In last week’s post we looked at the fact that we can come to God boldly and at any time. This is because Jesus has made a way possible for us to enter into a relationship with God through his sacrifice on the cross.
What do we say?
I think that the majority of us understand the fact that we can approach God boldly and at any time. The problem arises when we get there: What do we say? How do we speak to God?
Firstly, we don’t have to use ‘King James English’. We are not required to use “thee’s” and “thou’s” and speak in lofty tones.
Secondly, we don’t have to recite great long eloquent prayers. I believe that God likes a chat. He knows what we are thinking about and He knows the answer before we have even formulated the question. God likes to be consulted. There is an amazing mystery in the character of God in that He loves to hear our prayers and responds accordingly, especially when we pray with faith.
Different types of prayer
When thinking about what to say and how to say it, it is really useful to go to the bible where many examples of different types of prayer can be found. I have listed just a few below to help us:
- Petition – This is simply another word for a request. In Philippians 4:6 it says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
- Thanksgiving – It is always good to go back to God and tell Him how thankful you are. None of us like to be taken for granted. It is a good idea to get into the habit of thankfulness. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 it says “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks”.
- Adoration – Telling God how good He is. Just doing this helps us to lift our gaze out of our own troubles and get everything into a right perspective. When we adore, magnify and love God our faith rises, as we remember how strong, loving, kind, merciful and good He is. The Psalms are packed with passages of adoration which can be used in our prayer times.
- Confession – These are prayers we pray after we have messed up. We come to Him confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness. We then receive that forgiveness according to his word. A great example of a confessional prayer is Psalm 51.
- Intercession – This is when we pray on behalf of others. These kinds of prayers are seen throughout the bible. One example is when Abraham intercedes for the city of Sodom in Genesis 18:20-33.
Times of intercessory prayer can be wonderful occasions when God really uses us to meet the needs of others. True intercessors are faithful and persistent and are often unknown. They are heaven’s secret warriors who do battle in the heavenlies and see mighty victories accomplished.
Next time we will look at ways we can pray through verses in the bible. We will also look at the model that Jesus himself gave us.