Prayer is an essential part of a Christian’s everyday life. We need to pray. God asks us to pray, Jesus taught his disciples to pray and the apostle Paul recommended us to ‘pray without ceasing’.
But we may struggle with the practicalities of prayer. The booklet ‘Does God Hear Prayer’ (refer link above) is well worth reading as it is an excellent resource which sets out the need for prayer, Biblical examples of prayer, when and where and how to pray. Although we can see the benefits and necessity of prayer, we may not feel confident about our own personal prayers. How do we ‘pray without ceasing? What do we pray about? Are we asking for too much? Do we forget to pray or feel we have nothing to say? Do we fall into repeating the same prayer? Do we really feel we are talking to God? How we we prevent our minds from wandering through prayer? The list goes on. Our commitment to prayer can always be improved. It may seem that many of our fellow Christians have a heartfelt and loving communication with God while we struggle with this.
Jesus taught his disciples what we call ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. It has a firm structure which is an excellent basis for our own prayers if we are lacking confidence. As with everything, Jesus is our example, and he exercised daily, regular and constant prayer with his Father in Heaven and provides the ideal for us. If we persevere, it does become easier and more natural to pray.
It may be beneficial to jot down some specific things or events to include in our prayers, just a few as follows:
Private prayer is personal and may cover so many things, as we are talking to a Father who loves us and He wants us to communicate and converse with Him in all things.
We can pray at any time or any where. We may set a specific time aside to pray. We may pray all through the day. Jesus suggested that we go to our room and close the door. A time for solitude and private communication with God where we can pray honestly. But it is also important to be in constant prayer with God; when we wake, when we eat, leaving or arriving at places, while reading His word.
Reading the Bible regularly is an excellent foundation to encourage us to read, absorb and use God’s word as a basis for our prayers. Bible passages and verses provide wonderful thought provokers and words of praise to include or structure into our prayers.
Ideally, prayer is to become part of our every day routine and delight. We can try to achieve this by many different means:
And listen for God’s answers. Perhaps this comes as a growing understanding, an inner voice, directing what He wants us to do, an answer via a Bible quote that comes to our attention, a word from a friend or stanger that may be a message, a particularly relevant Sunday Morning service or Bible Class or other Bible study, an event or situation that arises that stears us in a particular direction.
Prayer is such a wonderful blessing and privilege that God in His love for us has provided. We have the awe inspiring opportunity to converse with and be answered by the God of the Universe and our Father in Heaven. And by doing this, our relationship and love for God will grow and our lives will be enriched and our faith strengthened.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16