“What is Prayer?” Series
Remember in the last lesson, it was mentioned that the disciples did ask Yahshua how to pray. However, the only thing they discussed was what should be the content of the prayer. There are many other facets to prayer that is sometimes ignored or forgotten. We'll cover several in this lesson
Strike a Pose
Sure, sounds like a bad song lyric from the 80s, but some people are concerned with how you should stand, sit, kneel, bow down when praying. The following are examples of different postures when praying.
6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before Yahweh our maker.
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his Elohim, as he did aforetime.
40 But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
5 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
Although the examples given commonly mention kneeling, prayers were also given while standing. However, what position might you pray if before the congregation?
What about prayers at night before bed? In the morning?
A Secret Hiding Place
Of course, the venue you choose to pray in must match the purpose of the prayer. If giving the opening prayer at church, you don't do it from a closet. If confessing your sins to Yahweh, it may not be a good idea to do it in the middle of a shopping mall. However, there were some words of wisdom related to where to pray.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Yahshua, and with his brethren.
Do you have a special place you can pray? Where is it?
How old do you think you have to be in order to lead the congregation in prayer?
Shout it from the Mountain
Of course, in my previous example, you might confess your sins in the shopping mall if you are not verbally saying your prayer. However, not all prayer has to be silent.
6 Blessed be Yahweh, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Do you know of any examples of vain repetition?
Do you feel more confident that Yahweh is listening if you say your prayers out loud?
What reasons would you have for making only silent prayers?
Raise Your Hands
You've probably noticed people do this in church. Although it seems odd, men and women have been doing it since the times of Israel.
1 Kings 8:37-39
1 Kings 8:54
54 And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto Yahweh, he arose from before the altar of Yahweh, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.
2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
1 Timothy 2:8
8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Do you feel uncomfortable about raising your hands during prayer?
Do you think it is required as part of prayer?
From Morning to Evening
Now, when is the best time to pray? In the tabernacle and the temple that came later, there were morning and evening sacrifices. These were offered as prayers to Yahweh.
17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
1 O Yahweh Elohim of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;
12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to Elohim.
1 Thessalonians 1:2
2 We give thanks to Elohim always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
Which time of day is better for prayer?
Does prayer have to last for a certain length of time? How long is too long?
In His Image
Finally, we have to always remember that we are to do all things in the image and example of Yahshua. Thus, Yahshua gave us an outline of how we should pray.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Remembering our discussions from the previous lesson, which part of this prayer is
“thanksgiving”? What about “healing”?
The prayer mentions “forgiveness”, but why would it also ask to “deliver us from evil”?
What part would you consider “intercession” for others?
Lesson Two – How Should I Pray? Copyright ©2003-2017 – Congregation of YHWH (www.theCongregationOfYHWH.org)