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Is There a Right Way to Pray?

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Have you noticed that in the church, people pray in different ways? Does it matter if you pray standing up, kneeling, or sitting in a chair? Should you end every prayer “in Jesus’ name,” raise your hands, fold your hands, or perhaps face toward the East? Or pray in your understanding or in tongues? Is prayer really this complicated?

The short answer is no. Prayer is not a complicated ritual but a time of communion and fellowship with the Lord. The Bible is filled with excellent examples of individuals and communities praying:

  • Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:9-13 (affectionately called the Lord’s Prayer)
  • Paul’s prayer for spiritual wisdom for the believers in Ephesus (Ephesians 1:15-23)
  • Hannah’s fervent prayer for a son in the temple one day when the high priest thought she was drunk (1 Samuel 1:9-18)
  • Many utterances of prayer in the Psalms (like Psalm 23:1-6 and Psalm 91:1-16)
  • An account of the church praying for the Apostle Peter when he was in prison and an angel of the Lord miraculously freed him (Acts 12:5-17)

Oh, the power of prayer!

I remember calling out the name of Jesus (okay, I probably screamed it) during a car accident. I did not ask questions or wonder what to do or say, my plea for Him was a one-word prayer! Time seemed to stand still.

On another occasion, I was in the home of a terminally ill person who asked for prayer. I gently, softly entered that sacred space of worship with him and his wife. There were no formulas to follow, only an offering of love to pour out before the Lord.

Jesus often modeled the relevancy of prayer. He would separate from everyone to be alone with His Father.

“In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12 ESV)

The same Spirit that met Jesus on that mountain is available to meet us!

And just as important, in His time of deep distress and trouble in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus cried out in prayer to His Father (Mark 14:32-39), (Matthew 26:36-44); and again from the cross (Luke 23:34-46).

We can cry out to the Lord, whether happy or sad. He desires to hear from us and can handle whatever is in our hearts to convey to Him and however it comes out. All the great leaders in the Bible prayed. Moses, Joshua, King David, Deborah, and the prophets of old. Today, you and I get to join with them!

In this season, commit to pray. Set aside time to meet with the Lord. Put it on your calendar if that helps. Be faithful to the time you choose. The one sure thing I know is that the Lord will be waiting for you there!


Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.

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About The Author

Image of Vernell Windsor

Elder Vernell Windsor is a Regent University graduate with a Master of Theological Studies and a lifelong learner who enjoys reading and laughter with friends and family. She's an ordained elder who loves Jesus and His people and had worked at CBN since 2013.

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