Questions on Prayer

Displaying 1 - 12 of 2012

Sometimes when I am struggling with something, I will say a prayer asking God to show me what I need to hear, and then I will open the Bible and see what it says on the pages I opened up to. Sometimes it seems to fit the situation and be encouraging, sometimes it doesn't seem to fit, and sometimes it is discouraging. Is it okay to do this? And am I just missing God's point when I don't see how it fits my situation?

Sometimes people do not know where to start reading in the Bible, so they do what you describe. They say, “Lord, show me where you want me to read” and randomly open their Bible and start reading wherever the Bible happens to open. This has long been known as the “lucky dip” method. The Lord Continued.

If God is going to do His will according to the plan He has for you, what's the point of praying?

We pray because God invites and directs us to pray to him (Matthew 7:7; Luke 18:1; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).  We pray because God promises that he will hear and answer our prayers (Psalm 50:15; 91:15; John 15:7).  We pray because God tells us that prayer is “powerful and effective” (James 5:16).  That same Continued.

Hello! Is it OK that I do the sign of the cross before and after I pray? Also, may I ask why do we say, "In your Son's name" or "In Jesus' name," etc.? Thanks!

Martin Luther would be happy with your practice of the sign of the cross.  In his Small Catechism (in the Concordia Triglotta) he included this preface to the Morning Prayer:  “In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:  In the name of God the Father, Son, and Continued.

I grew up in a WELS church that had a church bell that they rang every Sunday at the beginning of the service, then they tolled the bell 3 times during the Lord's Prayer. Could you tell me the meaning behind the Lord's Prayer toll?

I grew up with a similar experience.  Medieval monks are credited with the custom of ringing a bell three times during the Lord’s Prayer.  The idea was to alert people in the area surrounding the monastery or church that the Lord’s Prayer was being spoken in those buildings and they could join in from a Continued.

Why don't we ask Mary (the mother of Jesus) and dead Saints to pray for us as well as praying to Jesus? Is there somewhere in the Bible that says we shouldn't or that somehow Jesus' mother is not an important person?

The fact that a person is important has nothing to do with whether we are to pray to that one. People living on earth can do things to help us, but only God can answer prayer. The first commandment forbids us to worship and pray to anyone except God. To pray to any person as we Continued.

I have two loved ones who are battling cancer, and I don't know how to pray for them. Do I ask for their healing even though it looks grim? I know God's will is already known to him . . . so do I ask for a miracle? How and what do I pray to our Lord for?

There is no doubt that the Lord is presenting you with some challenging situations. Knowing how to pray is not always an easy task. We want to accept God’s will and his providence over our lives and the lives of our loved ones. But we realize that he also invites us to pray. We may Continued.

Is it okay to pray for a miraculous healing?

It is proper to pray for healing and to ask your pastor or a fellow Christian to join you in such prayers. Nowhere has Scripture declared that divine healings have ceased, nor has Scripture anywhere advised that we should not include such matters in our prayers. It is wise, however, to have realistic expectations. Not Continued.

Hello! I was in a Faith/Spirtuality class. The instructor is Roman Catholic. She made a statement that she had recently learned that Lutherans do not pray for the dead and that she can't believe that we do not. How do we Lutherans know that they went to heaven. She needs all the prayers she can get both now and forever. She needs to be cleansed. She could not wrap her finger around our choice not to. Please explain so I have clarity. Thanks!

We do not pray for those who have died because in the case of Christians those prayers are unnecessary, and in regard to unbelievers those prayers are futile. When death occurs, judgment also takes place (Luke 16:19-31; Hebrews 9:27).  When people die, their souls are immediately in heaven or hell.  There is no intermediate state.  Continued.

Is it OK that I do the sign of the cross before and after I pray? Also, may I ask why do we say, "In your Son's name" or "In Jesus' name," etc.? Thanks!

Martin Luther would be happy with your practice of the sign of the cross.  In his Small Catechism (in the Concordia Triglotta) he included this preface to the Morning Prayer:  “In the morning, when you rise, you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:  In the name of God the Father, Son, and Continued.

I have heard people say, "I was praying in the spirit," and am wondering if this is something different than regular praying. How do you define "praying in the spirit"? Also, I have recently been approached by a friend who is suggesting that we should "pray in tongues." This is private prayer versus the public speaking in tongues and supposedly a deeper prayer language given by God. I don't get it and would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”  That is the instruction we find in Ephesians 6:18.  It comes right after the directive to “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).  The Holy Spirit is vitally Continued.

Displaying 1 - 12 of 2012