LORD, I know that a person’s life is not his to control, nor does a person establish his way in life. LORD, correct me, but with justice, not with anger. Otherwise, you’ll bring me to nothing.
When reading Jeremiah’s prayer to our Heavenly Father, he fully understood that His ability to direct our lives is so much better than we can ever do. Many times we are afraid of God’s power and are even scared to pray in a way. However, we need to stop fearing God and allow Him to work completely in our lives. The Lord will give you the wisdom you need to understand Him at the right time when asking for answers. This is not the end of this lesson though, you’re not getting off that easy! Jeremiah’s prayers was one of adoration. This was a common type of prayers in the old testament. I would like to ask and answer some questions today about prayer such as how often does the average Christian pray, how often should we pray, and what are some major types of prayer? If you are ready, let’s begin.
How often does the average Christian pray daily? When researching this question with online polls and sources, Beliefnet was my favorite. They found that an average of 64% of Christians pray daily and the biggest part of their prayer was for their family. That number was a little over 56% of their prayers.
How often should we pray?
Pray in the Spirit at all times with every kind of prayer and request. Likewise, be alert with your most diligent efforts and pray for all the saints.
This scripture states that we should pray at all times and for all kinds of reasons. When we pray it should not just be before meals or because you feel you need something. It should go much deeper than that. To have an effective prayer life takes dedication and discipline. I used to think I had a good prayer life, but some time ago I was in a bad situation and prayed to my Heavenly Father for resolution just like most Christians would do. He faithfully answered that prayer, but I felt a little uneasy about the entire situation. I felt like I just treated God like a personal genie. I started to think about most of my prayers and I noticed a majority of them were for me or my family. That was about it. I realized this was not fair to God.
Now imagine a stranger keeps walking up to you asking for $100. You give it to him to help and then he keeps coming back. You could keep helping him because of your gracious heart, but you notice a pattern that that person is not seeking a personal relationship with you. They just want, want, and want some more. I don’t know about you, but after a while I would stop helping that person until he got his priorities right.
Now think about how many people pray to God on a daily basis, how many of them are sincere and pure of heart? Many of us (I used to be one of them) ride off of grace. I did not want to do that anymore and some time has passed. I would like to share with everyone what I have learned from seminary that may help you all improve your prayer life.
I will be listing some of the major types of prayers below.
Prayers of Adoration: How many times a day do you take some time and be in awe of everything our Heavenly Father has created or just how amazing He is? Just look out of the window at everything He created and say “Lord your are awesome and mighty.” God wants to hear that because we were created by Him to adore Him. Colossians 1:16 mentions that all things were created by Him and for Him. Everything is His and nothing is truly ours. Just that fact alone should leave you star struck. I know I am.
Prayers of Confession: As seen in Nehemiah 1:5-7 and Daniel 9:1-19, they can deal with the sin of a group of people or it can be about personal sins as read in Psalm 51. When we pray for our past sin’s is one thing, but one must sincerely repent, then seek forgiveness. It is not automatically forgiven just by a quick prayer like many like to believe. Proper repentance will be rewarded with forgiveness by our Heavenly Father.
What about praying for the sins of others?
When done whole heartedly and for the right reasons, allows the Holy Spirit to put conviction in their heart to turn from their sin sooner or later. It is up to us to not to stop praying for for sins and for every sinner.
Prayers of Thanksgiving: This type of prayer is about realizing what God has done for you in your life and the blessings He has bestowed upon you. This is where you give thanks to the Lord for protecting you, providing nourishment, clothes on your back or anything else He has blessed you with. This type of prayer is very humbling, because you acknowledge the Lord for as being your Creator, Provider, and Father. You also acknowledge that He deserves all the glory and all of your love.
Prayer of Supplication: This is the last type of prayer I will be writing about today and sadly enough it is the most common. This is when you need something and you ask God to provide you with it “if it is in His will.” Many Christians prayers are prayers of supplication as stated by Beliefnet.
By understanding these different types of prayers, one can start to reflect on how they are praying. I am saying this because no Christians prayers should be one sided. It is up to us to dedicate the time everyday to pray to our Heavenly Father. He deserves this and much, much more.
I am not asking you to do the impossible and pray for the entire day, but make some time for Him. Some simple examples could be as simple as saying a prayer of adorations after waking up. Maybe a prayer of thanksgiving added in sometime after that. If you realized you have sinned, stop right there and then and sincerely repent and humbly seek forgiveness from our God. If you are going through something bad or are lacking nourishment or something else important, say a prayer of supplication. Try praying before every meal and take some time to glorify His name some more and thank him for your sandwich he has blessed you with.
At first, this may not be easy to do (and may sound funny to some), however, through prayer we build a closer relationship with God. It was not easy for me at first, but when you get in the routine of praying multiple times a day it became extremely humbling.
As time goes by you will want to pray more and the time will fly as you pray. You may even feel convicted to pray for and with others. This is what God wants from us in the aspect of prayer.
I pray that this message reaches whoever needs it. Also, if anyone has anything positive to add to this message, please leave a comment.