How to Pray
“The Bible answers the questions: To whom should we pray? When should we pray? How long should our prayers be? Should our prayers be public or private? What or whom should we pray for? Is there a prescribed posture to assume in prayer? The Lord’s Prayer was part of Jesus’ instruction about how to pray.
The pages of the Bible teach us to direct our prayers to God the Father—not Mary or the saints.
If you’re wondering about how to pray an effective prayer, you’re not alone—even a disciple of Jesus asked Him for instructions about how to pray:
“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’” (Luke 11:1).
Prayer is our means of communicating with God. As with any personal relationship, interaction with God matures as we spend more time with Him.
As the Lord’s disciple indicated, prayer is something that does not come naturally to us—it’s something we have to be taught. The inspired Word of God provides the answers to some frequently asked questions about how to pray.
Pray to the Father
Jesus was very clear that our prayers are directed to God the Father: “Pray to your Father who is in the secret place” (Matthew 6:6). “In this manner, therefore pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name’” (verse 9).
Now that Jesus Christ is in heaven as the Mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5), we pray “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). Jesus said we can ask the Father for anything in His name (John 14:13-14).
Though Christ was very clear, it is amazing how many churches pray in ways that directly contradict this instruction. Prayers are not to be directed to angels, Mary or any saints!
How often should I pray?
The Bible provides no absolute “prayer schedule,” but we do see many examples of faithful men and women who consistently set aside time each day for prayer.
When should we pray?
The Bible doesn’t prescribe a “correct” time to pray—on the contrary, it shows us that many of God’s people prayed throughout the day and at different times.
In Psalm 55:17 King David said he would pray in the “evening and morning and at noon.” Daniel also prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10, 13).
There are several references to praying in the middle of the afternoon (“at the ninth hour”) while the 119th Psalm talks about praising God “seven times a day” (Psalm 119:164). Many Christians make it a point to pray at the beginning and end of each day, making sure they “bookend” their days in conversation with God.
There’s no wrong time for prayer—the important thing is that we set aside time to pray regularly. Paul even said to pray “without ceasing”—meaning that prayer should be a regular and consistent part of our daily lives and not something we resort to only at difficult times (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
How long should my prayers be?
The Bible teaches us that God wants to hear from us and that our relationship with Him grows by spending time with Him. God is more concerned with the content of our prayers. Our prayers should be as long as they need to be to say what we need to say and ask what we need to ask.
How long should our prayers be?
How long you pray is a lot like when you choose to pray—the Bible doesn’t offer any specific guidelines for us on those counts. Continued at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/prayer-fasting-and-meditation/how-to-pray/?
The Wheat and the Tares.
(24) Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; (25) but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. (26) But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. (27) So the servants of the owner came and said to him, "Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?" (28) He said to them, "An enemy has done this." The servants said to him, "Do you want us then to go and gather them up?" (29) But he said, "No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. (30) Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."""
(37) He answered and said to them: "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. (38) The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. (39) The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. (40) Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.”
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God has seeded His church with vessels for honor—the wheat—while Satan has sprinkled in his own vessels for dishonor—the tares (see II Timothy 2:20-21). Jesus does not use the imagery of wheat and tares haphazardly to relate this important lesson. Instead, the physical properties of these two different plants reveal a depth to the parable's symbolism that emphasizes how different in quality the wheat is from the tare, and how hard it is to tell them apart.
Wheat, which Christ uses to symbolize His true children, has always been a vital, life-giving substance, possessing both nutrition and healing properties. During most of human history, it has most commonly been used for bread, and it has long been called "the staff of life." Herbert W. Armstrong even proclaimed, "The grain of wheat God causes to grow out of the ground is a perfect food." The matchless quality of wheat serves as a symbol revealing how highly God regards His children.
In contrast, Christ uses the tare to symbolize counterfeits within His church. Tares are weeds diametrically opposite to wheat in all their properties other than appearance. Even the botanical name of the weed, darnel, conveys its detrimental quality. Darnel comes from the French language, meaning "drunkenness," having earned this name as a result of its intoxicating effect when consumed.
When darnel is ground into flour, baked in bread, and consumed while hot, the eater may experience symptoms similar to drunkenness, including trembling, followed by an inability to walk, hindered speech, and vomiting. In addition, darnel is commonly infected by the ergot fungus, which can cause hallucinations when consumed in small doses, but in large doses can do heavy damage to the central nervous system. The Greeks and Romans supposed the darnel and the fungus to cause blindness. The Romans even crafted an insult from darnel, lolio victitare, "to live on darnel," a phrase applied to a dim-sighted or shortsighted person.
The high value and health properties of wheat are opposite to the common and harmful properties of darnel, yet in Christ's parable the owner of the field allows both to grow together. One reason is because wheat and darnel are exact in their appearances during growth. Both plants are lush green and can be distinguished only when they mature and produce fruit: Wheat berries are large and golden, while darnel berries are small and gray. Thus, if the farmer attempted to uproot the tares before maturity, he would wreak havoc on his wheat. Today, modern harvesting equipment easily sifts between the two because of their different sizes.
Spiritual wheat and tares grow alike within God's church, identical in appearance, and to attempt to uproot the tares would result in uprooting some of the wheat as well. Just as the qualitative difference between the mature fruit of wheat and darnel is different, only by the fruit may the brethren be known (Matthew 7:15-20). Even after maturity, God Himself—and no one else—will have the tares removed and will destroy them in the furnace (Matthew 13:30)." From: https://www.theberean.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Home.showBerean/BereanID/8075/bblver/NKJV/Matthew-13-24-30.htm
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