How do you pray? Why do you pray like that?
These are honest questions. Questions that I’ve been asking myself for the last few years.
Prayer is extremely important. I’m assuming that most Christians (if not all) would agree with that last statement. But do we pray in a manner that is consistent with what we are told about and what we see modeled about prayer in the New Testament?
Why am I bringing this up now? Well, Steven from “Biblically Speaking” posted the following passage on Facebook:
… praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… (Ephesians 6:18 ESV)
Here’s a similar passage:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
These passages, and others like them, teaching something different about prayer than I have been taught (either formally or by example). I was taught with phrases such as…
Bow your head and close your eyes.
Who is going to say grace (the blessing)?
Did you have your quiet time?
Now, Brother Smith will bring our offertory prayer.
Let’s ask God to bless our plans.
Will you add me to your prayer list.
Repeat the following prayer after me.
The phrases above, and similar ones, teach that prayer is something that is sporadic… occasional… intermittent.
And, we see examples of this kind of prayer in Scripture.
But, the passages above indicate that prayer is something that is ongoing, continuous, uninterrupted.
How do we reconcile this?