More than 80 percent of Americans pray at least once a week according to a recent survey. Almost half of those do so on a daily basis, and all believe their prayers are heard and typically answered in one way or another. Despite the number of people routinely taking their concerns and gratitude to higher powers, many aren’t quite sure if they’re approaching the matter correctly.
Numerous questions revolve around how, when and why we should pray. We’re going to address some of the most common, but feel free to join this prayer ministry for more in-depth guidance.
1) Is Praying Required?
Some people believe since God knows our hearts and minds, praying isn’t really necessary. Nothing could be further from the truth. In numerous instances, the bible references the importance of prayer in honoring our Lord and humbling ourselves before Him. Though God is well aware of our thoughts, we need to bring them to Him directly, earnestly and respectfully.
2) Should I Kneel, Fold My Hands and Close My Eyes during Prayer?
Though beliefs vary widely on this topic, some authorities say kneeling, folding our hands and closing our eyes are acts of respect. Matthew 6:6 tells us, “But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” This doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t pray during our morning and evening commutes or at other times when we feel the need. It’s simply emphasizing the fact that prayer should be carried out sincerely and from the heart rather than for the show.
3) To Whom Should I Pray?
No doubt, you’ve heard prayers initiated in numerous ways, such as “Dear Lord”, “Our Heavenly Father” or “Jehovah”. Technically, all are correct. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one and the same and go by many names. As long as we’re addressing one of them, we can’t really go wrong.
4) Does God Hear All Prayers?
According to many verses in the Bible, God refuses to hear certain prayers. Proverbs 28 points out several instances in which prayers may go unheeded. For the most part, these include prayers uttered by nonbelievers and those who knowingly refuse to abide by His word. Those said in a mocking manner also go ignored. That being said, all sincere, heartfelt prayers from believers who do their best to follow God’s laws are received.
5) Is it Okay to Pray for the Same Things Repeatedly?
Some insist on repeating the same prayer over and over again or praying for the same things time after time is unacceptable. By those standards, even The Lord’s Prayer would be unsuitable. This concept is most likely a common misunderstanding of Matthew 6:7 in which we’re warned against continually repeating empty, meaningless phrases rather than putting actual thought into our prayers.
6) Why Doesn’t God Answer Some of My Prayers?
This may very well be both the most difficult question about prayer to answer and the simplest one. God knows what’s best; we don’t. What seems like a dream job could be the most miserable experience of our lives. The extra money we pray for to help pay the bills might lead to an entirely different set of problems in our lives. Whether it seems so or not at the time, we’re best served by asking Him to intervene and allow His will to be done rather than praying for what we think is best.
All Things Considered
Always pray from the heart and approach prayer with love, honor, and reverence for our Lord. Though we may not get all the words quite right, making a sincere effort is enough to catch His attention. No one is perfect, and very few understand all the finer points of praying. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and guidance in the matter.