When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites!
“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1
Every believer should know how to pray; if you don’t know how, don’t be afraid to ask, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
Verse 2 – 4 is used as an example of how you would pray.
“And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves.” Luke 11:5
- access to the father is all-time guaranteed,
- when you ask God, treat him as you would a friend, who will answer.
- remember when born again, you’re not anymore an outsider but his own elect.
“I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” Luke 11:8
- by importunity means you got to be persistent. Because he’s a friend, there is no need to be careful how you (ask, knock, seek ) because he understands your emotions – “…he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.”
See he has made this a principle,
“And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Luke 11:9-10
The father knows how to give good gifts to them that ask him.
“And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke 11:2
John says something tremendous, each time you worship, the four beasts in heaven says “Amen,” The twenty four elders also joins in to worship with you, “…the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:14
- make sure when you pray that it’s a prayer ‘heavens’ says amen to, and that it’s a prayer the twenty four elders prays along with, “saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” Revelation 5:12
Remember, James says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss….” (James 4:3). Not only so but believers tend to not follow the rules of engagement.
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are : for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do : for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” Matthew 6:5-8
See how David prayed in Psalm 18
First things first; yourself aught to have a relationship with God.
David said, “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord , and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.” Psalm 18:20-22
Here is how he achieved it;
“I will love thee, O Lord , my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord , who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” (vs 1-3).
He knew no other god; the Lord God was his only strength, rock fortress deliverer, buckler, high tower, horn of salvation, trust and salvation. And he made this declaration; “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”
And Psalm 91:14-15 says,
“Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.”
And when there was trouble he said;
“The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the Lord , and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” (vs 4-6).
Upon hearing his prayer; the earth then shook and trembled because He [God] was wroth.
“The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.” (Psalm 18:13)
Then David said, “He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay.” Psalm 18:16-18
It is important that you know how to pray; God himself by his spirit will teach you how; David says. “He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.” Psalm 18:34
Here are some more verses on prayer;
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” James 4:3
Your aim and motive shouldn’t be wrong. Remember God is all knowing AND all seeing.
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7
That’s not a blank cheque, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.” (2 Timothy 3:14). Do not ask for what you’ve no right to.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:4-5
Do not harbour wrong desires; “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” (1 John 3:12). Or “…as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” (Hebrews 12:16-17), or Judas Iscariot who was greedy but then sold the Lord.
Call upon the Lord in the day of trouble
“And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” Psalm 50:15
Do not be anxious about anything
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
Jesus said, “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” John 5:30
Trust, don’t be afraid
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
Be confident, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards;
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
Have faith in God
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
Be assured, He said I will hear
“Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24
Use not vain “repetition” when praying
“Pray then like this: “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
Be bold (as if approaching a friend)
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16