There was something about Jesus’ prayer life that intrigued his disciples to ask, “Lord, teach us to pray (Luke 11:1). Prayer is the foundational aspect of a Christian’s spiritual life. Prayer is communicating with God and without prayer a Christian’s life is void of strength. Prayer, like evangelism, is talked about more than it is done. There are many books and teachings on how to pray or how to be effective in your prayer life. While these materials may be very helpful, caution is in order to guard against making prayer complicated. There are no magic formulas for prayer, but there are some principles and practical aspects that all disciples should learn. Praying is best way to learn to pray, however, Jesus’ model may help to focus.
This model includes seven aspects of prayer.
1) Worship: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name . . .” Spend time worshiping. Let your heart rise in worship.
2) Submission: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven . . .” Prayer call for our will to be submitted to God. Effective prayer is praying his will.
3) Request: “Give us today our daily bread. . .” Prayer brings dependence upon God. Jesus taught us to ask “daily” emphasizing the daily need for dependence upon him.
4) Repentance: “Forgive us our sins. . .” Confessing and being transparent with God is a key of walking in freedom. Hidden sin becomes an open door for spiritual hindrance.
5) Forgiveness: “As we forgive those who sin against us. . .” Jesus knew the value of daily forgiveness and releasing those who sin against us. This aspect of prayer is a key to personal victory.
6) Resistance: “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” Spiritual warfare is constant. Our prayer life is the place to stand against the evil one.
7) Thanksgiving: “For it is your power and glory forever.”
Jesus gave this outline or guide in which to pray. By using this simple model, we can see the areas that prayer should cover. Since prayer is communicating with God, it is important that listening be a part of each portion. For example, while you are worshiping and giving honor and adoration to the Father, it would be to your advantage to pause and listen in your spirit to see if the Holy Spirit gives you a strong impression or spiritual thought. It is also helpful to be prepared to write down what you receive in prayer.
About the Author:
Glenn Shaffer is the author of Apostolic Government in the 21st Century, Christianity 101 and Discipleship 201. He has a Masters of Ministry degree in leadership studies from Southwestern Christian University and is working toward a Doctorate in Ministry at ORU in Tulsa.
Glenn and his wife, Ami have been married for 40 years with two sons, Matt and Daniel. Together, they co-see the elder pastoral care of Destiny Life Church, one church in two locations (Owasso and Claremore, Oklahoma) where they have been serving for almost 4 decades. It is a non-denominational church, based on a New Testament Apostolic form of church government. Together, they also serve as the directors of ATI- Apostolic Teams International, an emerging network of churches and ministers.