There are many kinds of prayers we pray to God, some asking for comfort, some for necessities, some just to praise God, and of course,  prayer asking for salvation.  There are happy prayers, sad prayers, whining prayers, complaining prayers and “gimme” prayers, just to name a few.         When you come to the Throne of Grace, is God pleased to see you coming?  Does He delight in and look forward to your prayers?  Does it make His day when you say, “Our Father in heaven” ?  Is there a twinkle in God’s eye when He hears from you? Does He smile and say, “Listen! That’s one of my beloved kids!”   Or does an angel yell “INCOMING!!!” when you start praying, and He grabs the “OUT TO LUNCH” sign to put on the Throne the second you start praying? 

            Yes, I know God doesn’t do that.  But the question is, do your prayers make God want to?

            It is written in Psalm 100:4, Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

            There is a protocol to prayer, and this is it.  Do you thank God and praise Him before anything else comes out of your mouth?  If not, maybe you aren’t getting your prayers answered as often as you’d like.

            Some people only come into His gates with thanksgiving only ON Thanksgiving, and that should not be.  And we shouldn’t praise God and bless His name to butter Him up, but rather, because He is worthy of all glory, honor, praise, power, might, dominion and worship forever. 

            The Bible says God knows what we need even before we pray. And it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give unto us the Kingdom.  So if He already knows what we need, and He already said “Yes”, then why do we spend so much time begging and pleading, trying to get Him to do things for us?  Rather, wouldn’t it be easier and better, after praising and thanking God for the things we need, just to believe we receive, like Jesus said to do?  After all, God is for you, not against you.  Jesus said, if an earthly father would not give his child a stone when he asks for bread, how much more would your Father in heaven give good things to them that ask Him? 

            Some people think they are better heard by God by “praying around the world” with long, repetitious prayers.  I’ve been in prayer meetings where people prayed like that.  After about 15 minutes of listening to them, I was able to sum up their prayer in ten or less words, as a rule.  Some people can talk all day and never say anything, like a politician.  Those are the kind of prayers that would even make God get up and leave for a cup of coffee and a snack.  And sure enough, after He got back, they’re still babbling on, never having made their point.  Oh well, time for another cup….

            And of course, there’s the “whiners”.  “Oh God, why me? Why is this happening to MEEEEE???”  Hey, why not you?  Maybe God is giving you something to whine about, seeing He has always treated all of us better than we could possibly deserve.  Then there’s the “complainers”, who complain about EVERYTHING that others are doing, and never considering they could use some adjustments in their own life.  Those are the people who are praying the “Get ‘em, Lord!” prayers.  Once long ago when I prayed like that, the Lord told me, Jerry, if I “get them”, I have to get you, too.  Ouch!  After that, I started praying for mercy for those who seemed out of line.  Do you want mercy?  Pray for mercy for others.  After all, what goes around, comes around……

That way if God saw me showing mercy to others, He might be moved to show me mercy, too.  I don’t know about you, but I can always use God’s mercy.

            Why should our prayers be hindered?  And they wouldn’t be, if we would just pray like the Bible tells us to.   We already know that God wants fellowship with us.  If it were not so, He would not have sent Jesus to reconcile us back unto Himself.  Our prayers should be a sweet smelling savor unto God, strongly scented with thanksgiving and praise and worship.  Actually, if we would spend more time just offering praise and thanksgiving, we could spend a whole lot less time praying for our needs.  After all, it’s not about us anyway, it’s all about HIM!  I often like to just praise and worship God in prayer, asking nothing at all from Him.  Praise and thanksgiving is the only thing I have that I can offer Him.  I can’t hold up an offering to heaven and expect God to reach down and take it out of my hand.  We see how Elijah confronted the worshippers of Baal, and set up an altar and prayed unto God and asked Him to answer by fire. And God came down and burned up the offering, the water, the altar, and the wood upon it, but that was a special miracle, and not the everyday norm, even back in Old Testament times.  And we never see it today. By the way, do you know why Elijah put so much water on the sacrifice?  Maybe he thought the Lord would like some gravy with his roast beef……

            God is not holding out on us, nor desiring us to be beggars for a crumb of bread.  He has adopted us into His own Kingdom, having rescued us from death and hell.  Surely He has not brought us this far to pick us up and drop us on our heads.  It is God’s desire to answer our prayers, and Jesus said that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. 

            Why do we have needs to pray about if God already knows those needs?  I believe there are people who God would never hear from, if God himself had not given them those needs to begin with.  Think about it, if you never needed anything, would you pray?  Maybe you would, but there are many more that would not.

            The next time you pray, why not start off with thanksgiving and praise?  After all, that’s the right way to pray.  And when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, what did He teach them?  Matthew 6:5-13 says, 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 their reward.  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.  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  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.
        What came first?  Praise!  If anyone ever knew the right way to pray, it was Jesus.  So, we all need to pray like Jesus prayed.  After all, we wouldn’t want the heavenly Father hanging up an “OUT TO LUNCH” sign when we pray, would we??