WHO can pray? We all can pray. You don’t need a pastor or spiritual leader to do your praying for you. God wants you to pray and personally bring your requests to Him. Prayer does not have a formula. It doesn’t have to be done perfectly using particular words or phrases for God to hear or respond. God does not only hear your words but also your heart and emotions.
WHO do we pray to? We pray to God (Col. 1:3). Praying to God the Father (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6) honors Christ’s faithfulness and shed blood which has given us free, bold, confident access to the Father (Eph. 2:18; 3:12,14).
WHO do we pray for? We pray for all people (1 Tim. 2:1). We pray for unbelievers to be saved (Rom. 10:1). We pray for the needs of believers (Eph. 6:18). And we are taught to pray specifically for leaders in government (1 Tim. 2:2).
WHAT do we pray for? We pray for everything. Any spiritual need (Col. 1:9-11) or physical need (Rom. 1:9-10; Phil. 1:19) is a matter for prayer. We give thanks for all things (Eph. 5:20) and take every request to God (Phil. 4:6). And we are to pray and thank God for our food (1 Tim. 4:4-5).
WHEN do we pray? We pray “always” (Eph. 6:18) and “without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17), which means to pray anytime and to have a faithful, running conversation with God. We pray when we are anxious (Phil. 4:6-7), in need of God’s intervention (2 Cor. 12:7-8), and in every circumstance (1 Thes. 5:18).
WHERE do we pray? We pray anywhere and everywhere. We don’t just pray in church. “Praying always” (Eph. 6:18) means we pray wherever we are, in public or private. We can always pray anywhere within the quietness of our hearts and thoughts.
HOW do we pray? We pray with a spirit of thanksgiving and praise to God (1 Thes. 1:2; Eph. 3:21). There is also no required position for prayer. The Bible mentions different prayer positions (Eph. 3:14; 1 Tim. 2:8), but none of them are prescribed as how we must always do it.
WHY do we pray? We pray because God tells us to pray in His Word (Col. 4:2). We pray because God is able (Eph. 3:20), and the God Who answers prayer can change things according to His will. We pray because it draws us nearer to God and increases our faith in Him and our love for others. We pray because it changes us.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.