Tag Archives: how do I pray
When we approach God in prayer, we are to approach with humility but we also are to approach with bold confidence. When praying, it should not be reciting a list of what we think we are supposed to say. When praying, we should not be following some tradition without our heart saying what our lips say. There are many people who pray but do not even believe the prayer will be answered.
In Acts 12, we read of an “earnest prayer” that was made for Peter to be released from prison (v. 5). Peter was sleeping bound in chains between soldiers but an angel led him to freedom. He went to the house of Mary (John Mark’s mother) where they were gathered in prayer. He knocked and Rhoda came to the door. When she told everyone that Peter was standing outside, they called her “crazy” (v. 16).
The Roman Centurion in Luke 7 approaches Jesus with bold confidence. He realized that he was unworthy to have Jesus follow him to his home, but he believed that Jesus could heal his servant by just speaking. He said, “Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed” (v. 7 NLT). Just say the word. He had faith in the power of Jesus. He had faith that Jesus could speak and it could happen. Jesus commended his faith as faith that He had not seen in all of Israel.
If you are not confident in your prayer life, pray for help. In Mark 9, there is a son who was possessed by a spirit. He was mute and the spirit would cause him to get thrown down, to foam at the mouth and grind his teeth. The disciples were unable to cast out the demon. Jesus told the man, “All things are possible for one who believes” (v. 22). The man replied, “I believe; help my unbelief” (v. 24).
Today I encourage you to boldly approach the throne of God. Pour out your heart in confidence. Boldly claim the Word of God by speaking the Word in your prayer. Claim it for your own. Pray for the Spirit to reveal any unbelief. If you are dealing with something that is limiting your prayer life or not allowing God to move in an area, speak these words – “I believe; help my unbelief.”
I recently watched the movie ‘Gravity’ with Sandra Bullock. There was a moment in the movie when Sandra’s character was in real trouble. Much of the movie found her character trying to make her way back to Earth despite catastrophe after catastrophe, hardship after setback. At this point in the movie, it appeared as if all hope was gone. Sandra’s character says something like, “I’d pray but no one every taught me how.” When I heard that I couldn’t help but consider those who don’t pray because they think they do not know how to pray or that they need to be taught by someone how to pray.
When I was a little girl my grandma introduced me to Jesus. I spent many years of my life speaking to Jesus. I included Him in my life just as He wants to be included. I gave Him my everything. I had long winded conversations. I talked about anything and everything. He was a part of my life. Years later things changed. I’m not sure how it all changed but things were very different. People made me think that my prayers were not right. I had to say them a certain way. I had to be in a certain position. I had to speak particular words. When I followed their instructions I did not feel like I was speaking to God, as I did as a child. It was very different.
God wants you to speak with Him, to pour out your heart. The Bible talks about a child-like faith and I think when I look back on my conversations with God as a child, He enjoyed those talks a lot more than me stammering around trying to fulfill what was prim and proper by the world’s standards. When I was a child I prayed. When I got older, I was taught “how to pray.” I spent years having to learn to not do what I later did. Don’t allow something or someone be a stumbling block to God. He wants you to speak. You. Just you. It doesn’t matter how you come. It is your heart that matters. In the movie, the characters flew all around with ease because of gravity. Imagine if your prayer life could feel at ease too. Imagine if you could just be you with God. How freeing is that? How beautiful is that?
“The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.” – Psalm 145:18 [NLT]
We often say things but do not mean what we say. We make promises we don’t keep. We give our word but do not keep it. Even when we pray, we simply recite words that we have said again and again.
Tradition is great. I cherish many traditions; however, we need to be careful that we do not become so routine with our relationship with Christ that we only spend time repeating the same words over and over again. You do not have to recite the same words as the person sitting beside you at church when you are praying. You should not be praying the exact same prayer everyday as your life is continually changing. When you are doing this, your prayer life has become a duty rather than a real conversation with God.
Your Father loves you and He wants so much for you to pour your heart out to Him. He knows what is on your heart but He wants to hear it from you. He wants you to open up and let Him in. When you pray, He is listening. Pray and mean it. Every word you say. Pour yourself out to Him.
“God’s there, listening for all who pray,
for all who pray and mean it.”
-Psalm 145:18 [MSG]