How Do I Pray?
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV UK)
A friend of mine volunteered at a camp for kids with special needs. While some of the campers were in wheelchairs or needed help getting from one activity to the other, almost all of them struggled to express themselves in a way that we’d be used to. This became apparent during a time of devotional study when one of the boys was asked to lead a prayer. This camper really wanted to do a great job. But as he started to pray, my friend leaned in, trying hard to understand the words being said.
And that’s when he had a breakthrough.
Even though he couldn’t figure out what the young man was praying for, he realised that God understood and cherished every single word that this camper was praying. God knew exactly what this young man was going through. For God, it didn’t matter what order the words were in. All that mattered was the camper’s heart. And my friend could tell right away that that was in the right place.
As President for GCI, I end up receiving a lot of emails from people asking me questions, sharing their favourite sermons, or just ‘checking in’. One of the questions I get most is: “What’s the correct way to pray?” I can understand wanting to pray correctly for our prayers to be heard. But deep down inside, we know that’s just not true.
There really isn’t a ‘right way’ to pray. Of course, we have a few examples in scripture—David’s prayer for guidance, Paul’s prayer for believers, and (of course) the Lord’s Prayer. And while these and many more are great signposts that point us in the right direction, at the end of the day, prayer is a personal way of talking to God. I think what matters most is that we approach the throne of grace humbly, with a heart devoted to seeking God’s will—and a spirit of willingness to join in the redemptive work already happening around us. I think that as we do that our prayers will be headed in the right direction.
Merciful Father, you encourage us to come boldly, confidently, in prayer to you. Yes, with humility, and yes, in a spirit willing to learn and to be taught. But still, great God, you grant us the right to appear any time before your great heavenly throne. Help us to become people of faith, of confidence and above all, people of believing prayer. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
Today is the Visitor’s Day at S.E.P., a two-week summer activity camp that takes place on the bank of Loch Lomond, Scotland. It is sponsored and run by the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International. The camp is Christian in ethos but accepts campers from all denominations and faiths, or from none. For more information about S.E.P. visit http://www.sepuk.org
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.