How do I pray?
“How do I pray?”
Nearly every week I get questions about prayer, often about how to pray. It’s a natural question to ask, especially when you consider that prayer is the act of talking with God.
So how should we pray? How ought we converse with the creator of the universe? Fortunately there are many ways you can approach prayer. Below are four different starting places to help you pray.
Practical prayer guides:
1. Use an acrostic to help guide your prayer:
- A —Acknowledge who God is. “God, I love You for Your (mercy, faithfulness, goodness, etc.).”
- C —Confess your sin. “Father, forgive me for (my selfishness, my disobedience, my pride, etc.).”
- T —Thank God for His blessings. “Thank You for (my family, my home, my church, this day, etc.).”
- S —Submit your requests to God. “Father, (use my life, heal me, help me to find a job, etc.).”
2. Use Jesus’ prayer as your example (Matthew 6:9-13, NIV):
- Acknowledge God’s holiness: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
- Acknowledge God’s purposes: your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
- Ask for God’s provision: Give us today our daily bread.
- Ask for God’s forgiveness: Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
- Ask for God’s spiritual protection: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
3. Use a psalm as your prayer.
4. Write your own prayer in the style of psalms.
thank you for your websites northland i just found them a couple of days a go and they are really giving me guidence thank you
this really help me it gave me something to add to my pray life i needed this thank you thank you jesus
I FEEL THAT WHEN EVER I PRAY NO ONE IS REALLY LISTENING TO ME AND IM TALKING TO MYSELF MOST OF THE TIME BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN PRAYING ABOUT A FEW THINGS FOR A LONG TIME AND NOTHING HAS BECAME BETTER IT HAS BECAME WORST
I have been trying to be part of your church ever since I got out of Seminole County Jail found out how to interact through this internet need help fighting off the bad wordly things and to keep focused on the Lord and for my family also to walk with the Lord I am thankful for what little I have and know things willwork out as long as keep faith and love in the Lord.Amen
I’m becoming aware of how important words are, especially in times of suffering. I think of Job’s friends, who apparently were trying to help but were full of accusation. I have some friends like that too. Thank there are those who say beautiful words of comfort. It’s not that the words are expertly crafted, but I know they come from hearts that care deeply for me. I thank you for these friends and their words. I also ask you to keep me from polluting my language with too many complaints. Help me say words that bring healing to other. I ask this in Your most glorious name - thy will, not mine be done - Amen.
Please continue to pray for my family (Children) and my self as to God’s purpose and plan to be exhaulted ,strenghth to wait upon the Lord and do His will! In Jesus Holy Name , Amen.
I absolutely love re-writing Psalms in your own words. They make you think of the author’s perspective and allow you to offer your own prayer to God as well! No. 4 FTW!
I love these methods of prayer Nathan. Like reading the Bible, I have to remember that prayer is more about God than it is about me. C.S. Lewis described it this way:
Can we believe that God ever modifies His action in response to the suggestions of man? For infinite wisdom does not need telling what is best, and infinite goodness needs no urging to do it. But neither does God need any of those things that are done by finite agents, whether living or inanimate. He could, if He chose, repair our bodies miraculously without food; or give us food without the aid of farmers, bakers, and butchers; or knowledge without the aid of learned men; or convert the heathen without missionaries. Instead, He allows soils and weather and animals and the muscles, minds, and wills of men to cooperate in the execution of His will. “God”, says Pascal, “instituted prayer in order to lend to His creatures the dignity of causality.” But it is not only prayer; whenever we act at all, He lends us that dignity. It is not really stranger, nor less strange, that my prayers should affect the course of events than that my other actions should do so. ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), “The Efficacy of Prayer”
But what of lifting people to God - their needs, my gratitude for goodness in other’s lives - how do I thank God or interceed on the behalf of others?
One way that Steve Brown taught me years ago has become a mainstay in my prayer life. It might sound a little weird, but I picture a room in my mind where God is at the front. I simply “usher” people to the front and stand with them before God - some I know their needs and voice them - others I simply stand before God with them and present them. What always surprises me is who is in the room…it can be people that I want there, sometimes those I didn’t invite, sometimes those I am not sure I know. Jesus is the model for this - in that He is always interceding before the Father on my behalf (Romans 8:34).
But then, I pay attention to how those people are going to intersect my life (in the physical world). Usually God has been preparing me for the interaction through that prayer time.
This practice is more comfortable to an abstract thinker than a concrete thinker, but it has enabled me to pray with great thought and focus on individuals, without relegating my prayers to a list.
Even with this process, the results sometimes are not sudden - I see God working over a long period of time. But then, occasionally - it is the same day. Those are the ones that surprise me the most. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote:
“God answers sharp and sudden on some prayers, ?
And thrusts the thing we have prayed for in our face,
?A gauntlet with a gift in it. ”