One of the important aspects of Christian life is prayer. Early in His ministry, Jesus gave instructions on how we should pray. Later, the Apostles in their epistles, elaborated on what Jesus taught about prayer. The early Christians, as recorded in the book of The Acts of the Apostles, spent their time concentrating on praying, fellowshiping with one another, participating in the Eucharist and adhering to the apostles’ doctrine.
Jesus in the sermon on the Mount taught His disciples a few basic principles on how not to prayer and how to prayer. He said not to pray like the hypocrites who do it to be seen by other people. Your prayers do not have to be on social media. It is not about showing off. Instead, when you pray find a quiet place and talk to God (Matt.6:5-6). Next Jesus instructs us not to pray like the heathen. They babble endlessly, thinking that God will hear because of their boring repetition. God knows the needs we have before we ask so there is no need for us to behave like God cannot hear or understand (Matt.6:7-8).
Jesus said, “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matt.6:9-13 NIV)
The Apostles gave us further instructions on the things we ought to pray about. Prayer should be an activity that Christians engage in on a regular basis Col.11:9; 1Thes 1:2; 1Thes.5:7; Col.4:2.
Pray for each other James 5:16; 1Thes.1:3; James 5:13. We must pray for our brothers and sisters who are incarcerated for the sake of the gospel. Our hearts should go out in prayer for the persecuted church. We have a christian duty to visit our brothers and sisters who are sick and to prayer for them.
Our prayers should include giving thanks to God for all things and for all His people Phil.1:3-4; 19; 4:6.
Pray that the gospel will be proclaimed and pray for those who carry it Col.4:3; 11Thes.3:1.
Pray for government leaders that we may lead quiet and peaceful lives 1Tim.2:1-2. There is much more that Christians can pray about – our friends, our families – that they may accept the gospel.
The Christian life is one of prayer. Jesus in Luke 18:1-6 gave a parable to illustrate the principle that we should pray rather than allow life to defeat us. God hears and answers the prayers of His children. He comforts and strengthens us in every adversity. Prayer is our life line to heaven. May God work mightily through His people as we devote ourselves to prayer like the early Church did.