“This, then, is how you should pray ... "
Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue. ~Adam Clarke
I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. ~Abraham Lincoln
The scriptures have much to say on the subject of prayer. Even so, I often find myself at a loss to understand it.
We choose well when we look to the Lord's Prayer as a model, but I wonder if that particular prayer, and others like it of our own design, are not used much like a repetitious incantation - a spell-like manipulation - instead of the intimate dialogue between oneself and God that it's meant to be. I merely wonder.
A word search through the New Testament on the many references for pray and prayer, very quickly morphed into some "aha!" moments for me. I began to see some things about prayer in a different light.
I wish I could tell you this is what prayer is, or this is how prayer works, or this is how to get the most out of prayer. Many have; and there's a voluminous plethora of books on the subject that do (some VERY good). I cannot.
What I do know is that Jesus did not tell us so much about what to pray as He did about how to pray - both in word, and in demonstration. He gave us a model, yet we nowhere see Him using that model as a prescription to be prayed out again-and-again.
His prayers, and presumably our own, fit the occasion, the need. They are intimate dialogue - communion - with the Father; the privileged conversations wrought between the Sovereign of All and we who call Him Father.
I like both the how and what of that ...
God sent his Son, born of a woman,
born under the law, to redeem those
under the law, that we might receive
adoption to sonship.
Because you are his sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
the Spirit who calls out, “Abba (Daddy) Father.”
So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child;
and since you are his child, God has
made you also an heir.
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.
Prayer is not merely an occasional
impulse to which we respond when
we are in trouble:
prayer is a life attitude.
~Walter A. Mueller