Through the many distractions of life,
I forgot how to pray.
Then I found this post I wrote. Thank God for conviction!
When I first got saved, I hadn’t fully mastered my prayer game. I would get kind of discouraged, because I could never quite catch that fervency, that fire like when you’re in church and the pastor is going in. When someone really seasoned prays for you in private. I tried, but it would fall flat. I also had a severe case of that lazy pray. When you know you need to talk to God, but you feel like there’s too much to talk about, you're tired, feel guilty, or you’re just trying to check it off your to-do list for the day.
/ˈlāzē • prā/
I used to start praying, by saying “God, please give me...” listing all the things I wanted. It would go on and on, until I got bored, distracted and said “In Jesus’ name, amen.” This was so sad, lol. Just a result of my spiritual infancy, which is totally okay.
But then! I started praying in small groups, with personal friends, in groups of 2 and 3. With people in ministry. This was where I slowly started to observe the framework for a prayer that catches fire. These five steps were my biggest takeaways. If you’re new to prayer– You can skip my stumbling season and jump right into this. If you’re like me and HAVE spent a lot of time empty praying– you’re in the perfect spot too. You get to experience the difference. The steps below will fully encourage your prayer life. And, it really helps when praying out loud for folks! That used to spook me, but not anymore. Real talk! Here’s what I’ve learned!
Begin your prayer with gratitude. Gratitude warms the heart. It’s a fire starter and it’s pleasing to God. We need to offer our thanks to God, before we can expect any miracles to happen. At the last supper, Jesus first gave thanks before declaring the new covenant. Powerful. Luke 22:17 & 19. Personally, I begin with the overarching things, thank you for waking me up– giving me life. Soon enough I’ve lost track of my thank you list. You know you’re really getting somewhere when you start thanking God for the messed up stuff that’s happening. That’s when the praise tears start flowing for me. I get overwhelmed by my blessings, the holy spirit, and God’s activity in my life.This is the moment when a prayer turns from you feeling like you're talking to your pillow, to being in conversation with the most high.
This can be hard, but God already knows what you’ve been up to. The importance of this is coming to God transparently with an honest heart. We can’t skim the surface– If we pray on the surface– We can only expect surface results. Dig in, get real, so God will show out for you. Ask God to forgive you for your trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. (so make sure you’re forgiving others...) Our sins are forgiven, but we still have to confess them!
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9-10
PRAY FOR OTHERS
Take the focus off yourself for a sec. It is really easy to get caught up in our personal needs. I struggle with this daily. This selflessness is really crutch. Pray for your loved ones. Pray for those you are struggling to forgive. Pray for those who have hurt you. You will be freed. I know that my 97 year old grandmother’s prayers have covered me through some mess. I am blessed that several family members pray for me daily. I can name multiple near death instances that I know the power of prayer covered me through (because I was not praying, AT ALL).
YOUR WILL BE DONE
We think we know what we want...That specific job, that person/relationship, that apartment– But submission to God’s will is key. God is listening and wants to bless us and give us the desires of our heart– But he is all-knowing and His knowledge and foresight completely supersedes our own. So, in making your requests, pray within God’s will. To be in alignment with what he wants for your life. “Lord, I pray to receive this job, if it is your will”. Then, if it happens or if it doesn’t, you can rest assured that God said yes this is for you, or no it is not for you. We can ask God to align our hearts and desires with his will.
THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES
Pray through the scriptures. This is a game changer– and why it is so important to know God’s word. For example: “Lord I need wisdom. Your word says that if I lack wisdom, I can ask you directly and it will be given to me.” (James 1:5) The Word is living y’all. And you will see it once you implement your memorized scriptures through your prayers. Claiming your blessings through the power of the text is incredible. Emboldening.
I want to have an active prayer life because I want to feel the presence of God. I want to see change in my life. I want to increase my faith. But most importantly, I want to have an active prayer life so I NEVER LOSE A SPIRIT OF THANKFULNESS. He has done so much for me.
This is my HOW TO PRAY guide!