What is it?
Prayer is a way of communicating with God through a conversation. It’s a dialogue. Many think it is just a one-way street where we talk to God. However, God loves it when we not only talk to him but listen too. We can do this through reading His word, the Bible, and listening to His still small voice inside of us. What God tells us will always be aligned with what His word teaches us.
Prayer is the means to building a relationship with God, much like building a friendship over time. It might start a bit stilted, or it may start with a flurry of chatting. But, over time, there is a deepening of a relationship, one to the other where trust and confidence are built. Like a developing flower in bud, with time and commitment, it can become a beautiful exchange with a greater and deeper connection to Him.
Where do I start?
If you’re new to learning to pray, then a good place to start is looking at the Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
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.
Matthew 6: 9-13
Although these words can be memorised, it is more of a model of how to pray. This prayer includes adoration and worship, asking for His will do be done, asking for his daily provision, the importance of forgiveness, and His protection. It ends with adoration again. Do you think you could re-write your own prayer with these components in it?
How much time will it take?
Time is a precious commodity in our world. As with a growing friendship, how much time you commit to the relationship depends on what how special and meaningful it becomes.
Is it ok to pray for just a few minutes a day? Yes, it is. God will not condemn you or make you feel guilty about that. However, if you want to tell him all that is in your heart and mind, it may take longer than that. He longs to hear what is inside of us and to help us with those concerns and frustrations.
Does it have to be verbal?
Most prayers are, but the most important aspect of prayer is that it is heartfelt. If it is heartfelt, then a prayer can be said in the silence of your heart, written down, or even sung. When difficult things come, the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us to express what is inside us:
‘And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[l] in harmony with God’s own will.’ Romans 8:26-27
So, try praying…
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