They laughed. As a new believer, I did not know how to pray. Oh, I knew the rote prayer my
parents prayed before a meal. A rote prayer is one memorized and repeated without making it personal from the heart. So, when I was asked to pray at a meal, that is the prayer I said. And they laughed. Not the making fun of me kind of laugh, but the startled laugh that slips out before you can catch it and hold it back.
But it was enough to humiliate me, causing my face to burn. From that moment, I determined to learn to pray God’s way. As I searched the Bible, I found the pattern for prayer Jesus taught his disciples. He taught them to make prayer personal in their relationship with God. What I learned is what I am sharing in this book to encourage others in knowing God is our Father in heaven who loves when we communicate with him. And that is what prayer is—simply talking to God. But there are important components to include in our prayers. It is what Jesus taught when he said, “Pray then like this.”
Jesus did not teach this prayer method to unbelievers. It was to those who followed him. Praying without knowing and believing in Jesus is a moot point. It is like sharing your thoughts, needs, and requests with someone you don’t know. Then they walk away. Nothing is accomplished. The conversation is not effective.
Prayer with God begins through our personal commitment to receive Jesus as our Savior. It is through him by his Spirit that we can connect with God. Therefore, our prayer begins with acknowledging that God is personal in our lives.
My prayer is that all be drawn closer to God through a dedicated, consistent prayer life each day as we learn the pattern Jesus taught for deeper prayer.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)
Guide to Deeper Prayer will be released in August. Watch for it on virginiagrounds.net, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore.