Drawing Close to God in Prayer
Why is it important to pray regularly? (1)
To whom should we pray, and how? (2, 3)
What are proper subjects for prayer? (4)
When should you pray? (5, 6)
Does God listen to all prayers? (7)
1. Prayer is humbly speaking to God. You should pray to God regularly. Thus you can feel close to him as to a dear friend. Jehovah is so great and powerful, yet he listens to our prayers! Do you pray to God regularly?—Psalm 65:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
2. Prayer is part of our worship. Thus, we should pray only to God, Jehovah. When Jesus was on earth, he always prayed to his Father, not to anyone else. We should do the same. (Matthew 4:10; 6:9) However, all our prayers should be said in the name of Jesus. This shows that we respect Jesus’ position and that we have faith in his ransom sacrifice.—John 14:6; 1 John 2:1, 2.
3. When we pray we should speak to God from our heart. We should not say our prayers from memory or read them from a prayer book. (Matthew 6:7, 8) We can pray in any respectful position, at any time, and at any place. God can hear even silent prayers said in our heart. (1 Samuel 1:12, 13) It is good to find a quiet place away from other people to say our personal prayers.—Mark 1:35.
4. What subjects can you pray about? Anything that might affect your friendship with him. (Philippians 4:6, 7) The model prayer shows that we should pray about Jehovah’s name and purpose. We can also ask for our material needs to be provided, for our sins to be forgiven, and for help to resist temptation. (Matthew 6:9-13) Our prayers should not be selfish. We should only pray for things that harmonize with God’s will.—1 John 5:14.
5. You may pray whenever your heart moves you to thank or praise God. (1 Chronicles 29:10-13) You should pray when you have problems and your faith is being tested. (Psalm 55:22; 120:1) It is appropriate to pray before you eat your meals. (Matthew 14:19) Jehovah invites us to pray “on every occasion.”—Ephesians 6:18.
6. We especially need to pray if we have committed a serious sin. At such times we should beg for Jehovah’s mercy and forgiveness. If we confess our sins to him and do our very best not to repeat them, God is “ready to forgive.”—Psalm 86:5; Proverbs 28:13.
7. Jehovah listens only to the prayers of righteous people. For your prayers to be heard by God, you must be trying your best to live by his laws. (Proverbs 15:29; 28:9) You must be humble when you pray. (Luke 18:9-14) You need to work at what you pray for. You will thus prove that you have faith and that you really mean what you say. Only then will Jehovah answer your prayers.—Hebrews 11:6.