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Pastor, Teach Us To Pray

Five.  Always be aware that people are not only praying with you, but listening to how you pray so they will know how to do it better. Even if they are not aware of it, they will be copying some of the things you do.

Six. . Teach us to pray when in public prayer:

–Most public prayers should be short.  Especially, those spontaneous prayers which we all do from time to time should be brief and to the point. Otherwise we will ramble and become repetitious.

–When you pray in public, you are speaking to the Lord on behalf of everyone there.  So, your prayer says “we” and “our,” not “me” and “mine.”  See the Lord’s prayer for guidelines on this.

–The exception to short public prayers is when you are praying a formal dedicatory prayer, such as for an ordination of a minister, the dedication of a building, or some such.  David’s and Solomon’s prayers for the temple were long and profound and inspiring.

Seven.  You will also want to teach us about our private prayer.

–To have a definite time and place for prayer, preferably in the morning, and in a spot where you can leave your Bible and notebook.

–To continue praying throughout the day, in snippets (aka “prayer arrows”), as they have  a moment here and there. This surely is what “praying always” means.

–To pray as Jesus did: Beginning with praise, and then moving into our requests, and ending with praise and committal.

–To excise dead phrases from their prayers.

–To retain a sense of holiness in their prayer while at the same time being conversational.

Eight.  You can teach us to pray by encouraging us to read books on prayer, and to continually work at learning to pray better and more effectively.

Nine.  Find ways for the church members to pray together.  The early church devoted itself to prayer (Acts 2:42).  We’re not told exactly how they did that, which I interpret to mean there are any number of ways and we should find what works best for us.

Ten. If your church has a prayer room, ask the Lord to raise up a leader (or small band of leaders) who will assume the responsibility for all aspects of this.

Eleven. You can teach us to pray by making an area in the front of your church conducive to people coming forward to kneel and pray on Sunday mornings before, during, or after the service. Or all three.

Twelve.  Read our article on “Reminding the Lord” for some interesting thoughts on biblical prayer for the church.

Finally, a caution.

Guard against putting a rigid or legalistic burden on your people if they do not pray a certain way, in a particular place, using a set form, or logging a certain length of time.  Encourage them to speak to the loving Father through the wonderful Savior of the things on their hearts.  Pastor, teach us to pray — and to keep it up even when the answers seem slow in coming.

After all, to persevere in prayer is the ultimate act of faith in a living God.


This article on teach us to pray priginally appeared here, and is used by pewrmission.