Basic Bible Teachings
Lesson 9: We Need to Pray
by Bob Burridge ©2011
We need to Pray
God tells us to come to him in prayer.
Talking with God is important. He tells us in the Bible that he hears all the prayers of all his people all the time. This is one of the ways we can show our love to God. We thank him for all the wonderful things he created, and for the way he takes care of us. We thank him for paying for our sins so that we are forgiven.
The Lord’s Prayer
In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus gave us an example for us to use when we say our own prayers. This is called “the Lord’s Prayer” because our Savior is the one who gave it to us. Be sure you know this prayer by heart.
Many churches use the King James Version of this prayer when we worship together on Sundays.
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
What Is Prayer?
Question 98 in our Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is prayer?” The answer is, “Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.”
This means that we come to God to pray for things that are good and right. We should not pray selfishly. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”
We should offer our prayers in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior. In John 14:13 Jesus said, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
This does not mean you just add the words “in Christ’s name” to your prayers. It means you come to God with your sins covered and forgiven by Jesus our Savior. When you admit your sins to God and trust that Jesus died in your place, your Heavenly Father is pleased to hear all you have to say to him. In James 5:16 the Bible makes this promise to us, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
We should thank God for our food and other blessings as we enjoy them. We should ask him to help us understand the Bible when we read it. We should ask him to help us to worship with a pure heart, and to guide us in everything we think, say, or do all day long.
How often should we pray?
We can pray any time from anywhere. A healthy Christian should pray throughout the day. Psalm 5:1-3 says, “Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.”
What does the word “Amen” mean?
We often end our prayers with the word “Amen.” It is a Hebrew word that means “Truth” or “True.” It ends our prayers remembering that all God promises is true and that we have prayed honestly to him. It shows that we want God to know how sincere we are when we come to him with our praises and needs.
(Bible verses are quoted from the New King James Version of the Bible)
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