As Jesus gave instructions on prayer in what man calls his "Sermon on the Mount," Jesus showed how humility and openness is a part of prayer. Those who pray to be noticed by others Jesus called hypocrites (Matt.6:5).
The Pharisees, a religious sect of the day, often would position themselves on the street corner so that all could see they were men of prayer. Their piety was for men and not God; they wanted to be "religious." Their prayers were not acceptable.
When prayers are uttered, it should be the outpouring of an individuals’ soul in the petitions being presented before God. This opening up to God is to lay bare all of one’s thoughts, needs and desires and the very being of the individual.
It helps the one offering up the prayer to see just how vulnerable man really is in the presence of Jehovah, and how wonderful it is to know that as insignificant as one may be, if they are one of God’s children, he cares about their every need. Prayers show the closeness one has to God, and the faith of the individual.
Prayers should be uttered in a spirit of selflessness. While approaching God for personal things is not wrong, there are always others who are in need.
Paul, in talking about prayer, wrote how one ought to pray for all men (1 Tim.2:1, 2). It is the Christian way to be concerned with more than just personal things but also on the things of others (Phi.2:4).
The elderly need prayers of others, as they face not only health problems, but also loneliness. Youth need prayers, as they face temptations and emotional upheavals as they struggle with becoming adults. Prayers for public officials should be offered, no matter what a person’s politics. It does not matter which party is in office, Christians serve God, not man.
Prayers are also to be said for those who are less than loveable. Jesus said, "But I say unto you which hear, love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you" (Luke 6:27, 28).
Children of God will always have those seek to cause them harm. Jesus has his friends leave him, one even denied him three times in one night and religious leaders lied about him. The cry of "Crucify him, crucify him" was made, yet he still prayed, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
While it may not be easy to pray for those who have caused harm and hurt, it is a command from the Lord to do so.
Prayers should also be said for spiritual wellbeing, just as the apostle Paul prayed for the saints at Ephesus (Eph. 3:14-21). Paul prayed for the hearts of those Christians. He wanted them to come to a true understanding of God’s love for them through Christ that they would come to know all the blessing of being in Christ. These are things that need to be prayed for today, that Christians might grow closer to God and be strengthened in their faith.
Prayer is important and must not be forgotten. Prayer is how man can talk to his creator.