For as long as I can remember, I have been what one would consider a prayer warrior. Not a day goes by when I not communicating to God for something, even if it’s just for protection on the road. If I’m not talking to Him on my knees, then I’m whispering a praise or request to Him in public settings.
A few months ago, during Sabbath school, which I actually prepared myself for, I received wonderful feedback from sitting and listening during a discussion on prayer. I felt compelled to share.
One thing brought to my attention was that prayer should be in secret.
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Asssuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”- Matthew 6:5
There is nothing wrong with praying in front of others, but when you’re doing this you shouldn’t do it for the sake of attention. Don’t get me wrong I have prayed out in public before: on my job site before a shift; on benches at my college before class; and of course in church; but I did this because I didn’t have time to go somewhere privately. It is good to pray alone because it is just you and your Heavenly Father. No one else is there to judge you for whatever struggles you might be going through.
You shouldn’t pray empty prayers either. Empty prayers are ones that aren’t genuine. They don’t come from the heart. They are just spoken for the sake of making yourself look good.
As the discussion pressesd on, I asked the question, “Is there such a thing as a useless prayer?
Some good examples of useless prayers are: “Lord, please let me win the lottery.” “Lord, please kill this person, because I’m sick of looking at them everyday. ” “Lord, I drive a minivan, but I want to have this beautiful Bentley instead.”
It is my opinion that any prayer that is for selfish gain or anything contrary to the ways of the Father, is considered useless. God isn’t a genie. He gives us what we need.
To those who are unsure about how to pray, the Lord’s Prayer is good example, which says,
“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 is not into temptation, but deliver us evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen”- Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version
You are not required to say the Lord’s prayer all the time, but you can use it as a template on how to communicate with Him.
“The soul that turns to God for its help, its support, its power, by daily, earnest prayer, will have noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth and duty, lofty purposes of action, and a continual hungering and thirsting after righteousness. By maintaining a connection with God, we shall be enabled to diffuse to others, through our association with them, the light, the peace, the serenity, that rule in our hearts. The strength acquired in prayer to God, united with persevering effort in training the mind in thoughtfulness and care-taking, prepares one for daily duties and keeps the spirit in peace under all circumstances.”–(Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 85.) Pr 82.2