The world is made up of diverse written, sign, and spoken languages that we use to commune or converse with one another. Communication is the way that we convey our internal thoughts and emotions with those around us. Communication can convey thoughts of urgency, happiness, sadness, frustration, affection, excitement, and etc. I’m sure you get the point by now, dialogue is essential to human expression and healthy relationships. Communication is also essential to a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. A relationship with Jesus isn’t just one of talking at him or just telling him your list of prayer request and than saying “Amen”. However, true communion with Jesus is a conversational dialogue. Someone may be thinking, “wait, are you talking about prayer?” Yes, I am talking about prayer, but I chose to use the word “communion” because communicating with Jesus Christ is not just praying in a traditional or religious manner where we just tell Jesus all of our complaints, troubles, worries or concerns without waiting to hear a response from him. I want to convey that Jesus walked on the face of this earth as a man before he was crucified for the sins of the world and although Jesus was perfect and he knew no sin he understands what all of us are feeling no matter what we’re facing. “who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:” 1 Peter 2:22 ASV. “Having then a great high priest, who hath passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16 ASV. Jesus is merciful and he cares about you and he desires to commune with you. If we get quiet and still before him in prayer and wait for him we can hear him whisper to our hearts in a still small voice speaking words of love, comfort, peace, and guidance. The Lord will not leave you desolate. “If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do. If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you desolate: I come unto you.” John 14:14-18 ASV.
Maybe you’re thinking by now, “how can I begin a relationship of communion/prayer with Jesus?” I’m glad you asked, let’s examine the prayer example Jesus left on record for us.
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:9-15 ASV.
This is the Lord’s Prayer and this is the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples when they asked him to teach them to pray. You can pray this prayer verbatim or use it as an outline like in the following example.
- “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Matthew 6:9 ASV. You can start your prayer off by worship to God our Father. You can tell God how wonderful he is or sing songs/psalms of worship to him.
- “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.”
Matthew 6:10 ASV. Than you can pray for God’s will to be done. Maybe you’re not sure how to pray God’s will or know what his will is. You can read the Bible to discover more about God’s will. For example,“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
John 13:34 ASV. In this particular verse you can determine that God’s will is for us to love each other just as Jesus has loved us. You could find a verse or several verses that indicate God’s will just as we did here, and you can pray those verses verbatim. However you could personalize the verses. I’ll use the previously stated verse for an example of personalization, “Lord let me have love for people in the same manner that you have love for me”. Nevertheless, you can simply pray, “Lord let your will be done.”
- “Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11 ASV. Bread is an indication of provision. In the literal sense “bread” is a source of food. However, in your own personal prayers the daily bread that you’re requesting are the things that you have need of. This is the point in the prayer that you can pray about the things that are on your heart. Your prayer request could be about literal food, protection, income, strength, peace, shelter, healing, or maybe about a loved one.
- “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12 ASV. When we pray we should ask for forgiveness for the things that we have done that were not pleasing unto God. We should also, forgive those who have done things that weren’t pleasing unto us. The following verse is the reason why we have to forgive others. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 15 ASV. We don’t want our prayers to God to be hindered by harboring feelings of unforgiveness toward someone. Forgiveness, Forgiveness, Forgiveness is very important for effective prayers.
- “And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:13 ASV. So let’s discuss this particular verse for a second. I want to make it clear that it is not God that tempts us. It is the devil or the “evil one” that tries to present temptation to us. The devil is also the same one that tried to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man: but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is fullgrown, bringeth forth death. Be not deceived, my beloved brethren.” James 1:12-16 ASV. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” 1Corinthians 10:13 ASV. You can pray that God reveals his way of escape to you every time temptation is presented to you. To conclude your prayer you can simply state “Amen”. “Amen” is the Hebrew word that has the meaning “so be it”.
Frequency: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11 ASV. The previously stated verse gives us the indication that prayer should be a daily occurrence. “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ASV. Prayer can essentially occur at any time of the day. It’s ok to pray at anytime because God is always listening. However, you can be strategic with your time of prayer. You may think, “strategic, what do you mean?” Remember how we previously discussed that we have an adversary, the devil. “Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8 ASV. Since know from the scripture that we have an adversary seeking to devour, I would advise making prayer a first priority by allowing it become one of the first things you do in the mornings. You may have to get up a little earlier before you began your daily routine, but it’s definitely worth it. You have to make time for true communion with God, it’s not something that you want to find yourself rushing through because you want to be able to take the time to listen and hear the Lord or the Holy Spirit wants to speak to your heart. Prayer can set the tone of your day. You can ask Jesus for his guidance for your day and you may hear him place instructions in your heart or bring a revelation to your mind about what to do. Maybe you need encouragement, peace, and comfort. You can also pray prayers of protection over yourself, loved ones, and even your community (Psalms 91 is a great passage to declare during prayer for protection).
If you have been inspired to develop a life of prayer I am praying for your success as you embark upon your journey of prayer. This journey will totally transform your life. However, don’t allow obstacles to hinder you from moving forward on your journey. If you miss a day don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. Keep going and you will succeed. I’m praying for you and all of heaven is rooting for your success of having a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice. Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Philippians 4:4-8 ASV.