-The first mention of prayer is found in Genesis, chapter 4.
Gen4:26 ‘And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LOR’
*WHAT IS THE CORRECT POSTURE FOR PRAYER?*
-There is no correct or certain posture for prayer. In the Bible people prayed on their knees (1Kings8:54), bowing (Ex4:31), on their faces before God (2Chron20:18; Matt26:39), and standing (1Kings8:22). You may pray with your eyes opened or closed, quietly or out loud, however you are most comfortable and least distracted.
*SHOULD I USE ELOQUENT WORDS?*
Your prayers need not be wordy or impressive in speech.
Matt6:7 ‘When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again.’
Ecc5:2 ‘Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few’
*WHY SHOULD I PRAY?*
-Prayer Develops Our Relationship with God.
-If we never speak to our spouse or never listen to anything our spouse might have to say to us, our marriage relationship will quickly deteriorate. It is the same way with God. Prayer, communicating with God, helps us grow closer and more intimately connected with God.
Zech13:9 ‘I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure, just as gold and silver are refined and purified by fire. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’
Jn15:7 ‘But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted’
–*The Lord Instructed Us to Pray*; One of the simplest reasons to spend time in prayer is because the -Lord instructed us to pray. Obedience is a natural by-product of discipleship.
Matt26:41 ‘Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak’
Luke 18:1 ‘Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up’
See also Matt7:7; 1Tim2:8; Eph6:18
*What If I Don’t Know How to Pray?*
Prayer is learned: from prayers recorded in the Bible, from other brethren; also the Holy Spirit will help you in prayer when you don’t know how to pray.
Rom8:26,27 ‘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’
Other verses on prayer: 2Chron7:14; Jer29:13; Mark11:24; Jam5:16; 1Jn3:22; Ps34:17; Ps91:15; 1Sam1:27; Ps4:3; Ps18:6; Prov15:29; Is58:9; Luke11:9; 1Jn5:14; Deut3:26; Ez20:3; Matt18:19; Luke1:10; Acts1:14; Matt6:6; Mark1:35; Luke5:15,16; Luke6:12
Sometimes our prayers are not answered. The Bible gives several reasons or causes for failure in prayer:
• Disobedience – Deut1:45; 1Sam14:37
• Secret Sin – Ps66:18
• Indifference – Prov1:28
• Neglect of mercy – Prov21:13
• Despising the Law – Prov28:9
• Bloodguiltiness – Is1:15
• Iniquity – Is59:2; Micah3:4
• Stubbornness – Zech7:13
• Instability or Doubt – James1:6,7
• Self-indulgence – James4:3