Importance of Prayer & How to Pray
Pray to the Father
Matthew 6:9-15 (ESV)
9 Pray then like this: [Jesus gives His disciples, at their request, a template on how to pray]
“Our Father in heaven, [first and foremost honor and glory belong to our holy God]
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done, [we acknowledge that God's kingdom and His will comes first - we are His servants]
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread, [next we can petition for our needs]
12 and forgive us our debts, [then we must confess our sins, repent and ask for forgiveness]
as we also have forgiven our debtors. [but we must also forgive others or we won't be forgiven]
13 And lead us not into temptation, [now we can ask for specific self-controls and deliverances]
but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Pray to the Son Jesus
John 14:14 (ESV)
If you ask me [Jesus] anything in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. [While on the earth Jesus tells His disciples that they can also pray directly to Him]
Acts 7:59-60 (ESV)
59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. [These were Stephen's prayers to Jesus who had already ascended]
Pray in the Spirit
praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit [We are instructed to pray in the Spirit, not to the Spirit. There are no Scriptures that instruct us to pray to the Holy Spirit nor are there any examples of people praying to the Holy Spirit. New Agers and Kundalini gurus pray to their counterfeit "holy spirit" but these spirits are spirit guides or familiar spirits that masquerade as the true Spirit of God]
Other Instructions for Prayer
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Philippians 4:5–7 (ESV)
5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 5:5b–11 (ESV)
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him [in prayer], because he cares for you.
James 5:13-18 (ESV)
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
These Psalms specifically contain the words "pray/prayer" and "cry/cry out". There are many more prayers in Psalms that don't contain these specific words.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray.
The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer.
Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.
But I, when they were sick— I wore sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest.
“Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth.
Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer;
O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come.
But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob!
Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.
Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!
But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you!
he regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer.
In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer.
Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success!
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it. Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds.
With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
all verses above from New English Standard Version (ESV)