What is prayer?

Probably a bazillion times, we will tell someone "I'm praying for you".  Probably less than a bazillion times do we actually do it.  Now, I'm not being cynical or critical...just honest.  We are well-intentioned and we really do care about the one we commit to pray for....but sometimes we just don't do it.  Or if we do, it's one of those "arrow prayers" that we shoot up towards Heaven - "please bless Bobby".  We'd be hard-pressed to know if God ever answered many of those.

So I thought it'd be fun to do some posts on prayer.  God commands us to pray.  We want to pray.  We need to pray.  So let's find out about prayer.

We will use, as our basis, Matthew 6:9-13.  This is most often referred to as "The Lord's Prayer". 

Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Most Bible scholars agree that we should refer to this as "The Model Prayer" because Jesus is instructing us how to pray.  They say that "The Lord's Prayer" is what we should call John 17, when Jesus prayed for us!   Whatever we call it, it is set of instructions that can guide us as we pray instead of a rote prayer to only memorize and repeat. 

These verses contain different index sentences that serve as topical areas for the believer to cover in prayer.  We will break this model down into those different areas over the next few days so as to learn how we are to pray.  Following that, we will address some questions about prayer.  Things like why do some prayers go unanswered?  If God is omniscient, why should we pray?  What makes God answer yes?  How often should I pray?  Is public prayer acceptable to God?

If you have other questions, let me know and we'll try to find the answers. For now, just pray :)