How to Pray


Here are the notes from this past Sunday, Nov. 5. You can also view the entire study on our Facebook page “Clearlake Nazarene Church”.


Pastor Chris



  • You would understand how we can prepare our hearts for prayer.
  • You can take the structure of The Lord’s Prayer – greeting, petitions, conclusion – and put them in your own words.
    • Secondary goal:
      • See the importance of having a formal prayer time each day

There is wrong with “popcorn” prayers, praying while driving, doing dishes, etc.

  • But it is important to carve out 5-10 minutes each day for a formal, quiet, centering prayer w/ God.
  • When we only pray while driving or doing dishes or the like, it’s like existing on snacks – every day you’re only eating snack foods and not having a full meal
  • Formal prayer time provides a full meal with the Spiritual calories and nutrients you need

Martin Luther – talked about cultivating the habit of prayer through regular discipline

 Luke 5:15-16   But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

  • Pray twice daily – morning and evening
  • Luther said we are commanded to pray just as strongly as we are commanded don’t kill, don’t steal.

I understand that we are all busy with work, own a business, have kids & busy teenagers.

  • That’s why it is important to cultivate the habit of prayer now.
    • Won’t always be busy
    • Won’t always have teenagers
  • Build the habit now and it will grow when you are not so busy.


Luther also strongly urges to begin prayer time by meditating on scripture.

Pick a scripture & think about it – meditate on it

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

4 suggestions

  • What is the instruction of the scripture?
    • What does it want you to learn or know?
  • How does the instruction of this passage lead to praise and thanksgiving?
  • How does it lead you to repent and confess?
  • How does it lead you to supplication and petition?
    • What does it lead you to ask of God?

Too often we think of prayer as the thing we have to do to get to something else.

The only thing in our spiritual life more important than prayer is our relationship with Jesus.

Prayer is the main event – not an afterthought.

Meditating on scripture before prayer also cultivates a correct attitude.

True, heavenly-minded prayers will always begin and end with a humble, broken spirit.

  • Only then with they be welcomed at the throne of grace.


The Lord’s Prayer – Matthew 6:7-13 NIV

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father who is in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

(For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.)


Primary Sources:

St. Augustine’s Letter to Proba:

Martin Luther, A Simple Way to Pray:

Click to access simple_way_pray_luther.pdf

John Calvin on Prayer:

Click to access copr.pdf

Timothy Keller, “Prayer”