Questions About Prayer

Posted: August 9, 2012 in Pastor Posts

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18

Prayer is an interesting thing. As Christians, we say we believe that the Creator of the universe invites us to talk to Him at anytime and in any place. Yet we rarely take time to accept this invitation. There could be numerous reasons why we don’t pray. The busyness and distractions of everyday life, laziness, and even doubt that our prayers are actually heard could be reasons that hinder us from talking to our Heavenly Dad. I also think not knowing the answers to simple questions about prayer can hinder our prayer life. Questions like: When should I pray? What should I pray for? Who should I pray for?

Paul answers these three questions in his letter to the church in Ephesus. The answers he gives to these questions can not only help us in our prayer life but also help us realize that there are really no boundaries when it comes to when we pray, what we pray for, and who we pray for.

  1. When should I pray?
      • “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions”

Often time we like to designate specific times to pray. It’s often times like before meals, before bed, or at the worship service we attend. Although developing a discipline of praying at specific times each day can be a good thing, Paul encourages us to pray on “all occasions.” Paul said the same thing to the Christians in Thessalonica we he told them to “pray continually.” I believe Paul’s encouragement here is not necessarily in regards to the length of our prayers but the regularity of prayers. God desires for us to be in constant communion and closeness with Him. He desires for us to create a rhythm of constantly sharing our hopes, our fears, our failures, our thanks, our praise, and our needs with Him

  1. What should I pray?
      • “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests”

Prayer is simply talking to your Heavenly Dad. Through Christ we are adopted into the family of God and are invited into His presence. We can approach Him with the same confidence a child has as they approach their earthly dad. This reality should help us answer the question of “What should I pray?” When you pray focus on just talking to your Heavenly Dad! Paul says we should offer to our Father “all kinds of prayers and requests.” God loves and cares for us deeply and we can talk to Him about anything and everything. Sometimes we might think “God doesn’t care about this or that” and that may hinder us from being totally open and honest with Him. But God cares about you as His very own child and since He cares about you He cares about what is on your heart. Share it with Him!

  1. Who should I pray for?
      • And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints

We can often be selfish in our prayer life. It is easy to get caught up in what we think we need or want from God. But Paul’s encouragement here is for us to be people who lift others up in prayer; to be people who pray for our friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors. The direct encouragement in this verse is for us to pray for other believers especially. To be praying for our Christian brothers and sisters all around the world and specifically those who God has put in our life. We should be sensitive and aware of the needs, concerns, and hopes of other believers and be lifting those things up to our Heavenly Dad in prayer.

Posted by Pastor Ben Potloff

  1. Tom says:

    Ben, I like what you said here. My favorite part is the way you continually refer to our “heavenly Dad.” Galatians 4:6 tells us, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!'” Since Abba is the Hebrew (or is it Aramaic?) for Daddy, or Dad, we have a Scriptural precedent for crying out in the Spirit to our heavenly Dad. I like to pray to “Papa.”

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