“Prayer” can be an intimidating word. However, prayer is simply talking to God. We may think that prayer means that we stop and pray and while we certainly do that, it is important to know that we can talk to God anytime, anywhere and about anything. When I think about prayer, 3 things come to my mind. Prayer is praise – it’s telling God how grateful I am for who He is and what He has done. It is giving Him the glory and honor that He deserves, just because He is God.
The second thing is petition; that simply means we pray for or intercede for others. And the last thing that comes to my mind when it comes to prayer, is that prayer is personal. In prayer, I open my heart to God so that I can hear God’s heart for me. It is talking but more importantly, it’s listening. The Bible says in Psalm 9:1, “I will give thanks to you Lord, with all my heart, I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18, says, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
So what are some things that we can praise God for as we pray?
We can praise God for who He is, His creation, His love, His faithfulness, His Word, and His presence in our life. In addition to that, we can give Him praise for our salvation, family, for the things He provides, our health, etc.
The other verse we just read tells us that prayer is a two-way street. We tell God what’s going on in our lives, and God wants to also speak to us. We belong to Him, we are His sheep, and the sheep recognize the shepherd’s voice.
God cares about the things that you care about, and you and I can pray like David in Psalm 61.
“Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth, I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.” Psalm 61:1-4
Do you hear how real and raw that is? When we talk with God, we don’t have to hold back how we really feel. We can be honest. And we can also expect that if we are listening, He will be honest with us.
1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
John 10: 27-28 (NLT) “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.”
Read this scripture and follow the instructions below. Take five minutes and try to follow this outline to pray every day this week.
Luke 11: 2-4 (NLT) Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.
Spend the first minute thanking God for everything good in your life. Big or small, if it’s good, it came from God and thank Him for it!
Spend the second minute asking God to give you the courage to follow Him.
Spend the third minute asking God for specific things He knows you need.
Spend the fourth minute asking God to forgive you and others. You will experience freedom and relief when you ask God to forgive you of your sins and when you forgive others for anything they’ve said or done to you.
Take the last minute to listen. Remember, prayer is a conversation. It’s important to ask God to speak to you and to actively listen. It might feel a little uncomfortable but sit quietly and ask God to speak to you. You probably won’t hear an audible voice, and that is okay! The point is to practice pausing and listening as God speaks to you.