The Fundamentals of Prayer

Posted on:  April 29, 2024 



Ever wonder if there is a way to ignite your prayer life, making your conversations with God more effective and meaningful? No matter how long we have had a relationship with the Lord, we can always grow in our prayer life.

Excerpt from Fundamentals of Prayer Booklet

Everyone Prays

Everyone prays in some way. Sinners pray, politicians pray (especially around election season), people riding roller coasters pray. I have been known to pray and make promises to God just to survive. Everyone prays in one way or another! But, simply praying without any direction isn’t effective, we need to be taught how to pray, why to pray, and what to pray. Jesus taught his disciples to pray in Luke 11 and Matthew 6, and we can learn from these passages how to have a more effective and meaningful prayer life.

Jesus said, “Hypocrites love to pray” in Matthew 6:5. He is not saying if you love to pray you are a hypocrite! No. He is saying they love to pray to be heard and seen of men (not good). So praying is not enough. Praying with the right motives is important. We want to be heard and seen of God, not man, because it is God that is going to answer, and we see things changed.
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
John taught his disciples to pray. Jesus goes on to teach His disciples to pray. As His disciples today, we also need to be taught.

So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”
Luke 11:1-4 (NKJV)

Notice that when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he didn’t respond “Don’t worry about that, it will come naturally.” No, Jesus began to teach them the fundamentals of prayer. He modeled for them what effectual prayer looks like. Prayer is not an inherent skill that all people possess. We need to understand the principles of prayer and develop the practice of prayer in order to become more effectual.

And I guarantee you, when you learn to pray productively, it will light your fire for the Lord in a profound way. When you begin to see the manifestation of specific prayers you are bringing to the Lord, it changes everything. Even after walking intimately with the Lord since May of 1980, seeing my prayers get answered brings new depth to my intimacy with God. However, to begin developing that effectiveness and intimacy with God, you must start with the basics. And one critical component to prayer has to do with your motives. Why are you praying in the first place? What is the desired outcome?

Never underestimate the power of being authentic with God when you pray. You can’t con God or “strong-arm” Him. He already knows what you’re thinking and what we need before we ask!

Motives in Prayer

When Sue and I first got married, we had just found a good church. I had introduced myself to the pastor and he welcomed us with open arms. We sat on the front row of every service because I was so hungry for the Word and didn’t want any distractions that might come with my A.D.D. tendencies. One Sunday, after the preacher had concluded his message, he says: “Duane, dismiss us in a word of prayer.” Oh, no. I panicked. I literally lost my breath. I was so afraid of what my prayer would sound like to the people in the room. What if my Elizabethan English wasn’t up to par with their King James standards? What if I say the wrong thing and offend someone? What if I embarrass the Pastor and lose that relationship? All these thoughts were running through my head. I’m sitting there silently in prayer saying: “Lord, please save me, just get me out of this, please.” It felt like a whole minute went by when all of a sudden, a man in the back of the church stood up and dismissed us all in prayer. I thought to myself “God, you heard me! Thank you for saving me.” I was so thankful I had to find this gentleman after church. I went to the back of the room and began to shake his hand and he says: “Hi, I’m Duane…” Then, real fear struck my heart. What if I had stood up and prayed? The pastor wasn’t even talking to me! I knew in that moment that I’ve got to get past this unhealthy fear. I have to overcome my fear of praying in public and learn to trust my own prayer language rather than worrying about offending people with my simplicity.

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”
Matthew 6:5 (NKJV)

Jesus warned against praying in a way that draws attention to ourselves and seeks a reward from people. If you’re looking to be admired for how fancy your prayer is, then you better really enjoy any recognition you can get! Because that is all you are going to get! Jesus shows us in this verse that our motives matter when we pray. The “why” matters. Never underestimate the power of being authentic with God when you pray. You can’t con God or “strong-arm” Him in the name of prayer. He already knows what you’re thinking and what we need before we ask! Some of the happiest moments in my relationship with Jesus is Him smiling really big when I simply come clean to Him in prayer. You’d be shocked at how your relationship with the Lord would just explode when you come to Him in authenticity and honesty. Be real! Be honest!

Want to Learn More?

If you found this teaching enlightening and beneficial, we encourage you to explore the extensive range of resources available on our website, There, you’ll discover a wealth of inspiring sermons, thought-provoking articles, and engaging multimedia content meticulously curated to enrich your spiritual journey. From practical guidance for navigating daily life to profound explorations of biblical truths, our website offers a comprehensive collection of resources designed to nourish your soul and fortify your faith. Visit today and embark on a transformative path of personal growth and spiritual enlightenment, unlocking a treasure trove of knowledge to deepen your understanding and strengthen your connection with Christ.


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