How to Pray (Quick Guide)
I was a consistent passenger on the struggle bus when I would attempt to pray. I rode that bus from the time I got on my knees until the time I got up – I just didn’t know where to start. Some days I never did start. Other days I prayed about nothing focused. But most days I said the Lord’s prayer passively and that was it. Yet, God is so faithful to us and to His word.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7: 7-8 NIV).
When I made the decision to start praying with intention, I wasn’t sure what to seek or what door to knock on. But there was a yearning in my spirit to get closer to God and I knew prayer would get and keep me there. To have a life-changing, earth-shaking, body healing prayer life I must be faithful in my attempts to pray continuously and without ceasing. As I continue to seek and find, knock and be let into the doors of prayer, I hope to (continually) update this post.
- Pray out the scriptures.
We are able to pray continuously, strategically and focused when we use the Bible as the foundation for our prayers. As we pray out the scriptures we can rest assured that by faith our prayers will be answered. God says His word is too powerful to come back void:
“‘I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above the earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, so will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them'” (Isaiah 55:11 MSG)
‘”For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart'” (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV).
Example – Lord thank you that your word is alive and sharper than any two-edged sword. You tell me in your word not to be anxious about anything but by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving, I can present my requests to you and your peace will transcend all understanding and guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). Remove any anxiety and fear of (name your anxieties and fears) and replace them with the peace that will transcend all understanding. In the future when these anxieties try to creep up and consume my mind, I pray that your peace would guard my heart and mind. Lord, you said in your word that you have not given me a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7) so I know this fear isn’t of you. Give me power over fear, love over fear and a sound mind over fear.
It is a good thing to memorize scriptures so they are readily available during prayer or when life seems unbearable and you need to push fear aside and stand on faith and the word. While memorizing and learning the Bible it is still absolutely okay to bring our Bibles with us to prayer.
- Use the Lord’s Prayer as an outline.
Expand on these verses of scripture after every few lines.
“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
So He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” Luke 11:1-4 (NKJV), Matthew 6:13 (NKJV)
Example – Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. God, we thank you for being our Father and God above all. We praise you for who you are and that you are unchanging and ever-present in our lives.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God give me a clear direction for the will you have for my life. Show me how to run the race you have called me to run…
- Get alone
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16 NIV).
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35 NIV)
We are our most intimate with God during prayer and worship. During prayer, we may find ourselves calling and crying out to God for anything and everything. During these times of intimacy with our Father, it is much easier to be our authentic selves when we actually know no one is watching or around. It could get a little awkward if someone was standing right next to you while you’re talking to your personal savior about your deepest fears, desires and rebellion (sin). Get alone with God, and share everything with Him. If Jesus did it, that’s our cue to do it too. He’s waiting with ears wide open.
Remember our relationship with God is inch by inch not mile by mile. Keep at it and God will come through in ways you never thought possible. He loves you and is waiting to speak with you in prayer.
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