Prayer in the Life of a Believer
This study was done out of
a desire to have more prayer and more pleasing prayer to
Yahuah in my own life. So it is my hope that the
scriptures which convict my heart will also convict
When studying this subject
of prayer, I was very shocked first of all to find that
there is no specific command to pray in the first five
books of the scriptures (commonly called the Torah).
However, there are a large number of examples of prayer
in the scriptures especially in the book of Psalms.
To begin with, we will
examine Yahusha's example for us.
Matthew 6:9 - After this manner
therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.10 - Thy kingdom come. Thy will be
done in earth, as it is in heaven.11 - Give us this day
our daily bread. 12 - And forgive us our debts, as we
forgive our debtors.13 - And lead us not into
temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the
kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Unlike the monotone
repetitions as some do of this prayer, I believe that
Yahusha was sharing with us what things we should at
LEAST pray for on a daily basis. Surely at least once a
day for He said "Give us this day our daily bread".
(Note: This not only means not only the physical, but
also the spiritual food we need)
Prayer is very powerful:
James 5:16 -
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one
another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent
prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Examples of things that we
can pray for are endless. But the following are some
scriptural guidelines of how, when and where prayer
can/should take place. How do we pray?
Perhaps the number one
thing Yahuah expects when we pray is humility. How can
Yahuah hear the prayer of a proud man?
Job 35:12 -
There they cry, but none giveth answer, because of the
pride of evil men. 13 - Surely Yahuah will not hear
vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.
What other things can
hinder our prayers?
Doubt can hinder our
James 1:5 -
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Yahuah, who
gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will
be given to him. 6 - 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. 7 - For let not that man
suppose that he will receive anything from Yahuah;
8 - he is a double-minded
man, unstable in all his ways.
- But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for
he who comes to Yahuah must believe that He is, and that
He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Turning away an ear from
Yahuah's word will hinder our prayers
- He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer shall be abomination.
Now those are pretty strong
7:12 - Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone,
lest they should hear the law, and the words which
Yahuah of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former
prophets: therefore came a great wrath from Yahuah of
hosts. 13 - Therefore it is come to pass, that as he
cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I
would not hear, saith Yahuah of hosts:
Wrong attitude and
intentions will hinder prayer:
James 4:2 -
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and
cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have
because you do not ask. 3 - You ask and do not receive,
because you ask amiss, that you may spend [it] on your
relationships will hinder prayer:
1Peter 3:7 -
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding,
giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and
as being heirs together of the favor of life, that your
prayers may not be hindered.
Praying out of Yahuah's
will hinders prayer:
1John 5:14 - Now this is the confidence that we have in
Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He
Hypocrisy hinders prayer
Matthew 6:5 -
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the
hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the
synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they
may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have
Sleepiness hinders prayer
- And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them
asleep, and saith unto Kepha, What, could ye not watch
with me one hour? 41 - Watch and pray, that ye enter not
into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the
flesh is weak.
Or perhaps laziness.
To regard sin hinders
Psalms 66:18 - If I regard iniquity in my heart, Yahuah
will not hear me:
Mark 11:25 -
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought
against any: that your Father also which is in heaven
may forgive you your trespasses.
Our prayers are likened
unto an incense offering to Yahuah:
5:8 - Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living
creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before
the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of
incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Psalms 141:2 - Let my prayer be set
forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my
hands as the evening sacrifice.
Therefore our offering must
be humble, sweet, pure and right. Without blemish or
foolish choice of words.
5:1 - Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of
Elohim, and be more ready to hear, than to give the
sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do
evil. 2 - Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine
heart be hasty to utter any thing before Elohim: for
Elohim is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let
thy words be few.
As Yahusha said:
Matthew 6:7 -
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the
heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for
their much speaking. 8 - Be not ye therefore like unto
them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need
of, before ye ask him.
This can be seen in some
Pentecostal churches where they repeat a certain phrase
over and over again until they are worked into an
altered state of consciousness and then open themselves
up to all kinds of demonic activity.
But does this mean then
that every prayer is to be a short 20 second prayer?
I think not. Yahusha at
times spent the entire night in prayer. How many of us
have followed this example?
Luke 6:12 - And it came to pass in those days, that he
went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all
night in prayer to Yahuah.
There are certainly times
in our lives that we have more to pray for. It is
certain that we should be careful about what we do speak
to Yahuah and that our prayer is not simply repeating
over and over the same words for the purpose of making
it long. We must also remember that in our prayers we
are actually asking Yahuah to obey us! But as we grow in
Him, we will find that our will is increasingly
What should be the position
of our body when we pray? There really is no commandment
on this that I'm aware of but there are many examples.
Yahusha lifted His eyes to
John 17:1 - These words spake
Yahusha, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,
Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son
also may glorify thee:
He knelt down:
Luke 22:41 - And he was withdrawn from them about a
stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
He also fell on His face..
- And he went a little further, and fell on his face,
and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let
this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but
as thou wilt.
As did Moshe/Moses for
forty days and nights:
9:25 - Thus I fell down before Yahuah forty days and
forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because
Yahuah had said he would destroy you.
21:16 - And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the
angYahuah of Yahuah stand between the earth and the
heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out
over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders of Israel, who
were clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.
You will notice that most
of these were in most perilous and sincere times. When
asking for forgiveness, the humble man whose prayer was
answered was standing in prayer...but wouldn't even look
Luke 18:13 -
And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up
so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his
breast, saying, Elohim be merciful to me a sinner.
Also we can lift our hands:
- I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up
holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
6:13 - For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five
cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits
high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon
it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all
the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands
And as we spoke of earlier:
Psalms 141:2 - Let my prayer be set forth before thee as
incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening
This brings us to another
area of interest. The time of prayer.
It is written that we
1Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.
I do not believe that this
is literal. However, we should always be mindful of
prayer anytime, anywhere...keeping the lines of
communication open between us and our Father, continuing
in the Spirit.
I have recently come to the
conviction that we should offer prayer at the time of
the evening sacrifice. It is true that our prayers are
likened unto offerings.
119:108 - Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings
of my mouth, O Yahuah, and teach me thy judgments.
- Therefore by Him let us continually offer the
sacrifice of praise to Yahuah, that is, the fruit of our
lips, giving thanks to His name.
Proverbs 15:8 - The sacrifice of the
wicked is an abomination to Yahuah: but the prayer of
the upright is his delight.
It is also interesting that
the time of the evening sacrifice, known as the ninth
hour of daylight, was a time of prayer. Consider the
example of Kepha and Yahuchanan (Peter and John):
Acts 3:1 -
Now Kepha and John went up together into the temple at
the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
Now we know that there is
no literal temple today. There wasn't any temple in the
days of DaniYahuah the prophet, yet consider his
Daniel 9:21 -
Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man
Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning,
being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time
of the evening oblation.
It was Daniel's custom to
pray 3 times a day
6:10 - Now when DaniYahuah knew that the writing was
signed, he went into his house; and his windows being
open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon
his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks
before his Elohim, as he did aforetime.
Here is Ezra's example
Ezra 9:4 -
Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at
the words of the Elohim of Israel, because of the
transgression of those that had been carried away; and I
sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.5 - And at the
evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and
having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my
knees, and spread out my hands unto Yahuah my Elohim.
Notice again..the hour of
prayer, the time of the evening offering.
Also EliYah's (Elijah's)
- And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the
evening sacrifice, that EliYah the prophet came near,
and said, Yahuah Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and of
Israel, let it be known this day that thou art Elohim in
Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done
all these things at thy word.
In this next scripture, all
the people were praying at the time of incense:
Luke 1:10 -
And the whole multitude of the people were praying
without at the time of incense. 11 - And there appeared
unto him an angYahuah of Yahuah standing on the right
side of the altar of incense.
And it was at the ninth
hour that Yahusha spoke His final words to Father Yahuah
Luke 23:44 - And it was about the
sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth
until the ninth hour. 45 - And the sun was darkened, and
the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
46 - And when Yahusha had
cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands
I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up
In His offering of
prayer..He was an offering for us.
- As for me, I will call upon Elohim; and Yahuah shall
save me. 17 - Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I
pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
Now we come to the example
Acts 10:1 -
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a
centurion of the band called the Italian band, 2 - A
devout man, and one that feared Elohim with all his
house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to
Elohim alway. 3 - He saw in a vision evidently about the
ninth hour of the day an angYahuah of Yahuah coming in
to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
What was Cornelius doing at
the ninth hour? Praying.
Later, when retelling the
Acts 10:30 - And Cornelius said, Four
days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth
hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood
before me in bright clothing,
I will stop short of saying
for sure that it is a commandment for us to pray at the
ninth hour. But the scriptures certainly indicate there
are many examples of righteous men doing so. Again, I
will mention that there is no inappropriate time to
Psalms 86:3 - Be merciful unto me, O Yahuah: for I cry
unto thee daily.
We should bless and give
thanks to Yahuah for our food before we eat:
John 6:11 -
And Yahusha took the loaves; and when he had given
thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the
disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of
the fishes as much as they would.
And bless Yahuah after we
Deuteronomy 8:10 - When thou hast eaten and art full,
then thou shalt bless Yahuah thy Elohim for the good
land which he hath given thee.
We can pray though..at any
119:147 - I prevented the dawning of the morning, and
cried: I hoped in thy word.
Acts 16:25 -
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises
unto Yahuah: and the prisoners heard them.
- But unto thee have I cried, O Yahuah; and in the
morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
Incidentally, rising before
dawn is something that Yahusha did:
Mark 1:35 - And in the morning, rising up a great while
before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary
place, and there prayed.
Praying in a solitary place
was something that Yahusha suggested and practiced
Luke 5:16 -
And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
Matthew 6:6 -
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and
when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which
is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall
reward thee openly.
Of course this does not
mean that people cannot pray together. The apostles
after being threatened by the Sanhedrin prayed together
Acts 4:23 -
And being let go, they went to their own company, and
reported all that the chief priests and elders had said
unto them. 24 - And when they heard that, they lifted up
their voice to Yahuah with one accord, and said, Yahuah,
thou art Elohim, which hast made heaven, and earth, and
the sea, and all that in them is: 25 - Who by the mouth
of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen
rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26 - The kings
of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered
together against Yahuah, and against his Messiah.
27 - For of a truth against
thy holy child Yahusha, whom thou hast anointed, both
Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the
people of Israel, were gathered together,
28 - For to do whatsoever
thy hand and thy counsYahuah determined before to be
done. 29 - And now,
Yahuah, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy
servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy
word, 30 - By
stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and
wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child
Yahusha. 31 - And when they had prayed, the place was
shaken where they were assembled together; and they were
all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word
of Yahuah with boldness.
Matthew 18:20 - For where two or three are gathered
together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
There is seemingly no end
in sight on this subject but I hope that this has
encouraged many to be more of a man or woman of prayer.
In our relationship with Yahuah, I believe that prayer
is as important as reading His word. Oftentimes we can
have a point in our life where we are praying often but
neglecting the reading of His word. Other times it might
be the other way around. Perhaps it is a delicate
balance that we must maintain depending upon our
One thing is certain, we
cannot expect to have a relationship with Yahuah apart
from these two things. Our prayers should be out of
natural love and desire to speak with Him. For prayer is
our communication to Him and His word is His
communication to us. We must stay in touch with Yahuah
at all times. The closer we walk with Him, the more we
are like our Master Yahusha. And that, I hope is our
May Yahuah's word bless you
as we conclude with these final scriptures:
Psalms 34:1 - I will bless Yahuah at
all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 - My soul shall make her boast in Yahuah: the humble
shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3 - O magnify Yahuah with
me, and let us exalt his name together.
4 - I sought Yahuah, and he
heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 - They
looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces
were not ashamed. 6 -
This poor man cried, and Yahuah heard him, and saved him
out of all his troubles. 7 - The angYahuah of Yahuah
encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth
them. 8 - O taste and see that Yahuah is good: blessed
is the man that trusteth in him.