Tag Archives: how do I pray

Connecting With God

When I was 20 years old, I was on staff at a church. My boss wanted our team to read a book on Prayer and discuss it as we went. I had been raised in church all of my life, been to prayer meetings and prayed publicly often, but I had never been taught how to pray. A better way to say it is that I had never been given a model of prayer. I just winged it each time. I had a lot of passion, but it often lacked direction. In this book, and with our discussions, I was taught the ACTS model of praying. In this model, you start with adoration, then move into confession of sins. After that you give thanks for the things God has done in your life, and will do. Finally, you end with supplication for your needs and the needs of others. Before using that model, my prayer time had simply been supplications for what I needed at the moment. While that’s good, it’s not really communicating and connecting to God.

Prayer is not just an avenue to ask God for things. It’s a way to experience His presence, to hear His voice and to know He is God. It’s a way for us to take the focus off of our immediate needs and to put it on the One whose name is above every other name or need we have. Prayer is a two way conversation with God where we spend time in silence listening for His voice. It’s not about the method, the ritual or getting the words right. It’s about posturing our heart before God, humbling ourselves by recognizing there are things we cannot do, and only He can. God’s desire to walk with us daily has remained the same since the Garden of Eden. He desires a deep connection with you that’s only attained through one on one prayer and conversation. Quick prayers throughout the day are nice, but the intimacy that He desires with us in the relationship only happens when you spend quality time with Him.

Here are some Bible verses on prayer.

1. Confess and acknowledge how you have offended one another and then pray for one another to be instantly healed, for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!

James (Jacob) 5:16 TPT

2. With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.

Ephesians 6:18 AMP

3. The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 MSG

4. For this reason I tell you: When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for.

Mark 11:24 GNT

5. Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

Matthew 6:6 MSG

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

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A Servant’s Prayer

Father,

There’s nothing more that I want than to be your servant. I want to do all the things that you have planned for me to do. I want to fulfill the plan you have for my life. The harder I try to do the things you ask me to do, the more I seem to fail. I find that alone, I’m incapable of doing all that you ask. I need your help. I need your hand on my life to guide me, direct me and to open the doors that stand shut in my way. I’ve knocked on them until my hands hurt and no one opens them. I need you supernaturally intervene.

Open my eyes to see what you need me to see. If there are other avenues, other doors or other ways to get where you’re leading me, show them to me. I know you have a greater plan for me, but I just can’t see how to get from here to there. Progress seems to have stopped. I was running full speed towards the goal when all of a sudden everything slowed to the point that I’m at a stand still. I only see closed doors, but you see the path. Open my eyes to see where you want me to go from here.

Open my ears to hear your voice above all the noise in my life. I know that you speak in a still, small voice. Train my ears to listen for it so I can hear it through all the distractions. I know you are always speaking, but I’m not always listening. Help me to turn down the things in my life that block out your voice. Teach me to listen for your instruction as I go throughout my day. Speak to me through the Bible, through others and with your voice. I don’t want to miss what you have to say so give me ears that hear you.

Open my mouth so that I will speak the words you want me to speak. Help me to speak life and not death, to build up and not tear down, to lift others up instead of putting them down. The power of life and death are in the tongue. I want to use mine to speak life. Keep bitter water from coming out of the fountain of my mouth. Give me words of wisdom to speak, words of knowledge that are confirmation for others and words of life to those who are dying. I pray that the words I say and the meditation of my heart are acceptable in your sight.

I know that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. So I ask that you would make changes in my heart. Take out the hard, stoney parts that are cynical. Remove the parts where I’ve stored up bitterness against others for things they’ve done to me. Replace them with a heart that loves others the way you love them. Put a heart in me that runs hard after you. In order to be the servant you need me to be, I need a heart that sees servant hood the way you do. I need a heart that is sensitive to the things that you’re sensitive to, that breaks for the things that break your heart, and that has compassion for the lost and broken the way your do.

I thank you for hearing my prayer and I ask that you would answer it in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

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Prayer Of Trust

Lord,

You’re holy and I’m unworthy of your daily presence in my life. Who am I that you should choose to call me your own, much less your child? I don’t know that I’ll ever understand why you choose to continually pour out blessings on me. I can’t comprehend the love you have for me. I can feel it and I can see it, but I know I don’t deserve it. In your grace, you have chosen not to give my what I deserve of have earned, but what you desire to give your children. You have given me peace, comfort, security and salvation. You have blessed me beyond words and I say, “Thank you!”

Thank you for not giving up on me when I most deserved it. Thank you for not turning your back on me when I have turned my back on you. You have remained true to II Timothy 2:13 that says even when we are unfaithful, you remain faithful. You cannot deny who you are. You are the steady constant in my life. You are my rock, my fortress, my hiding place and my deliverer. I trust you and run to you when things come at me faster than I can handle. I hide behind your shield when it feels like everyone is against me.

In those moments, you have never failed me. You have never left me out alone to face my battles. You have always stood with me, right beside me in the hardest of times. When others have left, you stayed. When others said that I got what I deserved, you put me back on me feet and showed me the path you wanted me on. You have always been my guide even though I haven’t always listened. You have pointed me to greener pastures, but I’ve procrastinated because I’ve been complacent with where I am. Continue to show patience towards me as you guide and direct me.

Give me the courage to leave those familiar fields to go where you would lead me. Give me peace as I walk away from the things I’ve known. Forgive me for finding my security in them instead of in you. Help me to trust you more and my surroundings less. Show me the greater plan you have for my life and nudge me when I stray from it. I ask for wisdom to recognize the time and seasons of change and for strength to bear the load you’ve given me. Thank you again for all you’ve done in my life and all you’re going to do. Thank you that I haven’t gone beyond the point of being used by you. I love you.

In Jesus name,

Amen

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Prayer For Wisdom

Heavenly Father,

I want to start this prayer by saying, “Thank you.” There is so much in my life to be thankful for. You have blessed me in so many ways that I often over look some of them and treat them as ordinary. The truth is, nothing that comes from you is ordinary. Nothing you give me is common and I don’t want to treat it as such. When I sit down and think of all the ways you bless me daily, it gets overwhelming. I don’t deserve your goodness, but I’m thankful for it. I can’t repay you for the blessings. I can only offer a heart full of gratitude.

I confess that I don’t always appreciate the gifts you give. In fact, sometimes I even complain about people and things you bring into my life. I lose perspective on why you bring them into my life. I forget that you want me to make an impact on them by treating them with your love. I look at them as problems, distractions or annoyances. I don’t want to think about people or things in my life like that. I want to love them the way you love me. I want to treat them like you treat me, but I need your help to do that. Open my eyes to see beyond the distractions so I can see their needs. Give me wisdom in how I react and treat them.

You said in James 1:5 that if I lacked wisdom, I could ask you for it. Today, I’m asking for wisdom. I need divine wisdom for the situations I’m facing, for how to handle the relationships you’ve given me and with making decisions about my future. I can’t see very far into my future, but you already have it scripted out. My future is already history to you. I just want to make sure that I make the best decisions so I can have the future you have planned for me. I don’t want to make decisions based on knowledge. I want to make them from a position of wisdom and understanding.

I know that you have plans for me. I know that you want what is best for me. I understand the mindset of a father who wants the very best for his child. I know the love that pours out of me towards my own flesh and blood. If I feel this way about my own child, how much more do you feel for me? I can’t even grasp the depth of your love and desires for my life. I can’t comprehend the magnitude of what you want for me. Just like my child doesn’t understand the full concept of my love for him, I don’t understand the full concept of your love for me. I want to, but I don’t have the capacity.

Help me to live my life out of gratitude for all you’ve done. Show me the paths you want me to walk down in order to receive the future you’ve written out. Give me the courage to make the hard decisions that I have to make in order to be where you need me to be. Let your peace reign in me when the hard times come. Help me to make right decisions based on your wisdom instead of my emotions. Lead me along the paths of righteousness. Open my eyes to see people you’ve placed on my path to help along the way. Open my hands to give away what you ask me to give away. Open my mouth to speak wisdom into other’s lives and open my ears to hear your voice above all else.

I ask these things in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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Prayer For Difficult Times

Father,

Some days I feel like David. It seems like the world is chasing me and I’m in an endless cycle of running for my life. I try to hide out in caves of seclusion, but the darkness can be unbearable and lonely. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown and fear of dropping the ball keep me from doing everything I should. I feel like I’m juggling everything and barely keeping it together. I worry that if I drop something, everything will all come crashing down. It’s overwhelming at times and my mind rarely gets to rest. I need your help.

Like David, I reach out to you in my despair. I call on your name to be my refuge when others are attacking me. I know that you are my rock when everything else seems to slip beneath my feet. You are the one who holds me in your hands when I miss the mark. I thank you for being my shield that protects me from the fiery darts that the enemy throws. You give me strength to stand when that’s all that I can do. You have never failed me nor have you ever left me alone. I’m asking that you continue to stand by my side.

When I feel you standing with me, I get encouraged. I know that nothing can come against me that will defeat me. I know that even though I can’t see the path to my victory, it’s already won. Just because I can’t see how you will move or act on my behalf, it doesn’t change the fact that you will. You have always come to my rescue in my time of need. You have been the one constant in my life that I always knew would be there no matter what. Your hand has guided me through tough times in the past and you will continue to guide me no matter what I face.

I pray that you would help me to keep my thoughts on you as I face these struggles. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on your promises rather than my circumstances. Your truth is greater than what my reality tells me. Your Word is the light to my path that shows me where to go when I can’t see what my next step should be. Above all else, I will hold on to you through difficult times. You are the anchor that keeps me from going out to sea when the storms of life try to put me on the bottom of the ocean floor.

Thank you for hearing my prayer. You are a faithful God who is concerned about my life, my needs and the things that I face each and every day. Because I know you hear me, I know that you will answer me. I love you for all that you’ve done, all that you’re doing and all that you’re going to do. I know that you love me despite all I’ve done or am going to do. Your love and concern for me has nothing to do with my actions. You simply love me and care for me because you created me and I am your child. Help me to be at peace just in knowing that. Calm my fears, help me to catch my breath and to walk in your strength.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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A Prayer For God’s Love

Dear Heavenly Father,

When I stop and consider who you are, I’m humbled that you would desire to use me. Everywhere I look in creation, I see your fingerprints. I see your handiwork in the stars at night and your compassion in the love of a child. I can’t help but try to imagine how big you must be since everything exists in you. I also can’t help but wonder how you care so deeply for me when you have so many other things you’ve created that you can be proud of. I’m in awe that you bless me daily with your presence.

I confess that I’m imperfect and am unworthy of your love. I do things that grieve you and make you disappointed in me. I fall short of who you want me to be so often. I don’t understand how you can still love me or desire to use me. My life is full of broken pieces that somehow you use to create a beautiful mosaic. Your desire is that when I sin and when I’m broken that I come to you and offer the pieces for you to use. My sin may be great, but your grace is even greater. I’m thankful for the forgiveness you offer when I don’t deserve it.

Thank you for the work you did on the cross. The blood that flowed from your body still offers forgiveness and healing today. The stripes you took on your back from the whip still offer healing. The crown of thorns that they placed on your head still pierces my heart and convicts me. Thank you for not calling 10,000 angels to come and rescue you. Thank you that you chose the Father’s will instead of your own. I’m forever grateful that your love for me was stronger than the pain you endured. It was stronger than the desire to come down from the cross, destroy the world and to start over. I don’t ever want to think of the love you have for me as ordinary.

I pray that you would help me to not only receive your love daily, but also help me to show it to others. Teach me to extend grace to those who need it most. I don’t want to be like the man in the Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor. I recognize that you have forgiven me for a lot. Help me to forgive those who have wronged me. Help me to express your kind of love to them. I want to overflow with your love until that’s all that comes out of me. Let me be the expression of your love here on Earth. Let your love flow through me so I can point others to you. It doesn’t matter what I do in my life, if I don’t show your love, it’s all in vain.

Walk with me today. Open my eyes to see those in need of your love. Open my ears to hear what others are really saying that they need. Open my mouth to speak the words you want me to speak. Open my hands to give what you want me to give. Open my path to lead me where you want me to go. Give me the strength to go where you’ve called me and give me the courage to do what you ask me to do. Let my life make a difference in someone else’s today. Let others see you in me today so they can see how you can take an imperfect, broken vessel and use them anyway. I love you, Lord.

I ask these things in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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An 80/20 Prayer

One of the things I talk to sales reps about is the 80/20 rule. I try to teach them to let the customer talk 80% of the time and they should only be talking 20% of the time. If they’re talking 80% and the customer 20%, they won’t have enough information to make a good recommendation. The interaction should be about the customer not them. I think the same rule should apply to prayer.

What if in our prayer time we let God speak 80% of the time and we only spoke 20%? How would our lives change? How would our faith change? We have a greater need to hear what God says then He has of what we have to say. He knows what we are going to say before we even speak. He knows the intent of our hearts. He already knows us inside and out. It’s us who have a need to know Him.

I’m not writing this as someone who has accomplished this consistently with God. I’m writing this as someone who has a greater need to know God more. I use words to fill up my time with God more than listening. When I do listen, He speaks. He’s always speaking to us, but we rarely listen to what He’s saying because we’re too busy talking during the time we give Him each day.

I love how the Message writes the conversation between Jesus and His disciples concerning prayer in Matthew 6. Jesus said in verse 6, “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.” The reason for prayer is to shift the focus from you to God.

Imagine how your life would be different if you shifted the focus from your problems, schedule, bills, hurts, hopes and dreams to God. Mark Batterson tweeted yesterday, “Talking to God about your problems is fine and good, but FAITH is talking to your problems about God.” We fill up our time with God talking about our problems instead of getting to know Him. We tell Him our needs, but never ask what His needs are. We ask for His help, but rarely offer our help.

Most of us would never want to be in a relationship as one sided as that. So why do we think that God wants to? I believe He wants to engage in conversation with each one of us. He wants us to get to know Him on a deeper level than we ever imagined possible. First of all, it takes finding that quiet, secluded place every day. The next step Jesus said was to just be there simply and honestly. He didn’t say to fill the silence with words. Just be there in that moment with God and listen. Open yourself up to what He has to say to you. That’s when you’ll begin to sense His grace and know Him more.

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