What you should put into prayer

Mt. 6:9-13 Jesus left an example of the model prayer. It involved praise, praying for the kingdom, asking for necessities, asking for forgiveness and so on. It is a good starting place for our study of prayer.

1. What You Say: First, we will consider some of the things you should say in your prayers. This is by no means a comprehensive list. It is sufficient for our purposes of basically outlining prayer.

    1. Praise: Jer. 33:11 (You should verbalize praise to God in your prayers.) Heb. 13:15 (Praising is a way of making sacrifice to God today.)

    2. The Church: Rom. 1:9, Col. 1:3 (You should pray for the well being of the church.)

    3. Necessities: Prov. 30:8 (Solomon did not want poverty or wealth. You should be content to ask for only the basic necessities.)

    4. Confession And Forgiveness: 1 Jn. 1:8-10 (You should confess to God the sins you've committed.) Ps. 51:1-4 (David provides an excellent example of confessing to God and seeking forgiveness.)

    5. Special Requests: 1 Jn. 5:15 (There may be other things you wish to request such as; help sick, personal situation, protect friends, etc..) Jas. 4:3 (Just be certain these requests are not for your own pleasure.)

    6. Thankfulness: Ps. 107:22, 1 Thes. 5:18 (You should express thankfulness to God. It, like praise, is a kind of sacrifice.)

2. What You Do: This section has to do with your attitude and actions as they relate to prayer.

    1. Faith: Jas. 1:6-7, Lk. 11:11-13 (You should have faith, not that God will give you whatever you want but that he will do what is best for you.) Acts 4:24-29 (They quoted scriptures of promise as an expression of their faith that God would accomplish his plan.)

    2. No Foolish Requests: Jonah 4:3 (Jonah requested death. Although your requests may not be so overtly foolish, they may be foolish just the same.)

    3. Persistent: Lk. 11:5-10 (Jesus taught that we should persist in telling God our requests.)

    4. Holy Hands: 1 Tim. 2:8 (You are to "lift up holy hands" in prayer. What does this mean?)

      Ps. 134:2, Isa. 1:15, 2 Chron. 6:12-13 (That was a common prayer posture in that day. However, there are other acceptable postures, e.g. Acts 9:40 [kneeling], Mt. 26:39 [face down], Mk. 11:25 [standing]. Therefore this one is not binding.)

      Jas. 4:8, Job 17:9, Ps. 24:4-5 (Holy hands or clean hands is a symbol of a clean life.) Ps. 66:18, Prov. 28:9, Mic. 3:4, 1 Jn. 3:22 (Trying to Live a clean life is an essential prerequisite to good prayer. Live what you pray.)