Anyone who is having troubles should pray. ... When a believing person prays, great things happen. -James 5:13,16 NCV

Ten Principles for Praying

Most who read these lines are likely to be people of prayer. My guess is that many readers are like me and have also longed for a more effective prayer life. I'd like to offer some suggestions towards that end, but want to state up front that these principles are not my invention. They come directly from Jesus' response to His disciples, when they asked Him to teach them how to pray. I definitely see myself as one of the learners in the crowd, earnestly beseeching the Lord for help when it comes to praying.

From Jesus’ teaching in Luke 11:1-13 we glean principles for increasing our power in prayer. Before we look at each of these, let me point out a couple of things:
  • There is always plenty of room for humility, when it comes to the topic of prayer. This is demonstrated in the request made by Jesus’ disciples in Luke 11:1. Was their desire to learn about prayer an admission to an awareness of deficiency in this area? It seems obvious that Jesus’ prayed with such power they wanted Him to teach them how to pray.
  • Learning to pray is not an intellectual exercise. Jesus response was not a long discourse on various prayer related topics and concerns. Instead, His response was to say, “Pray like this…”
Just like these disciples, listening to Jesus pray is a lesson within itself with respect to how we should pray. We observe the following principles inherent in the prayer model Jesus presented this day.
1) "Our Father" = Approach God with tenderness.

2) "In heaven" = Approach God with awareness.

3) "Hallowed be Your name" = Approach God with reverence.

4) "Your kingdom come" = Approach God purposefully.

5) "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" = Approach God submissively.


Note that everything up to this point focuses primarily on the ATTITUDE of prayer. That which follows seems to place greater emphasis on the RELATIONSHIPS of the pray-er.

6) "Give us today our daily bread" = Approach God with a sense of humility.

7) "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors = Approach God with a sense of personal awareness.

8) "Lead us not into temptation" = Approach God with an awareness of our need for guidance.

Note: James 1:13, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. God will never lead us into anything that He does not plan to lead you out of.”


If we are subjected directly to the source of temptation, usually the allurements are of Satan. We must, then, cling to the truths of God’s word found in I Corinthians 10:13. Here we read: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”


9) "Deliver us from the evil one" = Approach God with an awareness of our need for protection.

10) "Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever" = Approach God with genuine sense of His majesty and eternal sovereignty.

When it's all said and done, perhaps the most important prayer we will ever pray is this: Lord, teach us to pray!

May God continue to richly bless each and every one who passes this way.

Bill Williams
Spiritual Oasis

1 comment:

  1. Loved this Bill! What I mainly got from this wonderful post was that, in a sense, prayer is all about the attitude that we approach God with. I will chew on this one for a while.

    ReplyDelete

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