how to pray

Relief in letting Jesus pray

Prayer in its purest and simplest form is not about what we say or how we say it. It is not about what we do or how we do it. And to talk about praying effectively is to miss the point entirely. Prayer for the Christ follower is really more about being, than doing. Its essence is discovered by being in a relationship with the one who is the lover of our soul and the friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

Our human nature in matters relating to God almost always gravitates to doing rather than being. We feel responsible to do something to get God’s attention or gain His favor. We are driven by a performance orientation that wants to prove to God our worth and our worthiness. And that naturally carries over into our prayers.

But God’s ways are higher than our ways, and our relationship with Him through His son Jesus Christ leaves nothing for us to prove. Through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, He has already done it all. And so the uniqueness of the Christian faith compared to all the other religions of the world, both past and present, is that the word “done” has forever been substituted for the word “do”.

As believers in Christ we understand the “done” as it applies to our righteousness and salvation that comes through faith in what He did at the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. And without a doubt that “done” is cause for the biggest sigh of relief and the greatest shout of joy we can utter.

But where we often struggle and revert back to doing is in our prayer lives. In Hebrews we find a very insightful verse into the secret to struggle free prayer. “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews7:25 (ESV)

This verse emphasizes four things.

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