- How Do We Have to Pray? – Jesus’ Example of Prayer
Jesus came to this earth as the Son of God and only obeyed God’s will with His deeds. So, if we take after the example of the prayers of Jesus, we can pray in a way that God is pleased. Thus, let us delve into the proper attitudes of praying considering Jesus’ prayer on the Mount of Gethsemane just before He was crucified.
A. Make it a Habit to Pray
God tells us to pray continually and says, “Ask, and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). So, Jesus, even though He is the Son of God, went to the Mount of Olives as He was accustomed (Luke 22:39). Daniel prayed three times a day facing Jerusalem, although it was against the commandment of the king (Daniel 6:10). Peter and John, the disciples of Jesus, separately fixed a time to pray (Acts 3:1).
We should also fix a prayer hour and make it a habit to pray everyday, following the examples of the forefathers of faith. Especially, dawn prayer, which we offer to God before we start the day, or all-night prayer that we offer to God after we finish a day’s work is pleasing to God. In these prayers, He gives us strength and answers to us.
B. Kneel Down
Prayer is asking something to God the Creator. So, it is obvious that we should kneel down with reverence just as we would kneel down when we ask something to a very noble man. In this way, we can give our whole heart so that we will be able to receive the answer more quickly.
Elijah, who received the answer of heavenly fire knelt down and prayed (1 Kings 18:42). Stephen knelt and prayed even when he was becoming a martyr by being stoned (Acts 7:60). Even Jesus, who came to earth as the Son of God, knelt down when He prayed to the almighty God. Even Solomon, who was the king (1 Kings 8:54), and the apostle Paul knelt down to pray (Acts 20:36).
Therefore, we can see that it is the expression of reverence for God and trusting His power to kneel down when we pray. Thus, we should be neatly dressed and kneel down humbly to pray, so that we will be able to receive answers to whatever we ask.
C. Pray According to God’s Will
Jesus prayed on the Gethsemane, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). At this time, an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him. Jesus knew that it was God’s will for Him to die on the cross without any sin to lead all mankind to the way of salvation through one person. So He did not seek His own but only asked for God’s will to be done.
Also, God says, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Thus, if we do not ask something for God’s glory, we should realize that it is asking with our own desire. James 4:2-3 says, “Yet you do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” So we should always check on ourselves and pray for the glory of God.
D. Pray with Earnest and All Our Strength
Luke 22:44 says, “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” It tells us how earnestly and passionately Jesus prayed. On the Gethsemane, it is cold at night so that one cannot even sweat. But still, Jesus sweated, and that sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. It means He prayed with all His heart, mind, and soul, crying out to God with all His strength.
We can eat in toil on this earth all the days of our life (Genesis 3:17). We cannot gain anything without toil. Just as a farmer can harvest the crops with his toil, in order for us to receive the answer to our prayer, we also have to toil and pray in earnest.
So far, we have looked at the attitude of prayers of Jesus, who set a good example to us. If He prayed in such a way having all the authority as the Son of God, with what kind of attitude do we have to pray? The outward appearance of prayers is also important, but the most important thing is our inner heart. Realizing this fact, we should pray in such a way that God is pleased and will be willing to give us blessings in return.
- The Key to Receiving the Answer
A. Cry out With All Our Heart
Through Jesus’ attitude of praying, we learned that we should not have any idle thoughts but concentrate our heart to look at only God and pray earnestly. Jacob received God’s blessings when he prayed until the socket of his hip was out of joint (Genesis 32:24-30). Elijah prayed putting his face between his knees until it rained after three and a half year’s of drought (1 Kings 18:42). Likewise, only when we pray with true and earnest heart, we can move the heart of God receive answer from Him to give Him glory.
That is why God says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3), and “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:12-13).
Crying out to God is to raise our voice to Him with as much earnest heart. Through this kind of prayer, we will be filled with the Holy Spirit and overcome the world. The enemy devil and Satan will go away, and we will receive the answer. Furthermore, we will be able to experience spiritual things.
B. With Faith and Specific Purpose
If we have a clear purpose in doing something, it is very helpful in doing the job, and we can accomplish it well. But if the purpose is not clear, we will not have a powerful driving force but feel doubtful about the job. We will be likely to get disappointed by a small problem. Thus, when we pray, we should pray with a clear purpose.
Also, Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” If we truly believe that God is living and is a rewarder, we will naturally believe that He would answer to our prayers. That is why God tells us “It will be done as you believed it would” (Matthew 8;13).
Then, we should pray without any doubt. Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” James 1:6-7 says, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”
C. With Love
Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.” Iniquity is something that goes against the law set by God, and the will itself to violate it. For example, Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The mind and willingness to commit adultery is sin. If we make up our mind to commit a sin, it becomes iniquity. If we put it into action, it becomes transgression, and we become an unrighteous man.
When iniquity is shown as action to become a transgression, we become unrighteous men. When this happens, God gives us punishment with His love so that we can turn away from the way of death, which is the wages of sin. Also, because the enemy devil knows that we cannot be protected by God due to our sin, they bring upon tests and trials to our families, workplaces, or businesses.
But God of love, even though we have committed an iniquity or unrighteousness, will have compassion on us, forgive us, and answer to our prayers only if we break the wall of sin by repenting and turning back with our deeds.
Also, Jesus said, “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses” (Matthew 18:35). God’s will is to love even our enemies. So if we hate a brother, it is disobeying God’s Word and iniquity.
Therefore, we should pray in love for everything; we should love God and our brothers not only with words and tongue but also with our true heart, throwing away our iniquities, and loving and understanding our brothers.