What is Prayer?
Prayer involves both listening and talking to God. Talking with God (learning to communicate well, to listen and speak) takes time, energy and effort. We pray to cultivate a relationship with God where we invite Him into our lives, every corner, and open ourselves up to God to change you. If you’ve tried to pray before and been frustrated, that’s normal. Every relationship becomes more natural as you continue to invest time, prayer will get easier.
What do we pray about?
When we pray, we talk to God in three different ways. We give thanks for what He has done, is doing and promises to do. We praise Him for who He is. We confess our sin to Him and seek forgiveness. We also make requests, telling Him about what weighs on our hearts.
How Do You Pray?
There’s no simple, one size fits all answer to that question, but there are answers. For a basic outline, we will look at Colossians 4:2, which says, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” In this verse there are three parts: Continue steadfastly, be watchful and giving thanks. These are some of the basic principles of prayer.
Meaning, don’t quit, be faithful! If you think about other relationships that you have had, every conversation doesn’t turn out picture perfect, does it? There are some that end abruptly, in conflict, or leave you feeling distant or wondering if that was really worth your time. Some conversations are encouraging, strengthening, life-giving and upbuilding too. The key to prayer God is always with us then prayer can, if we don’t give up, become a conversation that happens daily as we keep inviting God into our lives.
Look around. Who is celebrating? Who is suffering? What’s been eating at you? What’s been good?
Giving thanks can be a go-to move in prayer, especially when praying feels hard. By cultivating a thankful spirit in our prayer we recognize our need for God and that He provides for us. Lift those things up in prayer. Rejoice with those who are rejoicing, and mourn with those who are mourning. Let your requests be made known to God as well.
Don’t forget to reflect on what you’ve been praying and celebrate the prayers that have been answered.