The Basics of Prayer

You can listen to this episode in the archive section of our PODCAST page.


Welcome to episode #2 of our Basic Training series where we show you the simplest and most necessary concepts every new believer needs to understand in order to grow. Last week we kicked off the series with a glossary of Christian terms so that when you’re around other Christians you won’t feel like they’re speaking another language. This week we’re talking all about our lifeline access to God Himself: prayer. Remember, as we talk about these things, there are people who don’t know what propitiation is. Let’s start by reading from Matthew chapter 6:5-8 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

  1. What prayer is not

  2. For show

  3. Mindless repetition (e.g. praying the “Our Father” prayer 7 times, or babbling the same repetitive thing over and over to conjure up “prayerful emotions”)

  4. Just to get stuff

  5. Prayer is not some sort of incantation to manipulate God into doing something for you.

  6. Prayer is not some sort of means to control God.

  7. Many cults and religions operate on the basis that if they perform certain rituals that the god they are summoning must follow through with their request.

  8. Many supposed “christian” groups do the same thing and they don’t realize it: Catholics, some Pentecostal groups who believe that if they do certain things that God must hold up His end of the deal, “name it and claim it” kind of stuff.

  9. Any group that teaches some form of “people needing to pray a certain prayer and God will hold up His end of the deal and respond a certain way”, and who teach this either in addition to or in place of the simple Biblical teaching of “God is sovereign, God is in control, we are not, and He can do whatever He pleases to do”, MUST BE AVOIDED!

  10. Do not pray to make smurfs pink. They are blue for a reason.

  11. What prayer is

  12. Conversation and communion with God

  13. Private

  14. Meaningful

  15. Chance to personally commune with God, not just communicate.

  16. Why is prayer important? Why do we do it?

  17. It it pleasing to God

  18. God inhabits the praises of His people

  19. We need it!

  20. Does not align God's will with ours. It aligns our will with God's.

  21. We can make God get us to look really good and young.