You’ve finished the day, you’re ready for bed, you climb in and remember, “Oh! I need to pray still.” So you proceed to fold your hands, close your eyes and begin…
“Dear God, thank you for today. Thank you for the blessings in my life. Thank you for a;iaevneaal;knsvea/….ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…”
*Snaps awake, whips head around to the clock…
Oh man, it happened again!
Truth be told, we’ve all experienced this. Growing up in a culture that taught very structured, pray before you eat, pray before bed, maybe in the morning, prayer became a routine. Something to check off of a list.
Thankfully, the Lord has been opening up the eyes of His people to truly understand what He desires prayer to be.
What prayer is meant to be
Maybe when you think of the question, “what is the best way to pray,” your mind goes to what Jesus says you shouldn’t do in prayer:
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:6, 7-8
But remember, Jesus also says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Pray then like this:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.[a]
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,[b]
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,[c]
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.'”
He was the most perfect example of prayer and intercession that there is. He prayed before, during, and after He did everything. He always sought the will of the Father even though He is also God Himself.
To clarify what Jesus was saying when talking about the hypocrites and the gentiles, He desires for you to pray in humility (Matthew 6:6), and with purpose (Matthew 6:8).
So, what is the best way to pray?
The simple answer to that would be, “as Jesus did,” but that’s not always helpful when you’re at a loss for how to even begin, so let’s break it down.
Jesus prayed like this:
- In Jesus’ prayer, He honored and praised the Father (verse 9)
- He asked for God’s will to be done (verse 10)
- He asks for His need to be fulfilled (supplication – verse 11)
- He offers confession and repentance (in His case, on behalf of us and those against him, we would ask for ourselves – verse 12)
- Finally, He asks for security (verse 13).
There are various ways you can offer prayers in this way, and that’s not to say that this is the only method of prayer you should use. There are many methods and ways to try. Some are ways that help people connect to God in different ways. Some through song, some through written word, some simply in silence.
You can learn about several ways in the book, “Why Pray? study workbook” found in the Joyful & Free boutique:
Why Pray? Study Workbook
This workbook walks through what prayer is, the importance of it, and different ways of praying. Perfect for discipleship or mentoring, or for those wanting to take a fresh look at prayer and deepen their prayer life.
The best way to begin
I can tell you this, the very best way to pray is to START. Once you’ve gotten the practice of praying down, it becomes easier to dive deeper into it and really interceding in powerful ways. That’s not to say that you can’t begin in that way but don’t feel intimidated to begin by overcomplicating it.
He is good, and He longs for that intimate, quiet time with you. Set it aside and just begin!