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Prayer is a vital part of the Christian’s life.  Prayer is important to the Lord; He longs to hear from His children.  He wants us to give all our needs to Him as we read in 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  He wants us to stay in the spirit of prayer as we read in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”  The Lord tells us that sometimes we do not have what we need simply because we do not ask as we read in James 4:2, “…ye have not, because ye ask not.”

Let’s look at some of the instruction we have in the Bible regarding prayer.  The Lord Jesus said in John 16:23, “…Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.”  We are to approach the Father in the name of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s more than saying, “In Jesus’ name” at the end of a prayer, although it is proper to do so.  It is consciously coming to the Father realizing that our approach to Him is through His Son.  On our own, we have no right to be in the presence of God with our prayers.

Let’s read more of the Lord’s words concerning how we should pray.  Matthew 21:21-22 says, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”  When we pray, we need to pray in faith of the Lord’s love and ability to perform His own perfect will.  We read in James 1:6, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”  This does not mean that if we believe strong enough that the Lord will give us anything we ask for; and that brings us to the next point about how we should pray.

We read in 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.”  This is an incredible blessing that we often overlook.  The Lord will answer our prayers according to His will.  Often, the things we pray for are not the best things for us.  The Lord always knows what is best and He will respond to our prayers with His best.  Isaiah 46:9-10 says, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”  The Lord knows and declares the end from the beginning.  He knows what is best for us in the long run.  His counsel will stand and He will perform according to His pleasure, which is always good and perfect.  Have you ever prayed for something, and then later were thankful that the Lord did not give you what you asked for?  I have done this many times.  How gracious is the Lord to listen to us tell Him what we think we need, and then to give to us exactly what we truly need.

So, here are just three things that should guide our prayer lives.  We should pray to the Father in the name of the Son; we should pray in faith that the Lord will answer our prayers; and we should pray in accordance to the Lord’s will.  (105.6)