Prayer is one of the hardest parts of the Christian walk for many of us. It is interesting that many spiritual people, ones I look up to and admire, say it should be as easy as breathing. We have heard it right? Prayer is like the breath of the spirit. Well, I have often found myself stuck and either frustrated or unmotivated, because of how intimidating it seems. I mean we are talking about God! Not our best friend, though we have seen those t-shirts that say praying is like talking to a best friend. In any case, God has commanded us to pray, Our Savior prayed, and He still prayers. The Holy Spirit prayers. God listens to our High Priest and the Holy Spirits' groaning for us. If each Person of the Trinity is involved in Prayer, so should we.
One of the things I have found helpful and have heard frequently is that prayer is a lifestyle. It is not a duty, it is worship. It also is to be done without ceasing. There are many verses that tell us this. However, if I can be honest, it is even intimidating to write about prayer. Who am I to talk about something that I, myself, still stumble over at times? Well, I know that God uses even the weakest of people, and so I hope that these 3 tips will be helpful for you.
Yes, this is a major one. When we are talking about a prayer life, we are talking about 'living prayer.' But, it must begin at some point. We will sit down, or kneel, or get out a pen and paper, and meet with Him. It is a devoted time just for Him. Some days, it may feel like you have a lot to say. Other days, it may feel like you don’t have anything to say. Still, the answer is not to get up and call it quits. It is to stay before Him and to even sit in silence if you have no words. Sometimes singing to Him helps. Then, God might use something from that to bring your heart into communion with Him. He bends down to hear you, so speak to Him.
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2
David said he prayed because God listens! We only need to come to Him, and He will be gracious to meet with us. Set a time to pray and an amount of time you will pray. It might be five minutes, at the beginning or maybe 30 minutes. Just determine to sit with the Lord for a time and do it.
2. Be Yourself
We think that we have to come in some grand way to Him. We act like He doesn’t know how we really speak on a normal basis and the type of vocabulary we really use. We are talking to a King. But still, He is our Father King, and He knows you in every possible way. You cannot fool Him! For me, it comes as a relief. I listen at church those who use such poetic words and beautiful styling, and I think, “How do they do that?” Then I measure my prayers to theirs. Before I even make it to my knees in prayer, I already feel defeated.
This pressure is put on us by ourselves and the enemy. God tells us to come like little children. I have a lot of nieces and nephews, and they are not the greatest communicators, in terms of how they present the words. However, I understand what they mean and I find it endearing for them to come. God knows we are just dust. This should not stop us from coming. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:14
Speak to Him like your Father. You wouldn’t disrespect Him. You would honor your Father, but you would also bring to Him your troubles and tell Him how much you hurt. And, that might sound like a little child stumbling over their words. But, He listens and He understands you. He knows what you are going to say before you even say it. "Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether." 139:4
3. Be Honest
If you are tired, tell Him you are tired. If you are upset with Him, tell Him. If your friend made you mad, if your family is going through deep waters, if you don’t feel like praying to Him- Tell Him!
When my biological brother passed this year, I obviously had a hard time. There were nights where I sat with an empty tissue box and a trash full of used tissues saying to Him “why I don’t understand…this is so painful? I don’t know if I can be okay with the fact that He has passed in this way!” I learned from David to pray like that. Read the Psalms and you will see how honest David was with the Lord. Whatever it may be, if it is enough to trouble you, it is enough to tell Him.
Once when I didn't feel like praying, I decided to tell Him that. It might have started out as something like, “God, you know I don’t feel like praying, but you know that deep down I desire to have fellowship with you. Give me the desire to want to pray.” And as I continued, He gave me more words. At the end, I felt like I had truly met with Him. Relationships are built on honesty and communication. Be honest with God! He can handle how you really feel. Even more, He can change your desires and make them please Him.
There are so many other things that could be and have been said about this topic. These are the three that have helped me recently, as I have sought to spend more time with God in Prayer. I have found that The Holy Spirit teaches the humble. He has taught me and continues to teach me. He will do the same for you if you ask Him. Set a time and place to pray, come as you are, and be honest with Him. He will listen to you and meet with you if come.
What has helped you in your prayer life? Please comment on my blog page.
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