As a member of the evangelical church, people tend to ask me about the way we pray as it is clearly different from other types of prayers. So, let’s dive into it and find out!
So, how do Evangelicals pray? Unlike other Christians, Evangelicals don’t use written prayers. Instead, they pray spontaneously and heartfeltly in order to express their faith. It is considered a direct means of communication with God, and this is exactly what moved Him to their causes and concerns.
Evangelical prayers fall under the category of non-liturgical, which means that the prayers are not scripted and usually are informal in structure.
But why is that? Why are we so fundamentally different from other Christians? If this topic interests you, then keep reading!
Three Benefits of Prayers
- Prayers Eliminate Anxiety And Worries
While you pray, not only you get in contact with God but also get relief from stress and anxiety. It has always been known that praying is almost the same as meditation for the brain: the sounds calm your mind and body down, fill your heart with hope, and add some happiness to your life.
Philippians 4:6 NIV – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Prayers Open Doors To Opportunities
It might not always be obvious, but if we need directions, God will always give us a sign. You just need to pay attention to it.
If you’re struggling with anything and asking Him for help, look around: maybe he’s already given you what you needed.
James 1:5 – Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
- Prayers Create Peacefulness
Everyone wants to achieve peace of mind, and nowadays, people would do anything to get it. However, God wants His people to be peaceful through Him and to know that everything will be fine if they rely on Him.
Isaiah 26:3 – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you.
What About The Physical Aspect Of The Prayer?
There’s no doubt God doesn’t mind any position at all. However, many people have a lot of questions concerning this topic, especially when they just start, so let’s find some answers in the Bible.
Some people say that it is better to pray with your head up and eyes looking at heaven, others maintain that the best way is to pray with your head bowed, and so on.
First of all, Jesus prayed with his eyes open and lifted to heaven and also prostrate on the ground. Next, Hezekiah prayed while laying on a bed and looking at the wall. Therefore, it only supports what I stated at the very beginning.
There’s no right or wrong way to pray. It doesn’t matter if you stand, sit, or lay. It doesn’t make any difference if you’re in a horizontal or vertical position.
As long as your soul is amenable and down before God, you’ll always pray right, as it is not your body praying but rather your spirit.
Therefore, prayer is a way for your soul to grow because it is the time when we come in contact with God.
Why Don’t I Get What I Asked For After I Pray?
Now I’ve seen this misconception a lot, especially among teenagers and young adults. Surprisingly, a lot of them believe that prayer is a way to ask something from God. However, this is not necessarily true.
As children, we’re taught that we should ask for something during the prayer. For example, little kids usually say something like, “Bless my family, and let me be a good girl.” And if parents don’t explain to their children what prayers actually are and how they work, they just might grow up with this wrong belief, which can become a big problem for their spiritual growth.
When teenagers or young adults find themselves in desperate need of something, they start to pray. For example, let’s say there’s a girl who prays, “Please, God, I really need to pass this exam.” Or maybe there’s a boy who asks, “Please, God, I don’t want to be rejected by a girl I like.” And then, if he gets rejected, he stumbles on his journey to God as he says, “The prayers don’t work, it’s a lie!”
However, prayers are not a way to distantly order anything you want from God. It just doesn’t work like this. Instead, it is a way to get to know Him better and let Him in your life.
It is usually difficult to take this shift in prayer: from spiritual childhood to spiritual maturity. But this is a step everyone needs to go through as it also might be a test for your faith.
What Are The Stages Of Prayer?
- Stage One: Reading
The readings are most often the passages from the Bible – sermons. Usually, during this stage, the text is not just simply read by the church members, but rather, people are concentrated on the words and savor them. Then, if any part of the sermon speaks to the reader, they’re encouraged to say it out loud or meditate upon it.
- Stage Two: Meditation
During this stage, participants continue to meditate on a chosen phrase or passage which was meaningful to them in any way. They can either silently reflect on it until it’s memorized or share why this particular part is stuck in them and how it relates to their life.
- Stage Three: Prayer
The prayer stage dictates participants to stop thinking about God’s Word and the passages that were read. Instead, they should open their hearts and focus on what they’ve studied. Prayers help speak to God, understand Him better, and let Him in their lives, so that the words for meditation can have an effect on the growth of a person who’s praying.
- Stage Four: Contemplation
In this stage, the church members simply rest so that they can sense the presence of the divine and acknowledge the significance of their faith.
What Types Of Prayers Exist?
First of all, there are differences in the settings of prayers.
- Public prayer
Public prayers include prayers shared in local churches, house churches, or any other place where the church members can gather together.
- Private prayer
Private prayers mostly occur when an individual prays either silently or aloud in a quiet place/setting. They are very intimate and personal and help find harmony and a way to get to know God better.
Next, there are different structures for prayers.
- Liturgical Prayers
These prayers are often seen within the Catholic or Holy Orthodox Church. They’re quite different from private prayers as people who participate in this don’t have an intention to pray for just one person or group but rather for Church as a whole.
- Non-Liturgical Prayers (Also Known As Freeform Prayers)
These prayers are especially popular among Evangelicals. As was stated before, these prayers are NOT written prayers. Instead, it is a spontaneous, heartfelt way to express our faith. It is considered a direct means of communication with God, and this is exactly what moved Him to our causes and concerns.
- Charismatic Prayers
These prayers are usually held outside of Mass meetings and feature such gifts as prophecy, faith healing, and speaking in tongues. Some people describe it as the process when the church members uplift their hands and pray in tongues.
If you are interested in learning about other Religions in the world, then check out this book on World’s Religions on Amazon.