Here is a handout to share with your youth ministry on the topic of “How To Pray”. Encourage your students to keep it simple and make an effort to make a meaningful connection with God in their private time.
Prayer plays an important role in one’s relationship with the Lord. Prayer is our way to communicate with Him. Praying allows us to have a close personal relationship with the Lord. People, especially new believers, often wonder if there is a wrong or right way to pray. While there is no wrong way to pray, the Bible does give us an outline we can follow to help in our prayer time found in Matthew 6:7-13 (King James Version).
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
Part of the above passage of scripture is also known as The Lord’s Prayer and most believers are familiar with it. It is the model prayer that the Lord gave and is also found in the book of Luke. The Lord’s Prayer actually starts at verse 9 in the book of Matthew, Chapter 9.
Matthew 6:9, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name,” instructs us on how we ought to start our prayers. We should start our prayers by addressing God as our Father because He is our spiritual Father. He has given us life. It also gives God the glory and respect He deserves. The word hallowed actually means, “reverenced as holy,” and by addressing God as our Father we are acknowledging His holiness.
Matthew 6:10, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven,” reminds us that it is His kingdom and His will that is important not our wants or will. We often get sidetracked in our prayer life with asking the Lord for things that we want. The Bible encourages us to ask for everything we might want in James 4:2, “yet ye have not, because ye ask not,” but we have to realize that what we want may not be God’s will. Try praying for God’s will to be done and ask for God to reveal His will to you.
Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread,” instructs us to pray for daily provisions. We should pray for food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. You must remember that God provides everything for us – every little thing! God provides the shoes on our feet and the food we eat. Not only should we pray for our daily provisions but we should also thank Him for providing them to us.
Matthew 6:12, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” reminds us that not only are we suppose to ask God for forgiveness of our sins, but that we should also offer forgiveness to those who have done us wrong.
Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” We need to ask God to not lead into temptation and also to help us resist and conquer temptation. God promises us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 to never give us a temptation we cannot resist and conquer. Finally we should end our prayers praising God, acknowledging that He alone is the King and holds all power and glory.
It is important to recognize that the Lord’s Prayer is not something we are suppose to repeat verse by verse. Of course, reciting scripture is always a good thing, but the Lord’s Prayer is meant as an outline of how we could construct our prayers. The important thing is to just to talk to God. Remember there is no wrong or right way to pray.