The Encourager

The Encourager

“"How to Pray" - Gardner S. Hall, Sr.”

“How To Pray”

Gardner S. Hall, Sr. (1906-1978)


Editor’s Note: We may know good brethren who do not want to lead a public prayer. When questioned as to why they do not wish to lead a public prayer, they say things like, “I do not know how to pray in public.” Leading a public prayer is not about eloquence or performance. It’s about pouring our hearts out to God and leading others in that communication. Brother Gardner S. Hall, Sr. (1906-1978), was confronted with this problem and wrote down four suggestions to help men with public prayer. Please read these suggestions carefully, and I hope this encourages more of our brethren to lead prayers in a public manner. – JMJ


1. Pray often in private so that you will be familiar with God and used to speaking to Him. Then, when you lead prayer, think of Him (as you would any other time) and not of men (Psalm 88:1).


2. Do not make a sermon of the prayer. It is true that prayer is to be understood by all being led, and it will edify them. But it is silly to pray (to God) by preaching (to men) as though God needed the reproving and rebuking people need (James 1:17b)!


3. Do not try to be eloquent. Be sincere, fervent, humble, and respectful in talking to God as you would at any time; if you do that, it does not matter what men think about fancy words.


4. Give careful thought to what you say. Pray that we may prepare our lessons or may always worship God acceptably; instead of that, “we may have” done such; it is too late if we have not! When praying at the Lord’s table, do not pray the same prayer you would at the close of worship; think of the specific occasion of the prayer.

(Gardner S. Hall, Sr.)


Hopefully, these suggestions will help all those who pray to become better. We need to remember, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16)! Let us all work on leading prayer better and more effectively. What a wonderful blessing prayer is! When we pray, we are talking to God Almighty. Surely, the songwriters were right when they wrote, “What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer”!


If we want to read about how to pray and what the subjects of prayer might be, we need to read the prayers of Jesus (John 17, etc.), the apostles (Romans 10:1, etc.), and the early Christians (Acts 4:24-30, etc.). God has given us these great examples to study. Why not study these prayers that were offered to God and work to better ourselves in leading a public prayer?