Whenever a person worries, hopes, works, cries, or moves – prayer has always been the go-to solution to anything. Anyone can say that they do not need any help, but yet they still resort to prayer. Actually, you can be happy or sad, nothing takes out the great importance of prayer in our lives. In life, when we get bothered or upset, God tells us to do two things; do not be anxious about anything, but do everything by prayer and petition (Philippians 4:6). People might ask if that’s all they need to face their worries and wishes. Yes, knowing how to pray and applying it in real life is all you need!
This is not an oversimplification of the matter, a heart that desires results in a spirit that thrives. But, prayer does have a condition. You have to know how to pray with desire. When speaking of desire, this doesn’t refer to the material things or achievements you wish to obtain. Instead, this pertains to the desire to communicate to God and He will answer your desires (Luke 11:9). Think of it as how we call someone using our phones. If we are inside a place where the connection is low, we move our phones up and down to get the signal. That’s the nature of prayer too, in order to communicate to God, we need to adjust and get the “right amount of connection”.
The 5 R’s Of Why We Pray
Before anything, we have to acknowledge within ourselves that prayer is important. Truthfully, we cannot establish a heart that desires when the heart cannot accept. In order to that, we have to know the importance of why we are praying in the first place. Whenever we pray, we become a glasshouse with bright lights and no darkness. God sees right through us. Therefore, we need genuine knowledge and acceptance that prayer holds the answer. Here are the 5 Rs of why we pray.
Matthew 26:41 tells us an interesting statement. The verse says that the spirit is willing but, the flesh is weak. We define the definition of what is “weak” in this context. It can be our habits that are pulling us down, the sins that separate us from God, our urges that we think is unstoppable – it can be anything. Indeed, the flesh is weak, we are weak. But, the spirit is willing. When our phone batteries get low, it can charge anytime. But, if we do not plug it in the charging port – it will not charge, In the same manner, we can defeat the desires of our flesh anytime and anywhere, we just need to reconnect to the main source of our lives, God.
Prayer is important because our connection with God is important. The act of praying is more than just seeking God. We have to establish a connection with Him that builds our relationship with our Creator. When life bombards us with so many things, we tend to be disconnected from God that in return, makes us feel lost and empty. If we want to heal that connection, we need to pray. Think about it, you cannot be in a relationship with someone you do not speak to, right? In the same way, it is hard to build a relationship with God if we do not give our efforts to reconnect with Him.
Practicing gratitude is one of life’s greatest painkillers made simple by prayer. Whenever we pray, we give time for ourselves to thank God for the things He generously blessed us with. In this way, we feel more blessed and contented with our lives. Prayer works this way; it is a reflective act that allows us to grasp a clearer view of the things we have.
If you are interested in knowing how prayer works in terms of gratitude, just talk to God and tell Him the things that He has given you. You will be shocked as to how you’ll never run out of things to feel happy and grateful for. Sometimes, we feel like we’re missing out on so many things because we do not report to God the blessing He has given us. This is also why prayer makes people instantly happy. It is really mysterious but, praying makes us reminisce so many good memories in our lives we cannot remember just by sitting still. If you want an instant boost of happiness, go tell God what He has given you today!
When we pray, God responds (Jeremiah 33:3). This response is very important in our lives. From doing and living well to working with a full and kind heart (1 Timothy 2:1-4 ), all of these are responded and made clear through prayers. God’s response, from the small details to the big events that change our lives, derive from our prayers.
Whether we are using prayers as an instrument to apologize or a medium to offer our gratitude, God will always respond. For example, other people always allow themselves to feel bothered about where they are going or how they are going to be in the future. When really, all we have to do is ask God! Everything in our life right now is the result of God’s response. Now, if you’d like a clearer version of His Response, talk to Him more. And by this, we have to pray more.
Here is a situation that happens to people who pray with a heart that desires God; when they are in a situation where they think they have a high tendency of committing sin, they pray. After they pray, their urges immediately vanish. But, how? In an instant, prayers are our mirrors to the image God wants us to be. Whenever we pray, a part of us gets enlightened or somehow reminded of who we are or at least, what we should be.
In many cases of extremely violent and angry people, prayer is a top suggestion to clear their minds. This is because of the healing property of prayer that reminds us of what we should do. We cannot hear God’s Voice in our ears but, our hearts can. When we pray, God’s Words travel within our bodies to serve as a reminder that we are His Children. So, if you aspire on walking the path of the kind-hearted, learning how to pray is a weapon that has been around for years without ever tasting failure.
Truly, the world is tiring. From societal pressure to personal issues, it can really be overwhelming. But, we have an outlet we can use to recharge or rest and that’s prayer. If we go back to Matthew 11:28-30. we are to come to God and He will give us rest. Obtaining the kind of rest only acquired through and by God cannot be compared to sleeping or eating out. The rest we get from God heals us, encourages us, and strengthens us. But here’s the condition – The Bible verse tells us to “come to God and He will give you rest.”
If we read this, we see the “coming to God” comes first before Him giving us rest. If we understand the arrangement of the verse’s wording, we are given the idea that we have to initiate first. Praying is the best way to “come to God”. See, prayer is very genuine and personal. If we make it a habit and a commitment, it is expected that our connection with God will grow even more. Think of it like this, a couple grows because of constantly talking to each other and getting a chance to know their feelings. In the same way, if we want to establish a relationship with God that guarantees us the best kind of resting we can ever indulge ourselves in- Prayer is the key.
The Essentials Of How To Pray
According to the Pew Research Center, in 2014 about 63% of the Christians in the United States believe that prayer is an important part of their identity as Christians. While 55% of the same population admits that they rely on their prayers when making major life decisions. Here, we can see how essential prayer is. The act of communicating with God on a daily basis is not something unusual nor uncommon.
However, those who do not know how to pray can sometimes start off the wrong foot. At times, others believe that praying is merely just a report of how the day went or even just a time for people to state their wishes or whatsoever. Prayer is one of the deepest and most sacred acts a human being can ever do in their lives. The act of praying is indeed very simple, easy, and convenient to do. But, the meaning, purpose, and impact it carries in our lives are tremendous.
“Why are you praying? What are you praying for?”
The purpose is the simplest factor to identify when learning how to pray. Upon facing God, we are called to say why we are in His Presence. Would you knock on someone’s door without a reason? Absolutely not, right? Therefore, you have to bring your purpose with you upon facing God. But, what if you don’t have a purpose? Can you still pray?
Actually, we always have a purpose when it comes to prayer. Our purpose will never run out. In a day, just being able to wake up alone is a blessing we should thank God for. We have sins we need to confess and correct, we have our families and friends to talk about, we have ambitions that greatly need the presence of God, we have people that need to be prayed for in their harsh conditions – The list never ends. We will never run out of a purpose to talk to God. There’s always a reason to start talking to Him today.
“Remember that it is you who is praying and no one else.”
When learning how to pray, sometimes, people forget that prayer consists of themselves and the Lord. God is always there but, the question is, are we? Whenever we pray, we have to be ourselves. God is the best listener. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about what you tell Him as long as it is true to what you are truly feeling. Sometimes, people feel “disconnected” whenever they pray. This might be due to how they conceal their words as if God doesn’t know and continuously love every corner of their hearts, good or bad.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to pray without “ceasing”. Another word associated with ceasing is “pausing” or “halting”. With this, we are being told to pray without concealing who we are. God wants us to unveil our true selves before Him. In this way, He can also reveal Himself to us. This is an essential factor in every good relationship, especially with God. So, when you pray, do not carry the words of another person for the Lord knows, forgives, cares, and loves every part of who you are!
“How much do you believe in the words you are saying and the God you are facing?”
Luke 11:9 reveals a very simple yet meaningful truth about praying. The Bible verse says that when we ask, it will be given, and if we knock, it will be opened. This seems pretty easy to understand, right? But, what lies behind this premise is our faith. When we speak to God, are we doing it with a heart that trusts?
Prayer is one of the greatest foundations that define our relationship with God. In this sense, faith is what keeps prayer alive. When we trust God, we also trust in prayer. No matter what the outcome of our lives will be, we fully accept that God is in control. In this way, whenever we pray, our hearts know that He listening and that He won’t abandon our worries. Others might not like the thought of prayer not because they don’t like the act but, because it feels incomplete due to their lack of trust in The Face they are reaching out to in prayer.
Tips For Your Personal Prayers
Know Prayer First
This step is already covered by the previous paragraphs. Knowing what prayer is serves as the fundamental factor in praying. Simply put, an artist cannot paint without knowing why or what he or she is painting. Again, prayer is our effort to communicate with God that allows us to deepen our relationship with Him.
That, however, is the simplest definition of what prayer is. The act of praying is a commitment, a blessing, and a need. Think of it as how our bodies work; for the blood to reach all areas of our bodies to sustain our lives, it needs constant communication with the rest of our organs. Praying does that; we cannot live a good life without God and in that sense, we cannot have that relationship with God if we do not at least try to reach out to Him.
Tell God everything. May it be from that bitter coffee this morning or that life-changing news from your boss- No matter what it is, tell Him. The aim of prayer is to strengthen someone’s relationship with God. When we are with our closest friends and relatives, we feel light and free to talk about anything. That right there is what we want to achieve with God. So, don’t be afraid to speak with your heart. Because in reality, God already knows before it can even happen! Make God your safe place and prayer your comfort zone!
As said earlier, prayer is a commitment. It should be a part of our daily routine to take some time off and talk to God. By doing this, we become more comfortable and connected with our Creator. A tip for anyone who finds it challenging to pray without misses is to set a “praying time”. There really is no exact pointers as to when the perfect time is for praying. But, we can define that ourselves. In the day, you can choose a specific time frame for prayer and stick to it. After many days, you’ll realize how beneficial praying is to all parts of your life.
Also, avoid holding your phone or any external distractions while praying. Although you can use your phone to guide you in terms of the Bible verses as references. Still, you might want to consider turning the internet connection off for better focus in prayer. Use a physical bible instead.
Another tip that you can use for praying is by using the Bible as a reference! You can download an application that offers daily Bible verses. And from there, you can reflect on God’s Words and try to think about how it relates to you. You might be surprised as to how the Bible verses are relatable in your life. Doing this will also widen your Biblical knowledge and real-life wisdom.
If you are not a fan of using applications, you can start by taking your physical copy of the Bible. You can select the chapters randomly or you can start from the Book of John since this chapter is highly recommended for those who are starting out in Bible journaling. Furthermore, you can take notes and add highlight colors or stickers if you’re the creative type!
Worship – Confession – Petition
For some people, their praying pattern follows a formula which is the adoration-confession-petition pattern. Basically, they structure their prayers into three main parts.
Worship is the first part of the pattern where the prayer focuses on praising God. This usually tackles more about being thankful for the blessings God has given. May it be about today’s blessings, the gift of life, God’s Love, God’s sacrifice – Anything that adores God and His Works fall under this category.
After worship, confession takes place. In this, a person apologizes for the lapses and sins he or she caused may it be today or the other day. Aside from confessing, this portion also seeks God’s help in becoming a better person with a kinder heart.
Finally, a petition is a portion of a prayer where a person states what they are praying for. It can be about personal aims or global issues, a petition is where we are asking God to help us in a specific area of our lives.
There is no absolute pattern as to how a person should pray. However, these three portions only serve as a guide in prayer.
In a prayer, daily offerings are made when we inform God what we leave in His hands. It’s an exercise that confirms our faith in God’s Hands. Put simply, it answers “what do you leave in God’s Hands today?”. It can be about that examination you are taking or a big project that has been assigned to you or anything. It can even be about something negative like sickness or a failed mark. As said earlier, it is better when we are true and detailed in our prayers. Offering our burdens to God and confirming our faith is a superb way of showing that we trust Him.
Prayer is the easiest and one of the greatest offerings we can hand over to God. This action can drastically change our lives if we start committing to it. But, it should be remembered that it is not the prayer itself that beautifies and cleanses our lives but, God who is listening behind our worries. Our daily efforts to speak to the Lord holds power we cannot get from anywhere. No matter what we are or what we are trying to become; God’s Ears are always ready for us.