Bible Study on Prayer - Improving Your Personal prayer
Improving your personal prayer will improve your relationship with God. Prayer is how you communicate with God on a personal level in your daily worship. This Bible study based on the model prayer Christ gave his disciples will help you to structure your prayer more effectively.
How to pray
Through prayer you are talking directly to God. The Apostle Paul said to come boldly before Him in time of need (Heb 4:16). King David spoke with passion and feeling, pouring out his heart to God (Psalm 51 and 56). He is your creator, your Father who wants to hear what is on your mind, to share your burdens, enjoy your achievements and celebrate your successes as you grow in grace and knowledge.
God values your prayers, they are likened to incense which is precious and holy to Him (Revelation 5:8 NKJV). Your heartfelt tears shed because of the pain, sorrow and injustice, are carefully preserved as a precious record of your mourning over the suffering in this world (Psalm 56:8). Christ himself offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears (Hebrews 5:7). Christ said to pray in private (Matthew 6:6). Your prayer is a private matter between you and God. While there is a time and place for public prayer Christ warned about those who use such opportunities to display their own righteousness (verse 5)
The Bible has many examples of effective prayers:
- Christ's Prayer before his trial (John 17:1-26)
- Deborah's prayer (Judges 5:1-3)
- Elizabeth's prayer (Luke 1:42-45)
- Elijah's short but powerful prayer (I Kings 18:36-37)
- Hannah's prayer (I Samuel 2:1-10)
- David's lament for Saul (II Samuel 1:19-27)
- Mary's Prayer (Luke 1:46-55)
- Solomon's prayer for the dedication of the temple (I Kings 8:15-61)
- Song of David (II Samuel 22:1-51)
- Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-19)
The commonly recited 'Lord's Prayer' (Matthew 6:10-13) is really an outline - it was not intended as a mantra to be vainly repeated. Such repetitions can become meaningless. When he introduced the outline for prayer Christ said to pray in the same manner using the outline as an example (Matthew 6:9). He warned against vain repetition (Matthew 6:7). Pray from the heart - bare your self to God - He appreciates that - just as you would appreciate your child speaking candidly to you.
Structuring Your Prayer
Christ provided an outline for you to use as a structure your prayer as follows:
'Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name' - address the Father showing respect and love for who and what God is - giving Him praise and thanks.
'Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.' - It is God's will that you to live His way so that you can have eternal life in His Kingdom. He is creating you in His likeness. An incredible inheritance has been prepared for you. This subject is of paramount importance.
'Give us this day our daily bread' - God is your provider. He wants you to ask in faith and you shall receive - not only your daily bread but spiritual gifts as well (I John 3:22 and James 3:5-6).
'And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.' (see also verses 14-15) - forgiveness is another important topic that God wants you to pray about - the forgiveness you receive from Him may depend on your willingness to forgive others.
'And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:' - God is also yourprotector. He will protect you from the one who puts temptation in your way (James 4:7). God wants you to call out to Him at any time - He is never far away (Acts 17:27) - there are times when you need instant help (Romans 12:12 see also Isaiah 41:10 and 13)
'For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen' - God's Kingdom, power and glory will be here forever - pray earnestly that you will be part of that Kingdom.
Further Recommended Reading - To Help You with your prayer
[These links take you to related articles on this website]
Burning Our Incense Before God (Four important ingredients of prayer)
Reach Out (The comfort of God's nearness)
Reach for the Stars (The mightiness and power of God)
Forgive and be Forgiven (Importance of forgiveness)
The Kingdom (What God's Kingdom is)