How much a part of your life are your prayers to God? If you added up all of your prayer time in a day, how much would it be? One minute? Five minutes? Half an hour? You are not heard from your many words in prayer (Matthew 6:7), but how much you pray is an indication of the closeness of your relationship to God. Do you find that your prayers are typically focused on a few things? There are many things you should pray about.
Consider Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” The first point is that you are to pray always with all prayer and supplication. This implies that prayer should be a major part of your life. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.” You can pray at all times of the day and in all the circumstances that you meet. You can pray when you are happy or sad; when you are tempted or strong; when you are discouraged or triumphant; when you are in pain or feeling good; when you are sick or in good health; when you are persecuted or praised by others. “All prayer” indicates the different kinds of prayers that you can make. These may be prayers in public, in the family, in the closet, in business, while you are traveling, in your heart without a voice, and with you voice from the heart.
There are four types of prayers listed in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” “Supplication” is a humble request, perhaps for mercy or assistance in time of need. It could include confession of your sins and request for forgiveness to God. “Prayers” would be requests for obtaining the good things, spiritual and temporal, which you need. “Intercessions” are prayers in behalf of others people. “Giving of thanks” is giving thanks and praising God for all that He has done for you.
In the Sermon on the Mount, we are given what is commonly referred to as the Lord’s Prayer. Perhaps it should be called the Disciple’s Prayer since it was given to the disciples as an example of prayer. Matthew 6:9-13 “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Let us quickly analyze this prayer. “Hallowed be your name” is praise and worship of God. “Your kingdom come. You will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is prayer for God’s purpose to be accomplished on earth and as such is an unselfish part of prayer – prayer that God’s will would be done. “Give us this day our daily bread.” This is prayer for your needs, whatever they may be. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” This is supplication for mercy and assistance from God. “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” The prayer concludes with praise and worship of God. What an excellent example of prayer!
Ephesians 6:18 tells you to pray in the Spirit. I understand this to imply that you should pray from your heart and not just utter words. I believe that when you pray from your heart, the Holy Spirit will help your prayers. Romans 8:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
I encourage you to increase your prayer time with God. Pray on all occasions. Pray in all manner of prayers. Pray in the Spirit. Have your prayers include supplications, requests, intercessions, thanksgiving and worship of God.