Monday, June 14, 2021

Learning to Pray

 By: Joanne Viola

Last Monday I mentioned the book “The Path of Prayer” by Samuel Chadwick, and will continue to share from the book for several weeks.

Prayer seems to come so easily to some and can be intimidating to others. Yet even the disciples came to Jesus with a request:

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1, NASB)

The disciples recognized they had much to learn about prayer.

We find in Scriptures those who prayed deeply, crying before the Lord and making their needs and desires know to God. Hanna prayed in much travail to bear a child, and later bore a son. Elijah prayed earnestly for rain and his prayers brought a rainstorm.

 “The Path of Prayer” brings several thoughts on learning to pray:

  • Just talk to God. Be open with Him for He already knows what is on your heart. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
    (Philippians 4:6, NASB

“All true prayer, the prayer that prevails, is personal, intimate and original.” (Samuel Chadwick, page 6)

  • Just pray. We learn to pray as we pray.Rejoice always; pray without ceasing … “
    (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17, NASB). We need not wait until we have fully learned about prayer to begin. 
“We discover by using. We learn by practice. Though a man should have all knowledge about prayer, and though he understand all mysteries about prayer, unless he prays he will never learn to pray.” (Samuel Chadwick, page 8)
  • Just be as humble as a child. As we touched upon in last week's post, children come and make their needs known. God encourages us to do the same.Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:3, NLT) 
“Prayer touches infinite extremes. It is so simple that a little child can pray, and it is so profound that none but a child-heart can pray.” (Samuel Chadwick, page 9)

May we remember the vital importance of prayer. Jesus Himself found time to pray to His Father. He often rose early in the morning; spent all night in prayer; and distanced Himself from others to pray in solitude.

May we start with the words, “Teach us to pray, O Lord.”

“Thou art oft most present, Lord,
In weak, distracted prayer;
A sinner out of heart with self,
Most often finds thee there.

For prayer that humbles, sets the soul
From all delusions free,
And teaches it how utterly
Dear Lord, it hangs on thee.

(Samuel Chadwick)


 Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash




  1. Love that poem by Chadwick. We tend to make prayer too complicated. These tips bring it back to the basics, mainly just talking to our Father.

    1. Barbara, I agree with you - we do complicate it. I am so thankful for reminders to bring it back to basics and keep it simple, for He will meet us right there.


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