The saddest thing that is taught in the North American continent is that we only cry out to God when things are going bad. We can pray when we are sick, we are told. When times come that look like we are going to be overwhelmed, then seek God. There are far too many teachings on this. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against calling out to God in times of trouble, but how sad it must be for God, when that is the only time we pray to Him. Jesus didn’t die for us so we can have a safety net for when things get out of hand; He died so that we could have a relationship with him. He wants to hear from us in the good times as well as the bad times. He wants to hear from us when things are going only so-so. He wants to have fellowship with us in all areas and at all times of our lives.
And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even;
1 Chronicles 23:30, KJV
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
John 4:24, KJV
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Psalms 100:4, KJV
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful
Colossians 3:15, KJV
This was the duty of the priests of God when they roamed the desert. It showed that praise should be done in the morning and at night, so as saints of God having the priesthood completed in Jesus Christ, we should likewise praise Him in the morning and at night. Not just ask for His help, but also to praise Him for all He has done for us. Praise is just as important a part of prayer as our requests are. It also says to thank the Lord – a thankful attitude is what God wants from His people. It says that peace shall rule in our hearts if we are a thankful people. So in our prayers, we should tell God about how thankful we are to him.
We have three elements which should be in our prayer life besides our requests: praise, worship and thankfulness. Just waking up in the morning is a reason to thank the Lord.
We should also take time to delight in the Lord for without Him, we would have nothing; indeed we would not even exist. The law of the Lord should make us happy. Though we now live under grace, we should still rejoice in both his law and grace.
Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
Psalms 119:92, KJV
And there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.
Deuteronomy 12:7, KJV
Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
1 Chronicles 16:10, KJV
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13, KJV
We see in the above verses that we should rejoice in all the blessings that we have been given by God. If ever you think that you’re not blessed, remember those who live in dirt huts and are dying daily because they can’t afford food or health care. Rejoicing is an important part of prayer. Remembering his blessing is how we can rejoice in troubled times. It also shows in the second verse that we are to seek the Lord, as seeking God is also an important part of prayer. It is important to note that seeking God isn’t a half-hearted effort. We are commanded to seek Him with all our hearts and then we shall find Him.
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Philippians 4:6, KJV
Requests are also a part of prayer. It is important to note that the above verse says that our requests are to be made with thanksgiving, so we must come with a thankful heart to God when we are going through trials and need His help. There will always be something to be thankful for.
To sum it all up, we pray by praising God, worshiping God, being thankful to God, being delighted in God, rejoicing in God, making our requests known to God and seeking God with all our hearts. This is how we are to pray, by putting all these things in our prayer life. Prayer should also be a daily thing. For God desires time with us, as any parent would want time with their children.