Believers have many questions with regards to prayer. And one of those questions has to do with the proper way of praying.
For example, should a person be kneeling when praying or is it fine to pray while lying in bed? Do our eyes need to be closed or can we pray with them open? Do we need to be in a private place, free from distractions or can we pray while having a conversation with someone or even while driving? Should we pray first thing in the morning or is it best to pray at the end of our day?
In other words, what’s the correct protocol for praying?
Simply stated, there isn’t one. It’s true there are some who believe God won’t answer our prayers if they aren’t said in the proper order, in the correct position or with the right words but this is an incorrect way of thinking. In fact, Scripture teaches that God answers prayer based on whether or not they are asked according to his will. Listen to what 1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him” (NIV).
It doesn’t matter where we are, what we’re doing or who we’re with; we can approach God in prayer under any circumstance and know that he hears us.
The length of prayer is also a concern for some believers. They wrongly believe a short prayer is disrespectful and somehow disappointing to God. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. God delights in our company and enjoys hearing from us. In fact, Scriptures tells us “do not keep on babbling” when praying — not because long prayers are condemned but because meaningless words are just that, meaningless (Matthew 6:7-8). God knows what we need. We do not need to explain it to him in 10 different ways.
Praying is a way of life for the believer. It’s a way of having constant communication with God throughout each day. We pray to give thanks to God for all he provides as well as asking for all the things we want or need.
So, the next time you find yourself questioning about how to pray, where to pray, or what to say when praying, remember this; God desires a personal relationship with us. It doesn’t matter what we say or how we say it — he just wants to communicate with us.
And he’s given us the gift of prayer to do just that.
Donna Hughey of Crescent City is an award winning Christian author. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org