True prayer is an earnest petition, offered to the right one, in the right manner, and on right matters. Prayers of the Christian are offered only to Jehovah God as the Right One, the Supreme One of the universe. Prayer is therefore offered reverently, with proper recognition of the supremacy of the one being addressed and the inferiority of the one praying. The right manner of approach is only through and in the name of Jesus Christ. Prayers are recognized only in request for those things that are right matters as authorized by Jehovah Himself. Failure in any one of the three essentials will render the prayer unacceptable. Only prayers of the righteous are answered.
Prayer Properly Directed Only to Jehovah God
Psalm 5:1, 2 "Give ear to my words, O Jehovah, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God; for unto You I pray."
Psalm 65:1, 2 "Praise waits for You, O God, in Zion; and to You shall the vow be performed. O You that hear prayer, unto You shall all flesh come."
Psalm 143:1 "Hear my prayer, O Jehovah; give ear to my supplications: in Your faithfulness answer me, and in Your righteousness."
Matthew 6:9 "You must pray, then, this way: 'Our Father in the heavens.' "
Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God."
Not to Idols, "Saints" or Creatures
Psalm 115:4-6 "Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands... . They have ears, but they hear not."
1 Corinthians 8:4-6 "Now concerning ... foods offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world and that there is no God but one. For even though there are those who are called 'gods', whether in heaven or on earth, just as there are many 'gods' and many 'lords', there is actually to us one God the Father."
Isaiah 45:20 "They have no knowledge that carry the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save."
1 Timothy 2:5 "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man Christ Jesus."
Prayer to God Directed Only Through and in Name of Jesus Christ
John 14:6, 14 "Jesus said to him: 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.' "
John 16:23-27 "In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall make request of the Father concerning you. For the Father Himself has affection for you, because you have had affection for Me and have believed that I came out as the Father's representative."
Romans 16:27 "To God wise alone be the glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen."
Properly Closed with "Amen"
1 Corinthians 14:16 "Otherwise, if you offer praise with a gift of the spirit, how will the man occupying the seat of the ordinary person say ‘Amen’ to your giving of thanks?"
Revelation 5:14 "And the four living creatures went to saying, 'Amen!' and the persons of advanced age fell down and worshiped."
1 Chronicles 16:36 "Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting. And all the people said, Amen, and praised Jehovah."
Psalm 72:19, 20 "And blessed be His glorious Name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended."
Also: Deuteronomy 27:14-26; Psalm 41:13; 89:52; Galatians 6:18; Jude 25.
Jehovah's Power to Hear and Answer Prayer is Unlimited
Isaiah 65:24 "And it shall come to pass that, before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."
Ephesians 3:20, 21 "Now to the one who can, according to His power which is operating in us, do more than superabundantly beyond all the things we ask or conceive, to Him be the glory."
Great Prayer Test Shows Jehovah's Superiority in Hearing and Answering Prayer
1 Kings 18:20-40 "And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped about the altar which was made.... And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lances, till the blood gushed out upon them.... but there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.... And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening oblation, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said.... Hear me, O Jehovah, hear me, that this people may know that You, Jehovah, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again. Then the fire of Jehovah fell, and consumed the burnt-offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, Jehovah, He is God."
Prayer Should Be Reverent, in Spirit and Truth
John 4:23 "On the contrary, the hour is coming, and it is now, when the genuine worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth."
Psalm 145:18 "Jehovah is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.'
Practice of Using Rosaries and Similar "Aids" in Repetition Forbidden
Matthew 6:7, 8 "But when praying, do not say the same things over and over again, just as the people of the nations do, for they imagine they will get a hearing for their use of many words. So, do not make yourselves like them, for God your Father knows what things you are needing before ever you ask Him."
Acts 19:34 "When they recognized that he was a Jew, one cry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours: 'Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!' "
Manner of Posture in Prayer Not Prescribed or Limited
2 Chronicles 6:12, 14 "And he [Solomon] stood before the altar of Jehovah in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands and he said, O Jehovah, the God of Israel, there is no God like You, in heaven, or on earth."
1 Samuel 1:12, 13 "And it came to pass, as she continued praying before Jehovah, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. "
Nehemiah 8:6 "And Ezra blessed Jehovah, the great God; and all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with the lifting up of their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped Jehovah with their faces to the ground."
Daniel 6:10 "Daniel . . . kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God."
Matthew 26:39 "And going a little way forward, he fell upon his face, praying."
Mark 11:25 "When you stand praying, forgive."
Luke 22:41 "And he himself drew away from them about a stone's throw, and bent his knees and began to pray."
John 11:41 "Now Jesus raised His eyes heavenward and said: 'Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.' "
Ephesians 6:18 "While with every form of prayer and supplication you carry on prayer on every occasion in spirit."
1 Timothy 2:8 "Therefore I desire that in every place the men carry on prayer, lifting up hands of loving-kindness."
When Leading in Prayer Women Should Have Head Covered; Men, Head Uncovered
1 Corinthians 11:4, 5, 7, 10, 16 "Every man that prays or prophesies having something on his head shames the one who is his head; but every woman that prays or prophesies with her head unveiled shames the one who is her head, for it is one and the same as if she were a woman with a shaved head. For a man ought not to have his head veiled, as he is God's image and glory; but the woman is man's glory. That is why the woman ought to have a sign of authority upon her head because of the angels. However, if any man seems to dispute for some other custom, we have no other, neither do the congregations of God."
Perseverance in Prayer Encouraged
Colossians 4:2 "Be persevering in prayer, remaining awake in it with thanksgiving."
Luke 18:1-8 "Then He went on to tell them an illustration with regard to the need for them always to pray and not to give up, ... 'Certainly, then, shall not God cause justice to be done to His chosen ones who cry aloud to Him day and night, even though He is longsuffering toward them?' "
Rom. 12:12 "Rejoice in the hope ahead. Endure under tribulation. Persevere in prayer."
Hypocritical Public Prayers Condemned
Matthew 6:5, 6 "Also when you pray, you must not be as the hypocrites; because they like to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the broad ways to be visible to men. Truly I say to you, They are having their reward in full. You, however, when you pray, go into your private room and, after shutting your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; then your Father who looks on in secret will repay you."
Luke 18:9-14 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a pharisee and the other a tax collector. The pharisee stood and began to pray these things to himself: 'O God, I thank You I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give the tenth of all things I acquire.' "
Mark 12:40 "They are the ones devouring the houses of the widows and for a pretext making long prayers; these will receive a heavier judgment."
Congregational Prayers Acceptable
Acts 1:14 "With one accord all these were persisting in prayer, together with some women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with His brothers."
Acts 4:23-31 "Upon hearing this they with one accord raised their voices to God and said: 'Sovereign Lord, you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them'... And when they had made supplication, the place in which they were assembled was shaken, and they were one and all filled with the holy spirit and were speaking the Word of God with boldness."
Acts 20:36 "And when he had said these things, he kneeled down with all of them and prayed."
1 Kings 8:22, 23 "And Solomon stood before the altar of Jehovah in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven; and he said, O Jehovah, the God of Israel, there is no God like You, in heaven above, or on earth beneath."
Jesus Showed Order of Importance of Right Matters
Matthew 6:9-13 "Our Father in the heavens, let Your Name be sanctified. Let Your kingdom come. Let Your will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth. Give us today our bread for this day; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one."
Other Right Matters and Occasions for Prayer
Proverbs 30:7-9 "Two things have I asked of You; ... give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me: lest I be full, and deny You, and say, Who is Jehovah? or lest I be poor, and steal."
Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, forgive whatever you have against anyone, in order that your Father who is in the heavens may also forgive you your trespasses."
Matthew 26:41 "Keep on the watch and praying, that you may not enter into temptation."
To know God's will
Psalm 25:4, 5 "Show me Your ways, O Jehovah; teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth, and teach me."
Psalm 119:66 "Teach me good judgment and knowledge; for I have believed in Your commandments."
1 Kings 3:7, 9 "O Jehovah my God,... Give Your servant therefore an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil."
Daniel 2:23 "I thank You, and praise You, O You God of my fathers, who have given me wisdom and might."
1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18 "Pray incessantly. In connection with everything give thanks."
Luke 24:30 "As He was reclining with them at the meal He took the loaf, blessed it, broke it and began to hand it to them."
1 Corinthians 11:23, 24 "The Lord Jesus in the night in which He was going to be handed over took a loaf and, after giving thanks, He broke it and said: 'This means My body.' "
Numbers 21:7 "And the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, because we have spoken against Jehovah, and against you; pray unto Jehovah, that He take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people."
Job 1:5 "Job ... rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt-offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and renounced God in their hearts."
Job 42:10 "And Jehovah turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends."
For theocratic ministers
Romans 15:30-32 "Now I exhort you, brothers, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the spirit, that you exert yourselves with me in prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea and that my ministry which is for Jerusalem may prove to be acceptable to the holy ones."
Acts 12:5 "Consequently Peter was being kept in the prison; but prayer to God for him was being carried on intensely by the congregation."
For peace of organization
Psalm 122:6 "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love You."
For spiritually sick
James 5:13-15 "Is there anyone suffering evil among you? Let him carry on prayer. ... Is there anyone sick among you? Let him call the older men of the congregation to him, and let them pray over him."
Matthew 5:44 "However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you."
Psalm 143:9 "Deliver me, O Jehovah, from my enemies: I flee unto You to hide me."
For destruction of wicked
Psalm 59:5, 13 "O Jehovah God of hosts, the God of Israel, arise to visit all the nations: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Consume them in wrath, consume them, so that they shall be no more."
Prayers for World Affairs Unanswered Since Asked Amiss
John 17:9 "I make request concerning them; I make request, not concerning the world, but concerning those You have given Me."
James 4:3, 4 "You do ask, and yet you do not receive, because you are asking for a wrong purpose, that you may expend it upon your cravings for sensual pleasure. Adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God?"
Isaiah 1:15 "And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood."
Prayers for Rulers' Favorable Action Toward Ministry Authorized
1 Timothy 2:1-4 "I therefore exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, offerings of thanks, be made concerning all kinds of men, concerning kings and all those who are in high station, in order that we may go on leading a calm and quiet life with full godly devotion and seriousness. This is right and acceptable in the sight of our Savior."
Jeremiah 29:7 "And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray unto Jehovah for it; for in the peace thereof shall you have peace."
Ezra 6:1-10 "That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savor unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons."
Nehemiah 1:11-2:8 "O Lord, I beseech You, let now Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant,... and prosper, I pray You, Your servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man." "Now I was cupbearer to the king.... Then the king said unto me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king... And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me."
Acts 26:28-32 "At this Paul said [to King Agrippa]: 'I could wish to God that whether in a short time or in a long time not only you but also all those who hear me today would become men such as I also am, with the exception of these bonds.' And the king rose ... saying: 'This man practices nothing deserving death or bonds.' "
Colossians 4:3 "At the same time praying also for us, that God may open a door of utterance to us, to speak the sacred secret about the Christ."
Also: Esther 4:16; 5:2.
Prayers of Wicked are Unanswered
Proverbs 15:29 "Jehovah is far from the wicked; but He hears the prayer of the righteous."
Proverbs 28:9 "He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination."
Micah 3:4 "Then shall they cry unto Jehovah, but He will not answer them; yea, He will hide His face from them at that time, according as they have wrought evil in their doings."
Zechariah 7:12, 13 "Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which Jehovah of hosts had sent by His spirit by the former prophets: therefore there came great wrath from Jehovah of hosts. And it is come to pass that, as He cried, and they would not hear, so they shall cry, and I will not hear, said Jehovah of hosts."
Only Righteous Ones Among "Strangers" or "Dedicated" Ones Are Heard in Prayer
Proverbs 15:8 "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Jehovah; but the prayer of the upright is His delight."
1 Peter 3:12 "For Jehovah's eyes are upon the righteous and His ears are toward their supplication, but Jehovah's face is against those doing injurious things."
Psalm 34:15, 17 "The eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous, and His ears are open unto their cry. The righteous cried, and Jehovah heard, and delivered them out of all their troubles."
Isaiah 56:6, 7 "Also the foreigners that join themselves to Jehovah, to minister unto Him, and to love the name of Jehovah, to be His servants, . . . even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer."
Acts 10:30, 31 "Accordingly Cornelius said: 'Four days ago counting from this hour I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, when, look! a man in bright raiment stood before me and said: "Cornelius, your prayer has been favorably heard." ' "
1 John 3:22 "Whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we are observing His commandments and are doing the things that are pleasing in His eyes."
Proverbs 15:8 "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Jehovah; but the prayer of the upright is His delight."
Also: Jeremiah 29:12, 13; Matthew 7:8.
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