Do you wonder if God is out there listening? Do you question if He cares? Many of us want to talk to God—to pray—but we don’t know how to start.
Here are some things that might help:
- You don’t need a specific place to pray . . . but finding “a prayer place” might help. I pray before I climb out of bed, snuggled under the blanket. I pray in the mornings, sitting on the couch. I pray in the afternoons as I’m folding laundry. Praying in those places becomes a habit, and being there “triggers” me to turn my heart to God.
- You can pray any time . . . but creating daily appointments can go a long way.During my “couch” prayer time I make a cup of coffee or tea. I grab a journal and pen. I open my Bible. This ritual helps me to focus. It prepares my heart.
- You don’t need a list of requests . . . but keeping a list can grow your faith. I keep a prayer journal. It’s built my faith to go back and see how God has answered my prayers. I’ve prayed for book deadlines and kid issues, and years later I can see that, with God’s help, the work got done and the kids turned around. It encourages me to continue asking and continue drawing near.
- You don’t need to pray a specific set of words . . . but looking to the Lord’s Prayer can be a good guide. From Matthew 6:9-13:
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”
Jesus’ prayer guides us to *pray for God’s will. It reminds us to *pray for His kingdom on earth. It shows us that *God is our provider. It reminds us to *ask for forgiveness . . . and to *offer forgiveness. And it encourages us to *seek protection from evil. What a great list to pray through!
Five More Tips on Talking to God
- Nix the holy slang. God understands “whasup God” just as well as He does “Thou holy Father.”
- Spit it out. I’m able to keep my train of thought better when I’m talking.
- Find a prayer buddy or prayer buddies. It brings hope to my heart when I know others are praying for me and when I’m praying for others.
- Don’t think of talking to God as seeking to “get your prayers answered.” Instead, think of it as bringing your concerns before Him and allowing Him to sort out the best plan of action.
- Remember how much God cares for you. He’s not watching to see when you’ll mess up. Instead, He’s eagerly waiting to see when you’re going to step near. He wants you to connect with Him, not out of duty but out of relationship.
So how do you start? Start simply. Start with a heart full of hope of drawing near. Start now!