During Bible Study with some of our High School students one of them express that she was Struggling To Pray. You know it is hard. Your mind wanders. Whats for dinner, the news, ewww I’m thirsty – suddenly everything of non-prayer importance of your life becomes fascinating when we start to pray. I often catch myself and have to laugh at our own inadequacies when it comes to prayer, here are five things you can do to be better at it:
Set a time:
Set a regular time to pray every day when we know we are less likely to be distracted and able to switch off is one way to exercise this gift – and improve your prayer life.
Don’t be too ambitious
Jesus told his disciples to pray simply and privately – not with great shows of eloquence or length. God desires our simple, heartfelt prayers. So don’t be over ambitious – be realistic and meet honestly with your father.
Use other people’s words
Choose a book of prayers that suits you – if you are not particularly academic, avoid the really intellectual ones. But try to read out the prayers others have used. Think about what they have said. Ponder on what they ask for and allow their words to filter into your own prayers.
Be quiet and listen
Prayer is not a one way stream. It is a conversation. That means talking and listening. Treat it like that. Factor in times of silence into your prayer time. Don’t worry if your mind wanders. But allow God the time to speak back.
Use the P R A Y pattern –http://www.olivedrivechurch.com/PDF/PrayerGuide.pdf
If you struggle to know how to begin or structure your prayers the PRAY pattern is really helpful. It stops us rushing into a list of demands for God and forces us to think about the God we are talking with and the amazing gift that we can even come before him.
It stands for Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield.
P: Praise – When you begin a prayer in Praise you are approaching God with total respect and honor. By praying out our praises for who God is we make prayer first and foremost about his Glory and not about us & what we are looking to get from God! It’s about God & how great He is.
For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. Psalm 66:17
R: Repent – Our reality in Christ is, we “are” forgiven of all past, present and future sin! So, when we discover sin in our lives what we need is to Confess & Repent..
If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. -1 John 1:8
A: Ask – God wants us to make our request known to him in prayer. The key is to “bring your need ..not your greed.”
This is a way that we recognize that “all things are from him, through him and to him.” Romans 11:36
Y: Yield– Prayer is about us recognizing God is in control. Submitting to that control is to ask for things with the understanding and peace that the outcome is His to decide and ultimately what he decides is what is best for his Glory and our Joy!
“Father…not my will, but yours be done” -Luke 22:42.