However, too often people will only pray when their life is in a crisis. But if you read the Bible, you will see that the Gospel tells us that Jesus rose early every single morning to have a meeting with His Father. So, if the Son of God gave such priority to prayer time, shouldn’t we do so as well? Prayer and the intimate communication it creates with God was Jesus’ spiritual food and it should be ours as well.
If we make sure that we are spiritually fed then we are going to be spiritually alive. Sadly though, there are so many of us who have been taught bad habits and been given the wrong idea about prayer and it stifles our spiritual lives. The true purpose of prayer for Christians is to be able to surrender in obedience before our God who sees deep into our hearts. When we pray and pray rightly we are praying for God to actually manifest His glory and His power into our own lives.
God needs to be the focus of our prayers because it is through such prayer that God will reveal His goodness along with His glorious power. Jesus Himself said, “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (John 14:13)
Scripture teaches us that God is sovereign and within that sovereignty He responds to His people when they do their best to pray with the right kind of focus. There are those who are completely terrified of asking for anything from God, but this is not consistent with His will. And then there are those who treat God like He is their servant to do what they ask at their command. Both of these ways of praying are extreme and they are both wrong.
With our own children when they were young especially, would ask for everything under the sun. But did we give them everything they asked for? Generally not, instead we gave them what we believed to be best for them. So if we, “fallen men and women” know what good gifts to give to our children, shouldn’t we believe that our Father in heaven knows what good gifts to give to those who ask?
So, how should we pray? In His infinite wisdom and magnificence has always known there were going to be many times when we just wouldn’t have the wisdom to pray the way we should, so this is why He sent us the Holy Spirit to help intercede for us.
Paul wrote, “We do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26) This is also why Jesus gave His own disciples the perfect, comprehensive and meticulous outline of what a true prayer should be like and that prayer is called “The Lord’s Prayer”.
Also Jesus warned His disciples and other followers not to pray like the Pharisees, by using meaningless and repetitious types of prayer. He taught that we need to be clear and He gave us that model when He gave it to His disciples.
Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer to use and to learn to follow as a pattern for our praise, our adoration and our petitions. This is a guide for our own personal prayer life and not a substitute for it. If we learn to understand this prayer guide and use it it will enable us to experience the power that exists in prayer something like never before.
Consider reading Matthew 6:9-13 and then try writing your own prayer to God by using The Lord’s Prayer as your guideline. Take special note of areas in your personal prayer life that you might struggle with and then ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in these particular areas.