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“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
- Martin Luther

What is Prayer?

  • The Bible is full of reference and instruction for prayer - here are a few to get you started.

  • From Jesus

    "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him".

    Matthew 6:5-8

  • From the New Testament

    "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."
    1 John 5:14-15

    "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
    Philippians 4:6-7

  • Lutheran Church Missouri Synod web tools

  • How Should We Pray?

    How we pray is as important to God as what we pray. He hopes that we will pray from the heart, that we will approach Him in prayer because we love and honor Him. He is not only our almighty God and Lord, He is also a loving and caring friend who is genuinely interested in us and in what we have to say. We approach Him confidently and comfortably because He is our friend, but also reverently and humbly because He is our God. We pray thoughtfully and attentively, relentlessly fighting the temptations to let our minds wander or merely to mouth words mechanically. We pray gratefully, fully aware of the fact that we need this time with God in prayer, even though we do not deserve the privilege of communicating with Him in prayer.

    Posture can affect the quality of prayer. No special posture is commanded, but the Bible describes people praying in a variety of positions—standing, kneeling, with or without upraised hands, prostrate on the ground, even in bed during the long night hours when sleep will not come. The practice of closing eyes and folding hands for prayer began in later centuries. Normally, in Bible times people prayed with eyes open but downcast. This variety and openness indicates that the worshiper is free to adopt whatever practice is most meaningful. Kneeling may express humility and reverence; prostration, urgent need; upraised hands, expectation of outpoured blessings; closed eyes, intense concentration; standing, readiness to act obediently; sitting, comfort and security in God’s presence. Except in church where worshipers are asked to share a common posture, each person should adopt the most meaningful position for him or her.

    Should we use only prayers from a book, or should we always pray spontaneously? There is great value in both kinds of prayer. Prepared prayers are usually more elegant and complete. They remind us to think and pray about things that might otherwise have not occurred to us. They speak to God in ways for more beautiful than we might improvise. However, God does not require prayers that are literary masterpieces. No matter how simple the language or how many grammatical mistakes it has, God welcomes any prayer that comes to Him from a sincere and trusting heart. Prepared prayers can be very helpful in getting us started, but at some point it is important to move beyond someone else’s words and thoughts to that which comes from your own heart and life.

    —From Milton L. Rudnick, Journey into Prayer (St. Louis: Concordia, 2010), pp. 63~64.

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