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Practicalities of prayer

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Scripture commends a life of prayer, characterised by simplicity of expression, sincerity of heart and trust in the promises of God. It gives guidance on how, when and where to pray.

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Scripture stresses the importance of prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 NKJV
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
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Judgment comes on those who do not pray

Psalm 79:6 NKJV
Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name.
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Prayers should be expressed simply

Matthew 6:7–8 NKJV
And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
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Prayer should not be ostentatious

Matthew 6:5–6 NKJV
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
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Physical positions for prayer

Sitting while praying

2 Samuel 7:18 NKJV
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord; and he said: “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?
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Kneeling while praying

Luke 22:41 NKJV
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed,
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Standing while praying

1 Kings 8:22 NKJV
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven;
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Lying prostrate while praying

2 Chronicles 20:18 NKJV
And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord.
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Praying with arms outstretched

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Praying with hands raised

1 Timothy 2:8 NKJV
I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
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Prayer can be offered at any time

Praying several times a day

Daniel 6:10 NKJV
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
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Praying early in the morning

Mark 1:35 NKJV
Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
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Praying all night

Luke 6:12 NKJV
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
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Prayer is not confined to any single place

John 4:21–24 NKJV
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Praying inside a building

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Praying outside a building

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Prayer may be accompanied by fasting

Acts 13:2–3 NKJV
As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
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