House of the Righteous
Introduction
How NOT to pray
Who to pray to
The Model
Prayer
Scripture References
Additional Resources
Bibliography
 
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Introduction
 

Year after year we say our little prayers and receive little answers. WE wonder why we see so little of Jesus' power in our lives and in the world.

The only way we can truly learn how to pray, is by actually PRAYING! We can read all the books in the world that were ever written about prayer, but never learn how to pray.

"He who reads and reads but never ACTS, is like a farmer who ploughs and ploughs, but never SOWS and therefore never REAPS"

The prayers of powerful men of God, like Hudson Taylor, Jonathan Goforth, George Müller and Andrew Murray were BIG and they expected BIG answers - and received them.

"We honor God by asking great things of Him." ~ Teresa of Avila

 

 
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How NOT to pray
 

The disciples approached Jesus and asked Him to teach them to pray. He responded by starting to talk about how NOT to pray. He started out addressing the misconceptions and errors concerning prayer.

It is important to ensure that our foundational understanding of prayer is correct. There is a tremendous amount of error in the church today regarding prayer and it is important to be able to discern the error from truth.

Prayer is a powerful force that can accomplish a lot of good if it is done correctly, but when done incorrectly it can open you up to a lot of damage. Just like a stick of dynamite, there is a right way and a wrong way to handle it.


Do not be a hypocrite

The disciples must have been quite shocked when Jesus answered their sincere question with "hypocrites LOVE to pray"...

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (Matthew 6:5, NKJV)

Just because a person loves to pray does not mean that they are in right standing with God or that they are praying correctly. People who truly love God also love prayer, however a person can pray with the wrong motivation. It is possible for a person to not pray to God, but to man. In the religous church system today, we find a lot of people who use prayer as a means to preach to people, making statements to manipulate or condemn people who are listening to the prayer; or using flamboyant speech to impress the hearers.

If your prayer is not sincere and pure, but hypocritical and selfish, then your prayer is profitting you nothing. The motive behind our prayer is more important than the prayer itself. Your attitude can either make your prayer offensive to God or acceptable.

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place ; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:6, NKJV)

Our prayer life is not something we should feel the need to boast about. Our prayers are personal and private conversations with God that, when offered with a pure and sincere heart, will be rewarded.

 

Avoid vain repetitions

We find hollow, ineffective repetitive prayers in many churches today. Some churches, pastors and Christians do not put the emphasis on what you say, the attitude you pray in, but rather the length of time or the recitation of memorized prayers.

Jesus started His teaching on prayer saying that it is a heathenistic practice to pray hollow repetitive prayers, and to spend long periods of time offering meaningless prayers.

And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do . For they think that they will be heard for their many words. (Matthew 6:7, NKJV)

It is incorrect to think that your prayers will be heard the longer you prayed. Jesus prayed short, succinct prayers when He stilled the storm, saying, "Peace, be still." (Mark 4:39, KJV); "Be cleansed" (Matthew 8:3, KJV); "Lazarus, come forth" (John 11:43, KJV).

Religious traditions and doctrines of man make the Word of God of none affect. That is not the type of prayer that can produce results.


Are you praying or complaining?

Prayer is not an opportunity for you to tell God how bad your situation is. Rehasing, explaining and bemoaning your circumstances is not a necessary component of prayer. God knows your needs better than you know your needs.

Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:8, NKJV)

 

Harrassing God

Luke 15:5-13 - A bad friend

Immediately following the 'model prayer', Jesus continued to talk about prayer.

And He said to them, "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; ‘for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; "and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? "I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Luke 11:5-13, NKJV)

Many churches teach this parable comparing God with the bad friend who only grants the request of his friend after much harrassment. Christians are often taught to persistently keep asking and asking until you've worn God down so much that He gives us what we want.

A popular misconception is that we should create all kinds of prayer chains and spend hours in prayer, persistently asking God for specific things in order to see results.

This is really not a comparison but a contrast. No true friend would respond like this to a sincere request. A true friend would open his doors and do whatever he can to assist you need something. Jesus reitterates this contrast by giving more examples; a father wouldn't give his son a stone when he asks for bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish, or a scorpion when he asks for an egg. If a friend and a father are so eager to meet the need of another friend, or son, how much more is God eager to supply our needs? The point Jesus is making, is that if we who are sinful and evil by nature, not worthy to approach God, know how to treat people better, then how much more is our Father's love and compassion towards us.

How can we think that God loves us less than a friend or earthly parent do? If we can expect frail and fallable human beings to know how to treat a friend or family member, then how can we doubt God's love and compassion?

Why would it be necessary to 'nag' God to bring something to pass when He is so loving and compassionate towards His people?

Luke 18:1-8 - Parable of the unjust judge

Many people refer to the parable of the unjust judge to justify their teaching of persistent prayer.

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. "Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ "And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, ‘yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’" Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:1-8, NKJV)

The woman persisted in her approaching the unjust judge until he finally gave in and granted her request just to get rid of her. However, God is NOT an unjust judge. There is no comparison between God and the judge, but again, rather a contrast. Jesus is contrasting God with the unjust judge of this world. The woman represents those of His people who suffer on earth, crying out day and night, and struggling. God, who bears their suffering along with them, will avenge them speedily and not like the unjust judge. If we expect better treatment than this from a corrupt judicial system, then how much more could we expect to receive justice from the God of the universe.

 

 
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Who to pray to
 

Many people today believe that it doesn't matter who you pray to, as long as you pray. Praying to a 'higher power' or to your understanding of what or who God is, is acceptable to many.

However, the Bible teaches that Jesus is the only way.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6, NKJV)

Praying to anything or anyone other that Jesus, you are praying incorrectly.

The founder and god of every religion in the world is dead and gone, however the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, died and was resurrected. He is alive and well today. It is dangerous to pray incorrectly and it will not connect you with God, but can open you up to demonic powers.

 
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The Model Prayer
 

Jesus gave us a guideline to use when we pray in Matthew 6:9-13. Unfortunately religious traditions have taken this model out of context and made it into something Jesus did not intend for it. This model prayer has been reduced to rote memorization in churches and schools. Jesus taught against this in the previous verses when He said, "when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do" (Matthew 6:7, NKJV).

Jesus meant this as a guideline, stating "in this manner, therefore pray" (Matthew 6:9, NKJV). He did NOT say, "pray this prayer". He did not intend for this prayer to be recited as a mantra by religious people.

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (v 9) -- Praise
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (v 10) -- Intercession
Give us this day our daily bread. (v 11) -- Petition
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. (v 12) -- Forgiveness

And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. (v 13a)

-- Guidance and Protection
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (v 13b) -- Praise

Praise

The majority of our prayers should be dedicated to praising, worshipping and glorifying God.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (Psalm 100:4, NKJV)
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:2, KJV)
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 150:6, NKJV)

A heartfelt, godly and sincere praise draws the power and physical manifestation of God. By beginning our convesations with God in praise, puts our problems and petitions in its proper place. Praising God and thanking Him for His goodness and greatness, immediately shrinks our problems down and it prevents us from rehashing and elevating it to a level it should not be. So, instead of being overwhelmed by our own circumstances, we become encouraged and reassured by God's sovereign power.

Intercession

Submit to His will in your life and in the whole world. Intercede on behalf of the world. We need to intercede for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. In heaven there is no more pain, sickness or crying. In the presence of God there is fullness and completeness.

... In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11, NKJV)

There is absolute victory in the presence of God and if we are suppose to pray that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven, then we can pray for His will to be done in terms of victory, faith, healing, joy, etc.

Petition

We can approach God as a child approaches his parent, knowing that his needs will be met.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrew 4:16, NKJV)

Jesus said that

Forgiveness

Ask for forgiveness. Examine yourself whether you may have unforgiveness toward another person

 

Guidance and Protection

Ask for protection and discernment against attack from the enemy.

 

Praise

We can never praise God enough for all His wondrous works, His lovingkindness, grace, mercy and boutiful blessings.

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Prayer
 

"Arrow Prayers"

The prayers we send to God throughout the day - a natural turning to God throughout the day, like breathing. It is the constant awareness of God's presence. It is spontaneous. God's Word says that we should pray without ceising (I Thessalonians 5:17). This does not mean that we should lock ourselves in a room and pray for twenty-four hours. This means that we should have an 'attitude' of prayer throughout the day.

"Stonewall Jackson used "arrow prayers". He said that the habit is so ingrained in his conscience that he would never drink a glass of water before asking God's blessing; never paste the envelope of a letter closed before saying a prayer, never open a letter in the mail without sending a small prayer heavenwards, never change classes without a small "smeekgebed" for the students going out and for those coming in.

This is the axis aroung which the Christian life evolves - a daily walk, every second of every day - with God.

Daily there are so many opportunities to pray for others - the injured person in the ambulance speeding past us on highway, the ragged homeless person sitting beside the bus stop as we drive by, the weary looking lady at the check out stand of the grocery store, the business man walking by us with a strained expression, the toddlers at the daycare we pass every morning on our way to work, the minister of the church a block from where we live, the spokesperson on television reporting news on the latest devastation or tragedy, and so on and so on.

Don't forget the "Arrow" -Prayers of thanksgiving. Even the souffle that didn't flop when you pulled it out of the oven is a small miracle worth thanksgiving.

"Arrow"Prayers are one of the most important aspect of our prayer-walk with God, but we cannot LIVE on them. They must be rooted on the foundation of our prayers of worship, confession, and intercession.

One of the philosophies of today is that we shouldn't be restricted with rules and discipline. "If it feels good, do it." We should have the feedom to do whatever we like. If we are too restricted with rules and regulations, we will be robbed of the freedom of our Christian life. But it isn't so. Jesus said we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free. (John 8:32). If we want to be completely free, we must know the truth, and the only way we can ever know the truth, is to spend time alone with Jesus Christ, who is the Truth.

Have we become a generation of prayerless Christians?

Jesus set the example of a prayer-filled life. Frequently we read in the gospels how he rose early, before daylight, went outside to a isolated place and prayed (Mark 1:35). If Jesus Himself had so much desire (need) to spend time alone in prayer, how can we get along without it?

Read Mark 1:21-35 and see how busy and active Jesus was the previous day, and yet he rose early the next morning to be alone and pray. He knew His days would be filled by being in service to people, and being surrounded by sick, hurting and needy people, and that He needed to spend time with God to be refreshed and strengthened. He couldn't be prepared to face a new day of love and affection toward people, without going to a silent place where He could pray. (Isaiah 40:31)

Jesus spent the entire night in prayer before he chose His disciples. Have you ever considered spending a night in prayer before making a big decision?

MAKE TIME TO PRAY

How much time do you spend daily in prayer? (Not including "Arrow Prayers" throughout the day, but real prayer of worship.) One hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 5 minutes, moments? Do you pray EVERY DAY?

"Don't arrange your time with God around your daily schedule,
arrange your daily schedule around your time with God."

We MUST make time to pray! We will NEVER wake up in the morning and say, "Great, today I will have time to pray!" Our lives are too full and occupied.

Sometimes we search for "left-over-time" that we can give to God, and even then it is rushed and we are watching the clock because another obligation awaits. Isn't it true that we find time to do the things that we WANT to do - like making a cup of coffee in the morning, reading that magazine or newspaper, comb our hair, talking on the telephone, etc.? We FIND the time to watch TV, visit with friends, eat, sleep, gholf, play tennis, etc.

The question should not be: "Where can I squeeze in time to pray?", but rather "How much time can I give to God in prayer today?"

One of the greatest sins that we commit against ourselves, is to neglect to pray. Can neglecting to pray be a sin? James 4:17 "Therefore to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."

A Christian that leads a prayerless life is robbed of all the power and blessing that God predetermined for that person. Our prayerless lives are the sin that witholds the knowledge of Jesus from the world.

How can I change my prayer-less life to a prayer-filled life? Ask God to place a hunger and thirst for His presence in your heart. (Psal 42:1 - As a deer panteth..) Pray Psalm 42:1 and Matthew 5:6. The blessing of Matthew 5:6 is a promise that we can claim with certainty.

Martin Luther before an unusually busy day: "I am so busy today, I have to commit the first 3 hours to prayer." (Check quote)

What do we say? "I am so busy today, I will pray tomorrow".

We MUST make time to pray!
For some people it is early in the morning, for others late at night before bedtime, or going to the park at lunchtime, or when the baby sleeps.

Lukas 10:38-42 (Marta en Maria)
To sit at Jesus' feet is really the most important thing that you can do to spend your day.

We hear often that life is love and feedome, but every penny has two sides. Just so our Christian life has two sides - on one side is love and freedom, on the other side is discipline and obedience. We cannot separate them.

 
 
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Scripture References
 
Topic Reference  
Pray always 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing
 
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Reference Books and Resources
 
Books
 
A Better Way To Pray
by Andrew Wommack
 
The Hour that Changes the World
by Dick Eastman
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Free Audio Teachings
 
A Better Way To Pray
by Andrew Wommack
Prayer Series
by Andrew Wommack
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

     
     
 
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Bibliography
 

Wommack, Andrew. A Better Way To Pray. Andrew Wommack Ministries International. Video Sermons 25 January to 5 March 2010. Cited December 2010. http://www.awmi.net/tv/2010/week4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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