2 - Worship, glory, and praise. "Worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea,
and the fountains of waters." "Give unto the Lord glory due to his name..." "For ye
are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit..."
"Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary:..." - Recommends the Bible.
(Revelation 14:7, Psalms 29:2, 1 Corinthians 6:20, Psalms 150:1, respectively KJV).
3 - Thanksgiving. "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good..." "Let us come into his
presence with thanksgiving... for the Lord is a great God..." "...with thanksgiving let
your requests be made known unto God." - Says the Word. (Psalms 107:1, 95:2,
Philippians 4:6, KJV.)
After all, we teach our children early to say "thank you," any time they receive
something. Then, when they get to the point where they automatically thank us, we
are happy. How much happier will be our Heavenly Father, when we thank him also
for what he has done for us? May we never forget to thank him!
4 - Of course our prayers may include requests as well. Jesus said: "Ask, and it shall
be given to you..." "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do..."
(Matthew 7:7, John 14:13, KJV.)
I guess, we don't need to encourage Christians to ask, for most of our prayers consist
of requests, to begin with. But Jesus doesn't mind. He wants us to ask in his name,
anything that is Scriptural.
Of course lost people can ask too. That doesn't take much learning. As mentioned earlier;
when trouble hits, they automatically cry out to God. Even if they didn't believe in him
before. For - as the saying goes: "In the trenches there are no atheists." In other words,
when people's life is threatened, they suddenly turn to God; regardless of their previous
beliefs. The same holds true in the midst of any other type of great suffering or pain. Why
then, wouldn't we - who through receiving Jesus - became God's children already; ask
for more and more?
5 - In addition, our prayers may include intercession also. Although intercession is a
form of request, yet it is different in that it is uttered on behalf of someone other than
ourselves. We may intercede for our leaders, country, institutions, the world, loved
ones, friends, neighbors, etc., even for our enemies.
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for
everyone - for kings and for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and
quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." "...pray one for another, that ye may be healed."
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies... pray for them, which despitefully use you..."
- We read in 1 Timothy 2:1-2, James 5:16, and Matthew 5:44. (KJV.)
6 - Then, crying before, or confiding in and/or pouring out our heart before God can
also be part of our prayers. "Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the
watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord..." Says
Lamentations 2:19. (KJV.)
Personally, I remember several occasions when - in great distress - I cried out to God
in the darkness of the night. Sometimes even repeatedly. Thus, I can say that sharing
my problems with, and wailing before God helped me to deal with the pain. For,
pouring out our heart before someone who understands, is therapeutic to our
human soul. And God is always and everywhere available.
7 - Finally, when facing sudden danger, our prayers may include but a desperate cry
for help, and/or pleading for deliverance. "In my distress I called upon the
Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry
did enter into his ears." - Confessed David in 2 Samuel 22:7 (KJV.) Then in Hebrews
5:7 (KJV) we read about Jesus that: "... in the days of his flesh... he... offered up
prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save
him from death, and was heard..." Thus, we too may cry out for help, in time of need.
There are still more things we may include in our prayers. But the beforementioned
list is enough to prove to us the great value and importance of regular, earnest
prayer. For, if it's true that one may "ask and ... receive," than the opposite is true
also. Namely, that those of us who do not ask or pray, will not receive all those
special blessings God may want to grant us; if only we would ask.
About Saul, who became Paul, the apostle; we read that immediately after he received
Jesus he not only became an obedient child of God, but also a man of prayer. May
we also use the great privilege and opportunity of prayer to the fullest to find out God's
will for us; to praise and glorify his name; to give thanks unto him; to ask anything
scriptural; to intercede for others; to lament about, and/or share our problems with the
Lord; and to cry out for his help in times of sudden distress. Then Jesus may take
notice of you and me, like he did of Paul, saying "... for he (she) is praying..."