This Is How We Should Pray
Summary: For true Christians, Jesus Christ taught us a prayer in-line with the new covenant, loaded with powerful words directed to God the Father!! The Lord's Prayer is the key to righteousness and God's blessings.
1. Let's Start With How We SHOULD NOT PRAY:
Churchgoers, call themselves "Christians", but do not pray Christ's key prayer!!! Instead they went in all kinds of lost directions.
The Messiah has come!!! Jesus taught us the proper way to pray, based on the new covenant of God. But people and churches ignored it!!
Protestants pray from King David's Psalms, or other prayers from the Old Testament, or the armor of God from Paul which is not a prayer, etc... But never the prayer from Jesus Christ!!! Are you Christians?!! JESUS, GOD HIMSELF gave us THE only prayer of the new covenant. You ignore it, makes you like the Jews who rejected Jesus. I have bad news for you - "Accepting Jesus as your personal savior?" is meaningless if you don't obey Jesus' commands!! We live in the new-covenant now! So pray the new-covenant prayer of Jesus!!
Catholics and Orthodox pray to humans! Anybody and everybody dead or alive, including Mary, saints, the pope, etc... Are you Christians?!!! Jesus said pray only to God the Father with Whom only Jesus the Son can intercede for you. Who are these dead people you're praying to? Claiming "the church told us" will not help you on judgement day!
Calvinists do not pray at all, "because God does not change His mind, and He already selected from the humans who He wanted for His pleasure and mysterious reasons, and discarded the rest". What about what Jesus said in the Bible?!! Or do you only exclusively read from Calvinist book authors?!!! Are you Christians?!
Unless you are filled with the Holy Spirit and your sins are forgiven daily, God cannot hear your prayers!
2. This is How We Should Pray:
The proper way to pray is to start with the Lord's Prayer, which is the prayer Jesus, God Himself, taught us. By getting your sins forgiven, this prayer opens up the communication channel with God. Then afterwards you can ask for your needs. And He will answer.
The Lord's prayer from the Bible that should be prayed daily:
Matthew 6:9-13 NIV
Jesus said: This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father who are in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Note1: Your Kingdom Come - means give us the Holy Spirit. Complete explanation with Bible references here.
Note2: The "Bread" in this prayer is not our earthly needs, nor our spiritual needs. It is strictly and precisely the sacrifice of Jesus; the Bread of life that God gives us by faith, for the forgiveness of sins. The forgiveness of our sins is a result of receiving the Bread of life for that day! John 6:32 Jesus: "...my Father gives you the true Bread from heaven." The word "Bread" here represents Jesus' substitutionary suffering and death on our behalf in order to make us righteous in the eyes of God. And God for His personal reasons, chose to give this Bread daily, not "once and for all". So we are "renewed day by day" as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:16.
Note3: Must forgive others - If we don't forgive others, we remain in our sins! Jesus stressed this point many times and had a dedicated parable about it in Matthew 18:21-35. Even if we have any hint of grudge or hate against anyone, God will not forgive us. Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they trespass against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, your Father will not forgive your sins. Who is forgiving others today? And who therefore is receiving the Holy Spirit?!
Note4: For explanation on how the Lord's Prayer relates to the Catholic Eucharist, see Section 1.7 here: The Lord's Prayer is Severely Misunderstood.
Jesus said in His Prayer that we should pray only to God the Father, and ask Him for the daily Bread of life for forgiveness of sins! And for the Holy Spirit to come reside in us. Then and only then, we become righteous and receive His blessings.
If your sins are not forgiven "daily", then in the eyes of God you're "wicked" and "an evildoer", no matter how nice a person you are!!
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, ... I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Jesus started by saying these exact words: Matthew 6:9 "this is how you should pray..." Some say, "this means He gave us the pattern to pray. So as long as we follow His flow, we can use our own words." But they are dead wrong! They are wrong because they are basing their explanation on the "bread" = "earthly and spiritual needs". But it is not!! Only one precise meaning - The Bread is the "Bread of life" that God gives for the forgiveness of sins! And "Your kingdom come" has one precise meaning - We ask you to give us the Holy Spirit. Read the Bible again and look at all the biblical references in my page The Lord's Prayer is Severely Misunderstood. Therefore, Jesus' words in that prayer are sacred. They are perfect in every way. If we put our human touch on this prayer, we would certainly destroy it!
We don't use God only when we need something. We pray daily as He commanded, whether in good times or bad. And we worship God, meaning seek Him in the scriptures, love Him, and humble ourselves by getting on our knees in private when we pray to God. First, we should pray the prayer Jesus taught us. Then afterwards you can follow with your own wording. Although not necessary, because He already knows what you need. You seek God and His righteousness, and pray this prayer daily, then all your needs will be fulfilled automatically! Including the impossible ones! Yes I mean miracles!
The New Testament says we ask God the Father for everything "in the name of Jesus". He waits for our requests; He does not grant anything! He gives only when we ask - We ask for the Holy Spirit and we ask for the Bread of life of forgiveness as in the Lord's Prayer. We ask for more knowledge about God, for His wisdom, and we ask for miracles. We ask, then and only then, He gives.
But careful here! We must ask the proper way as Jesus commanded!! not the hodgepodge unbiblical ways of churches today! which God can't hear!! And therefore, suffering, not peace, on earth!!
How Fast Should We Pray The Lord's Prayer?
No less than 10 to 15 minutes. It is not about "recite it and be done with it!" You're visiting with God during this prayer! All 3 Persons of the Trinity are involved! If you meet with the president of the company you work for, how proper and attentive would you be? Take that and multiply by a hundred. That's how you should be while praying this prayer - You're standing in the presence of God!!
Start by clearing your mind from all the noise of today's world. Take your time, meditate on each loaded-word that Jesus took the time to put together for us. Sometimes I find myself having to repeat the prayer once or twice because my mind wonders off; we're humans; this happens to all of us. I make sure my visit is properly completed with the prayer words all genuinely meant in my heart.
And here's what not to do. I recall when I was younger, the Catholic priest saying this prayer in less than 5 seconds!!! It would have been better for him to go work at the auctions, than be a church misleader!
Christianity is not "be creative" and "anything goes"!!
You need to follow Jesus' commands first! The top two are simple:
Pray the Lord's Prayer daily and mean it correctly, as in here: The Lord's Prayer is Severely Misunderstood
Mature spiritually by seeking God in the whole Bible including the parts contradicting to your church's theology!!
If not doing this, then all your noise, all your hymns and loud music, and all your arm waving, or your confessions and Hail Mary's, are worthless!! He did not say to do any of this! You're running Christianity your way, not God's way!
3. Why Did Jesus Command Us to Pray His Prayer Daily?
"Give us this day our daily Bread and forgive us our sins". Those of us who know the God of the Bible, know that the forgiveness of sins has always been on a daily basis, since creation; it never changed. He would never give us a blanket forgiveness for life! It is clearly explained in many parts of the Bible, Old and New testaments - we are renewed day by day. And praying the Lord's Prayer daily means God hears from us daily; He wants this relationship with us on a daily-basis, as evident throughout the scripture. Example, God's daily walk in the garden to talk to Adam & Eve, God's commandments to the Jewish people of daily sacrifices for forgiveness of sins, the manna in the desert that couldn't be hoarded more than one day, and the Lord's Prayer specifically saying "give us this day our daily bread" and forgive us our sins.
Yes Jesus paid the price "once and for all", which meant no other sacrifices needed. But the frequency of asking God for forgiveness is still DAILY. It has not changed!
God accomplishes 2 objectives when we pray the Lord's prayer daily:
We properly worship Him, daily.
We receive His Bread of life for the forgiveness of sins daily, and consequently receive the Holy Spirit and His blessings for that day.
God loved us so much that He brought us to His new covenant with the smallest daily spiritual requirement, in comparison to the previous covenant of hundreds of law-requirements daily - just pray this prayer in your heart daily! Jesus' prayer is very clear. He gave the specific wording of it in two Gospels, Matthew and Luke. And yet people are ignoring it! And instead, are going with their own plans of all kinds of other prayers, to anybody and anything EXCEPT the prayer of Jesus Christ!!! Jesus expressed similar frustration here:
"I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?"
4. Did Jesus Mean His Prayer Only For The Jews?
. . . by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two [Jews & Gentiles], thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross...
So Jesus is for the two, Jews & Gentiles. And His Prayer is for the two!!!
5. Do Not Pray to Humans
Catholics and Orthodox pray to humans, calling them "mediators" between us and God. But the Bible says differently:
1 Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”
There are millions of so called "christians" out there, who've missed God's redemption plan altogether, and took off with their own plan. Again here, people will be people. No wonder God called them "stiff-necked" and "I never knew you", and in the book of Timothy:
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
And don't pray to Mary after praying to God, thinking to yourself "it doesn't hurt, she's His mother anyway". She's not His mother! It is blasphemy; God will reject your prayers altogether. See my link on Mary the Mother of God?
6. So how should we pray?
After praying the Lord's Prayer, then of course you can add to it your own words and requests. The Lord's Prayer is proper-protocol to start the communication with God and become filled with the Holy Spirit. Then you can follow it with your requests of "... I need a job, I need a car, I need a husband, my child is sick, please heal my mom, etc.." But if you faithfully pray the Lord's Prayer daily, you'll notice that your other earthly needs will become fulfilled before you even ask for them! Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount said: "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you." Matthew 6:33.
7. The Proper Relationship With God
Let's make sure we understand what this relationship with God is. He is our God and we are His children, not to be mistaken with we're friends. So worship God with the respect He deserves, not "...He knows me; I've been talking to Him; I tell Him what I need, we're cool." Learning the proper way, is part of the spiritual growing that God expects of us.
Throughout history there was always a proper protocol for approaching God. And no, Jesus' death on the cross did not mean anything goes. Yes, He opened the channels for us to speak directly to God but must be in the proper way. Examples of historical communications with God, Moses had to remove his sandals when at the burning bush. The Jewish people when Moses was talking to God, had to stay a distance away from the foot of the mountain. And in the Jewish law only the high priest could enter the inner room the Holy place with God's presence, and only after executing a long list of precise requirements. If anyone else enters the inner room, he dies instantly.
Today the death of Jesus on the cross did away with much of this and gave us direct access to speak to God. But this does not mean that God is now your bestie. There is still a proper protocol to approaching God. Jesus' prayer showed us exactly how to do it. And note, God will hear you better if you pray this prayer on your knees in private. Our invisible God is alive; He sees you when you kneel during prayers. And no, it's not "works"! It is a loving gesture of worship and humbling ourselves before Him. "Kneeling" was mentioned hundreds of times in the Old Testament about the Jews "bending their knees" to other gods, which angered God tremendously. This teaches us about God's personality, for example how much the act of "kneeling" means to Him; it is the perfect gesture for worshiping.
Don't Pray when on the Toilet
Don't be shocked. If it is stated in the Bible, it's God's view. Here is what God said to the Israelites in the days of Moses when He was present among them in their camp in the desert:
“Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.”
If you only have time to pray when you're on the toilet, then God must be very low on your priority list. God is alive, and when we establish a communication channel with Him, by praying the Lord's Prayer, we become standing in His presence. Sitting on the toilet is disrespectful. On your knees in a private room should be the proper form.
The Bronze Snake - A Parallel
Throughout history Humans have proven that they are incapable of worshiping an invisible God. But have shown time and time again that they are very good at worshipping humans and physical things they can see. Here is an example from the Old Testament. Moses had made a bronze snake as instructed by God for a specific short time in order to end a penalty God had inflicted on people at the time. But people decided to continue worshiping the snake forever!
Numbers 21:4-9 [The Jewish people in the desert with Moses]
But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.
The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.
2Kings 18:3-4 [King Hezekiah, a few hundred years after King David, and many hundred years after Moses]
"He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it."
Moses pointed them to God, but the people preferred to continue praying to the bronze snake statues. A perfect parallel story to today's people praying to anybody and anything, but God.