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Should Prayers Be Memorized or in One’s Own Words?

When we go out for outreach and missions, we meet hundreds of people that have never prayed before, and we helped them to start a relationship we God and communicate with him. Some of them feel uncomfortable praying, but they eventually learned.

So, should prayers be a free form of should they be memorized? Jesus Christ taught us how we are supposed to pray to the Father in an authentic way, using our own words so that we can express ourselves, our hopes and worries to God. He commanded us to pray everything to the Father through his name. While one can recite Bible verses, and it is helpful, sincere prayer is two-way communication, we speak with God to God. Over time, I have learned that I can pray and receive prayers from God.

Bible Teachings on the Manner of Prayer

Many people, in most religions, recite the Lord’s Prayer as a way of praying. While you may enjoy pondering on the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ while repeating the words of this powerful prayer, it should not be used as a substitution for communicating the feelings of your heart in an authentic and real way to God.

Before Jesus Christ gave the lord’s prayer, he had said “But when you pray, use not vain repetition as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking” Mathew 6:7. This is where Jesus made it clear that he did not just want us to pray by simply engaging in vain repetition of words. The kind of prayer that Jesus gave was a powerful and heartfelt prayer.

Jesus then prayed …

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Matthew 6:9-13

Why Express Our Worries in Prayer If God Already Knows Our Hearts?

One day while we were doing outreach, I was asked by a person why we should pray, and yet the bible says God already knows our hearts and all that we need, and he already has perfect knowledge of what to do.

I found the answer to him, which is well explained.

God is looking for fellowship; he wants intimacy and a relationship. There is no relationship that can stand the test of time if there is no communication. The object of making prayers is not to change the will of God, but to align ourselves with the will of God. By praying to God, we secure ourselves and put our lives in a better place to receive the blessings that God is willing to grant us but are on the condition of our asking for them.

Blessings require some work and effort from our part before we can obtain them. They are ensnared, and prayer is one form of work and an appointed means for obtaining the highest blessings.

In Acts 1:24 when the disciples wanted to select an apostle that would replace Judas after his death, they prayed to say, “Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen.” They recognized that God already knew their thoughts, but still, they went ahead and prayed anyway. They asked the lord questions that were difficult to answer for them. They prayed using their own words and did not recite any written prayer.

You Can Receive Knowledge from God Through Your Prayers to Him

Soon before Jesus Christ died on the cross, he gathered the disciples for last super. He said to them,  “Little children, yet a little while I am with you… But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 13, John 14:26).

This scripture shows how important it was for Jesus to leave the earth so that we could have a comforter and friend in the Holy Spirit. Though he could no longer be with us physically, he promised that whatever things he had said would be brought to remembrance by the Holy Spirit in us. The Holy Spirit will also give us knowledge that will guide our lives. He will also teach us how to pray, with words and groaning that cannot be uttered.

Most of the times when I pray, I pray in the spirit, I speak in unknown tongues. This is the supernatural language of prayer. The evidence of the baptism by the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ had promised starts by speaking in tongues and extends to other areas of spiritual growth.

The majority of the times when I pray, I usually feel peaceful, but there may be no specific instruction from God as to what I should do. Most of the time, God would have us to walk by faith and not by sight 2 Corinthians 5:7. There are other times when those prayers would yield sudden thoughts that communicated clearly to me what I should do and how I should do.

More often than not, when I wake up in the morning and pray, or join fellow church members in the morning devotion, I find that the whole day I have access to the Holy Spirit. During the days when I forget to pray, I feel like I lack something, it’s like being naked and defenceless. After prayers, the lord would deposit a burden in me, I would start thinking of something I ought to do, or I would think of a friend and think of ideas of what we could do together.

Most of the times I have had subtle answers to my prayers that if I didn’t pay close attention to them, I might disregard them as my own thoughts. Most of the time, I have seen God show his power through an unusual and unmistakable way. These are the experiences that are private to me. They have helped me to know that the thoughts and feelings I get are coming from God.

Why Is It Wrong to Pray Only Memorized or Recited Prayers?

First of all, I do not think that it is wrong to recite a bible verse or a written prayer and meditate on it for a while. Joshua 1:8 says we should meditate on the word of God day and night to have success. Actually, this is a wonderful practice, staring at the word of God until it gets into you. This is what differentiates between a speech and a sermon.

However, this good practice can easily come between a believer and God if there are no prayers being made in one’s own words. This could keep us from praying about our lives and the issues that we are struggling with. In fact, it could cut off the flow of communication between us and God.

It is a good practice to pray every day, every time in the spirit than with the understanding also. The spirit part is when you pray in tongues and edify yourself. 2 Corinthians 14:1. Then when you pray with the understanding, this is where your mind profits, you pray with your words and address God and express yourself. If you are in a place where you can speak out loud, do so. But find a secret place and fellowship with God. 

Separate from prayers, you should have knowledge of the word of God. Begin a study of the scripture and read bible verses and meditate on them for some time without distraction each day. And pray to go to open the eyes of your understanding so that you understand what the scripture says.

Learn How to Pray.

If you would like to learn how to pray, I would first begin by asking if you have given your life to Christ. You pray to God as the Father, and if you have not welcomed him in your life, there is no place he can come in. The fellowship is for sons.

Would you like to place your faith in Jesus Christ? Do you trust him to save you? Then you don’t need any special prayer you must pray. However, you can respond right now with a similar prayer to this one here …

Dear God, I realize that I am a sinner and could never reach heaven by my own good deeds. Right now, I choose to place my faith in Jesus Christ, who died for my sins and rose again from the dead to save me from this evil age. Please forgive me of my sins and fill me with the Holy Spirit to help me live for you. Thank you for accepting me and giving me eternal life. Amen.

If you have made that prayer above, feel free to contact us and let us know to give you directions on your spiritual walk with God.

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