Draw Close to God Through Prayer
Do you ever feel that you need guidance in life? Do you have important questions that you want answered? Do you need comfort or reassurance? Would you like to feel closer to Jehovah? Prayer can help you fill all of those needs. But what is the right way to pray? Does God listen to all prayers? What can you do to make sure that he will hear your prayers? Let us see.
1. To whom should we pray, and what can we pray about?
Jesus taught that we should pray only to our heavenly Father. Jesus himself prayed to Jehovah. He said: “You must pray, then, this way: ‘Our Father in the heavens . . .’” (Matthew 6:9) When we pray to Jehovah, we strengthen our friendship with him.
We can pray about practically any matter. Of course, for God to answer our prayers, they must be in harmony with his will. “No matter what we ask according to [God’s] will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14) Jesus gave examples of appropriate things to pray for. (Read Matthew 6:9-13.) In addition to praying about our personal concerns, we must not forget to thank God for what he has done for us and ask him to help others.
2. How should we pray?
The Bible encourages us to “pour out [our] hearts before [God].” (Psalm 62:8) So our prayers should be sincere and heartfelt. We can pray aloud or silently and in any respectful body position. We can pray at any time and in any location.
3. How does God answer our prayers?
He does so in a variety of ways. Jehovah has provided his Word, the Bible, where we often find answers to our questions. Reading God’s Word can “[make] the inexperienced one wise.” (Psalm 19:7; read James 1:5.) He can give us peace of mind when we face challenges. And he can move his worshippers to help us when we really need it.
Examine how you can offer heartfelt prayers that are pleasing to God, and find out how prayer can benefit you.
4. God has requirements for prayer
What factors determine if our prayers are acceptable to God or not? Play the VIDEO.
Jehovah wants us to pray to him. Read Psalm 65:2, and then discuss these questions:
Do you think the “Hearer of prayer” wants you to pray to him? Why, or why not?
We must try to live according to God’s standards if we want him to hear our prayers. Read Micah 3:4 and 1 Peter 3:12, and then discuss this question:
How can we make sure that Jehovah will listen to our prayers?
During a war, both sides may pray for victory. Is it reasonable to expect God to answer these prayers?
5. Our prayers should come from the heart
Some people have been taught to repeat certain prayers word for word. But is that how God wants us to pray to him? Read Matthew 6:7, and then discuss this question:
How can you avoid saying “the same things over and over again” in your prayers?
Each day, you might think of one specific blessing in your life and then thank Jehovah for that blessing. Do this every day for a week, and you will have prayed about seven different topics without repeating yourself.
6. Prayer is a gift from God
How can prayer give us strength, both in good times and in bad? Play the VIDEO.
The Bible promises that prayer can help us to find real peace of mind. Read Philippians 4:6, 7, and then discuss these questions:
Although prayer does not always make our problems go away, how does it help?
What are some things you would like to pray about?
Did you know?
The word “amen” means “so be it” or “surely.” Since Bible times, “amen” has been said at the end of prayers.—1 Chronicles 16:36.
7. Make time for prayer
Sometimes we may get so busy that we forget to pray. How important to Jesus was prayer? Read Matthew 14:23 and Mark 1:35, and then discuss these questions:
What did Jesus do to make time for prayer?
When could you find time to pray?
SOME PEOPLE SAY: “Prayer is just a mental crutch.”
What would you say?
Sincere prayers draw us closer to God, give us peace of mind, and give us the strength we need to please Jehovah.
To whom should we pray?
How should we pray?
What are some benefits of prayer?
Find the answers to commonly asked questions about prayer.
“Seven Things You Need to Know About Prayer” (The Watchtower, October 1, 2010)
Learn about important reasons to pray and how to improve the quality of your prayers.
Consider what the Bible teaches about whom we should pray to.
In this music video, note whether it matters where or when we pray.