I will be the first to admit that I have never been great at praying. It seems really odd to say, I mean how can someone not be good at expressing their feelings to the Father in heaven. Although, If I had to guess, I am not the only one that struggles with their prayer life. I was never taught “how to pray” outside of just being told that praying is just a conversation you have with God. OK. I get that in essence that is what praying is. However, just like my best friend I am sure God doesn’t want to hear the same thing over and over (at least that is what I tell myself). I was starting to feel like a broken record so I just didn’t pray very often. Then one evening I learned a different approach to praying that has grown my prayer life, overnight, effortlessly. It has brought me closer to God and I look forward to my quiet time when I can sit down and speak straight to Him.
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I am not a theology major so I share from what I have learned and researched on my own through teachings of others at church, in books and, yes, the internet. I am not an expert and I will never claim to be. I speak to you about things that have given me inspiration and I pray it will give you some too.
Verses On How To Pray
First let’s take a look at what the bible says about prayer and God’s word.
How To Pray
Matthew 6:5-8 - PRAY in secret not just for show.
James 5:13-16 - PRAY in faith.
1 John 5:14 - PRAY according to His will.
Mark 11:24-25 - PRAY as you have received what you are asking for. PRAY with a forgiving heart, forgive others so you can be forgiven.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 - PRAY continually.
Philippians 4:6 - PRAY with thanks, present your requests to God. Do not be anxious.
How Not To Pray
James 1:6 - Do not PRAY in doubt, you need to believe.
James 4:3 - Do not PRAY with wrong motives.
What To Pray
Matthew 7:7-11 - PRAY (ask) and it will be given.
Matthew 5:43-45 - PRAY for and love your enemies.
James 1:5 - PRAY for wisdom.
Romans 8:26 - The Lord knows your prayers even when you can’t form the words on your own.
Hebrews 4:12 - God’s word is living and active.
Colossians 3:16 - Let the word of Christ dwell within you.
Goal of prayer
To have your prayers align with God’s will for your life.
Key Of Prayer
Your prayers come from your heart.
My go to prayer time items.
A good Bible, a “prayer” journal and cute pins. Click to purchase.
HOW to Grow in Prayer
I was in a desperate place in my prayer life, it was almost non-existent. When I did pray, I was praying the same thing over and over. I felt like God was so far away. I needed to learn how to pray! Does this sound familiar?
If you are in a place where you are struggling with your prayer life, your prayers may sound a lot like mine did.
“Dear Lord, Thank you for this day. I pray you protect and guide my husband and children. Let them hear your voice. Help me hear your voice, guide me to what you have planned for my life. Amen.”
Sometimes if I was praying for a specific person I would throw in,
“I pray for (name), please be with her/him in a way I only know you can. Please send them people in their lives that can help them through this time”
Now, I don’t think there is any such thing as a bad prayer. God wants to hear from you no matter what you are saying, or not saying, to Him. But my prayer life was stagnant, I wasn’t growing my relationship with the Lord. The prayer above is what I would say over and over and over.
I have a very hard time sitting and being silent, my brain is always wondering off to the millions of things I need/want to do. I know the importance of being still, sitting in silence and being with God. I desperately needed more of that in my life but I had no idea how to be INTENTIONAL with my time. Then one night, during a Wednesday night women’s Bible study, the answer was presented.
Praying through Psalms. My guide to how to pray!
I know what you are thinking. That concept isn’t new. But I am not talking about pin pointing a specific prayer in Psalms and praying those exact words for the situation you are going through. Nothing wrong with that, praying scripture can be very powerful.
However, I am talking about using the words in Psalms as inspiration to guide you in praying a unique prayer that you have never prayed before.
How To Pray Using Psalms
There are 150 Psalms! How do you know what Psalms to use for the day? It’s easy, let’s say today is the 1st of the month, you would go to Psalms 1. If you start reading and none of the words hit a cord with you then add 30, so your next Psalms would be Psalms 31. Keep adding 30 until you find the one that is inspirational for you at this moment.
How do you use Psalms as an inspiration? The best way I know how to explain is through an example. Using Psalms 1 a prayer could look like:
Thank you for blessing me and my family. You have given us so much that we take for granite. I just want to praise you today and count my blessings. I pray for those who aren’t walking with you by their side. If they have fallen far from you then I pray they find their way back, if they haven’t heard your name yet then I pray that you will place someone in their lives that will shout your name and teach them who the true Father is. Lord, I pray you keep the wickedness at bay. I pray for those who have wicked hearts, those who would rather live in sin than see the light. Lord, I have been walking in sin and I need your grace. I can not find peace with my battles and am constantly getting angry at the ones I love. I pray that you open their eyes to my hurting and give them peace knowing that I am not angry with them. I am battling battles they have no idea about. Lord, I need your help defeating the enemy. Give me wisdom.
The above prayer was inspired by, Psalm 1:1 - Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners… it isn’t even the full verse.
I read the first part, “Blessed is the man”, and seen where that would lead me. There are times when I will have to read through a few verses before a word or words stand out to me. You may be inspired by the first word. Or you may have to read a few verses. It’s OK. There is not a right or wrong way of doing this.
If you remember from above, I have a hard time quieting my brain so I have to write my prayers out in a prayer journal. I sit down with a cup of coffee, typically Paw Patrol is on for my youngest, I find the Psalm that is speaking to me for the day and I set a timer for 15 minutes. I will write to the Lord for 15 minutes. If I get to the end of the Psalm before the 15 minutes is up then I am done and I move on with my day.
I don’t always get a chance to sit down in the morning to do my quiet time, sometimes it is at nap time or in the evening. Now that I pray using Psalms as my guide I find that I am making myself find the time to sit down and pray. I look forward to this time. Your prayer time will be rejuvenated when you have finally learned a way to pray that is inspirational and not another thing on the “to do” list.
Do not let your feelings of the day deter you from spending time with the Lord. He wants to hear from you whether you are speaking to him full of joy and light or speaking to him from a place of tiredness, anger, and darkness. Remember, He is YOUR FATHER and He wants to hear from you. He wants that relationship with you. You just need to be willing to go to Him, run to Him and find peace and comfort within His love and grace.
Don’t forget your FREE PDF printable of the “Verses On How To Pray”. This is a great cheat sheet to keep inside your Bible as constant reminders of how to pray.
If you need a little more inspiration, I wrote a post about Keeping Faith During A Season Of Waiting and God Will Fight For You - both were written as a reminder and encouragement not only for myself but for others who are going through similar times.
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