‘How’ we are to pray is determined by who we are praying to. Since the God of the Bible is omnipresent (everywhere-present), we can pray anywhere at any time. Though we do not have to limit our prayers to a designated place, there is a blessing in being with others praying cooperatively, seeking God’s will and purpose, which is revealed in the Bible.
Prayer may take place standing, seated, kneeling, or even lying down. Having one’s eyes closed helps to avoid distractions, though at other times it may seem appropriate to have them open when praying in public. One may even pray non-verbally, in the quietness of one’s heart, making quiet prayers through our thoughts toward God. Sometimes we read aloud or to ourselves, and the same is the case with prayer. Having hands pressed together is not necessary but may help young children with short attention spans to concentrate and not to fidget.
Prayer should never be done to impress others or to put on a spiritual façade since it will not please God. Prayer is not an opportunity to advertise either our learning or impression of piety, or to pretend to be anything that we are not. Since prayer is directed towards the Lord our Creator, there should be a sense of reverence since God is holy (set apart in holy character).
Vain repetitions – prayer that is repeating a word or a phrase an inordinate amount of times, does not please God, since the focus is on the act itself rather than to the God of heaven and earth to whom the request is made. The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ which the Messiah Jesus taught, gives us an excellent template for prayer and is a prayer that the Messiah graciously gave us to show us a model of how to pray, and it is of course good to pray that. Books have been written concerning the Lord’s Prayer itself. Nonetheless, we must be careful to mean what we say when we use the Lord’s Prayer and to think through it’s meaning when we recite it, rather than just repeating it out of protocol.
Intercessory prayer is another form of prayer, when someone prays on behalf of others – individuals, a group, a nation, perhaps across the world in certain locations. It is also good to meet with others to pray regularly. Prayer is like oxygen, and a fellowship group that gives little attention to prayer will not be able to grow spiritually. There is a lot of wisdom in the old adage, “no prayer for seven days makes one weak!” Prayers usually close with an “Amen” which means ‘so be it’ – thereby indicating agreement with what the person prayed, which requires a genuineness of agreement, therefore should also be in agreement with God’s will, as revealed in the teachings of the Bible.