I’m a wanna-be prayer warrior. I long to grow a deeper prayer life, but I have a secret struggle with boredom. I know prayer carries power and changes lives. But when I sit down to pray, I find it hard to focus. After three minutes, my mind travels back to the last season of Downton Abbey, or wanders to my to-do list. Or I try to pray before bed, but I fall asleep.
Are prayer wimps a thing? I suspect I am one and I’m left wondering how to pray better.
I don’t mean to be flippant. Prayer is an amazing privilege. Through words like these in scripture, we have an open invitation from the God of the universe: “Call to me and I will answer you.” (Jeremiah 33:3a) We have a promise that He hears us: “You will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:12)
Through the pages of our Bibles, we see examples of men who prayed. Even Jesus, the Son of God, prayed. So I know I should too, but I find it challenging. I suspect I’m not alone. Many Christians struggle with knowing how to pray.
Why do we struggle with how to prayer?
Maybe we over-spiritualize it. We think we have to pray long and eloquent for it to really work. We measure ourselves with spiritual giants like Billy Graham or Mother Teresa, and we feel unqualified and unworthy. Sometimes we separate prayer from the rest of life; we look at it as something we do at prayer meetings or in our quiet time.
When I read Paul’s words in Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful,” I wonder… how do I devote myself to prayer when I have a regular life with a job and kids? I forget that Paul was surely talking about a heart attitude, not a never-ending prayer meeting or devotional time. Devoted prayer is a heart tendency to turn to God at each turn in our day.
On my journey from prayer wimp to warrior, I’m discovering a few practical tips for how to pray:
Tip 1: Pray Simply
We might think we have to pray passionate, persuasive words for God to hear us, but in reality He listens even to our shortest “SOS” prayers.
“The fewer the words, the better the prayer,” said Martin Luther. Isn’t that reassuring? We can talk to God in everyday language, just like we talk to a friend. We don’t have to pray long. God delights in a simple word of praise, like “Lord, I love you.” He treasures the anguished prayer of a mother when she calls, “Heal my child.” He answers the simplest request: “Lord, give me strength for today.”
Tip 2: Read the Word
Have you ever had a one-sided conversation with someone who talked continually without listening to you? The conversation didn’t go very far, did it? We do the same thing to God when we pray without reading the Bible, His eternal letter of love and wisdom to each one of us on earth. Reading Scripture helps us get to know God. It brings life to our prayers.
If you want to have a more effective conversation with God, read Scripture. Let David’s words in the Psalms enliven your prayers. Stop in the Gospels to pray over a verse that strikes you, asking God to work that truth into your heart. Let the words of Paul’s letters give you specific prayer requests for yourself and the people you love.
Tip 3: Make Prayer Active and Multi-Sensory
Prayer grows dull when we turn it into a purely mental exercise. God made us creative beings, so why don’t we bring creativity to our prayer lives? Lighting a fragrant candle can send a signal to our brains: “It’s time to pray.” It can bring a sacred sense of awe to a few minutes of prayer. Listening to music can help us focus on God. Many people enjoy doodling, drawing, or painting while they pray.
I help my ADHD-plagued brain focus on prayer by keeping a prayer journal. Making a list of requests keeps my mind alert; I stop to pray for each petition after jotting it down. Occasionally I write out longer prayers like a letter. A prayer journal builds faith when you look back over your petitions and recall God’s answers.
Remember you don’t have to sit quietly to pray. My best prayer times happen out on the walking trail. Praying aloud also helps me keep my mind engaged, but I save that for prayer times at home.
Tip 4: Make Prayer an Integral Part of Your Day
This verse baffles me: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;” (1 Thess. 5:16-17) Is it really possible to pray without ceasing?
How about trying an experiment? Start and end your day with prayer. Lift up short prayers to God as often as you can throughout your day. Pray over your schedule. Ask God to help you with your to-do list. When you hear a troubling news report, lift the situation up to God. Say a prayer for your spouse or child as you give him or her a hug. Pray for the person you’re talking to. A friend of mine gives thanks whenever she stops at red lights while driving. Look for prayer moments that work for your life.
Tip 5: Pray Expectantly
Prayer becomes a lifeless exercise when we’re not looking for answers. Jesus invites us to expect God to work. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
How much more exciting prayer becomes when we keep our eyes open to watch for God’s answers. Sometimes I wonder how many answers we miss because we don’t really expect God to respond.
Remember Colossians 4:2: “Devote Yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
How about getting started today? Don’t get discouraged if you get distracted like I do. Just get back on track. Pray and watch for God’s answers, so you can thank Him. He might answer differently than you expect, but His answer will always be better than what you had in mind.
Here are some of our most visited prayers on a variety of topics. You can use these sample prayers to lead your words and to crate your own prayer.
Prayer for Healing
Prayer for StrengthPrayer for ProtectionMorning PrayersGood Night PrayersThe Prayer of JabezShort PrayersThe Lord’s PrayerThe Prayer of St FrancisSerenity PrayerPrayer for ForgivenessPrayer for GuidanceIrish Prayers and BlessingsPrayers for My HusbandPrayers for My SonPrayers for My DaughterPrayer Quotes
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Betsy de Cruz enjoys God, life with teenagers, and dark roast coffee. Betsy’s passion is to encourage women to get God’s Word in, so their faith can spill out, even during life’s bumpy moments. She and her family live in the Middle East. Most days she feels privileged to live overseas; other days she wants to pull her hair out and catch the next plane home. Betsy writes about real life faith on her blog, faithspillingover.com, on Facebook. and on Twitter.
Updated date: January 19,2018
The only form of communication by which the Creator is Acknowledged!
The impact prayer has on life is the same as the breath we take. Praying to God builds a strong relationship and is essential in everything we do. Unconsciously, we breath, without thinking, nor reasoning, why or how a times. It is the same with prayer to God. Consciously and subconsciously we pray for things we face in our lives that involve and surround us, for Gods protection and intercession.
What if our ability to breathe depends on our prayer life?
Prayer to our Lord Jesus whether in groups or individually is how we learn to pray effectively. There are many forms of prayer. Prayer for the Holy Spirit, to come with presence, Prayer in the Holy Spirit where we succumb to our will being given to the Father allowing his will to be done and Intercessory prayer; praying on behalf of others. In all forms of prayer we learn how to pray to Jesus and God everyday with power by his Holy Spirit.
Outline on how to Pray
It is important to note the order of Reverence to our Most High God and Father!
God the Father
Jesus the Son
How we pray is in recognition of the work Jesus did for the Father on our behalf; in which Jesus intercedes on our behalf to the Father. Pray always. It is when we pray, that the Father recognizes the work his Son did here for us, was not in vain and that pleases him with exceeding Joy. The Kingdom of Heaven rejoice with all the Heavenly Host singing praises of affirmation around the throne of God.
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Before leaving I have two appeals:
Firstly; It is my desire for those who are not saved, to be saved. That is the mission of this ministry; that you know Jesus. If you have not received Jesus in your life it is my desire that you know Jesus and ask him to come into your life, pray and seek a Church that will worship,support your faith and increase by knowledge in Jesus Christ.
Secondly; This is a ministry to advance the Kingdom of God by reaching out to those by word and deed, who do not know the Kingdom of God is at hand. Your charitable contribution would be sharing this message for others to hear.
This, in my opinion, is the #1 secret for being able to get more of your personal prayers answered by God the Father. This particular secret is the first step you will need to take before you can expect to have any kind of major success in your prayer life with God the Father.
Here is the Scripture verse that will give us this first major prayer secret from the Lord:
“IF YOU ABIDE IN ME, AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” (John 15:7)
Look very, very carefully at this verse to see exactly what Jesus is trying to tell you. He is giving you two powerful pieces of revelation in which to grasp if you want to be able to get God the Father to answer more of your specific prayers.
Here are the two main pieces of revelation.
1. Establish a Good, Personal Relationship With the Lord
The first part of the first sentence – “If you abide in Me” – is telling you that the very first thing that God is wanting from you in order to be able to properly approach Him for prayer is for you to establish a very strong personal relationship with Him!
Jesus is using the word “abide.” The word abide means to “continue in a state or place, to endure.” What Jesus wants from us is that we be willing to abide in Him, that we be willing to live in Him. Being willing to abide in Jesus means that we have established a very good, intimate, personal relationship with Him.
The #1 reason God created the human race was for intimate fellowship. God has this incredible love for the human race, and He wants more than anything else that we approach Him and enter into this one-on-one, intimate, personal relationship with Him.
If you really stop and think about this, what is one of the greatest joys that a person can have this side of heaven? What is the one thing that most people long for? What is the one thing that will make you cry when you see this portrayed at the movie theaters?
It is the longing for a personal, intimate, love relationship with a person of the opposite sex, the longing for a true soul mate. Why? Because that one person, more than any other person, is the one person who can really get to know you. It is the one person who can become your best friend. It is the one person who you can tell anything and everything to.
It is the most unique of all human relationships. Some have found this one true love in this life and others have not. Those of you who have found this one true love know exactly what I am talking about. Those of you who have not found this one true love at this time know the longing that you have to find this one special person.
This same longing that we have to meet this one true soulmate is the same longing that God has for all us. Except with God, this longing for us is much more intense. The fact that God would send down His one and only Son to our earth in the flesh to physically die on a cross in order to bring us back to Himself shows us more than anything else how much He really does love all of us.
The best analogy that I can give you on this is the “best friend analogy.” God wants to become your best friend, over your soulmate and over any other best friends you may have in this life. He wants to be #1 in your life and He will not settle for anything less. The Bible says that God the Father is a jealous God, a consuming fire.
Some Christians believe that if they go to church once a week, sing a few songs in church, and pay their tithe, that they are “in relationship” with God. However, God wants more than this. He wants you 7 days of the week, not just one time a week in a church service.
He wants to be able to freely communicate with you 24/7. He wants you to talk with Him just like you would talk to your best friend. He wants dynamic free flowing conversation with you on anything you want to personally discuss with Him, no matter how small or trivial it may seem to you. And He then wants you to be open to listening to anything that He may have to say to you.
What happens to some Christians is that they have not established this kind of close personal relationship with the Lord, and then when a crisis or emergency presents itself, it is already too late to try to get God to answer their prayer.
Notice that Jesus starts the first sentence out with the word “IF.” IF you have established a good, personal relationship with God, THEN you can approach Him with your prayer requests, and THEN He will answer them.
Too many Christians attempt to use God. The only time they ever approach God is when they need something specific from Him. God thus has no natural desire to answer any prayer request they may have because they have never established any kind of true personal relationship with Him.
One of the things I felt like the Holy Spirit has conveyed to me is that if you really want to be able to get God to answer more of your prayers, then you have to create a desire in God to want to answer more of your prayers.
And the #1 way that you create a desire in God to get Him to want to answer more of your prayer requests is by establishing a good, intimate, personal relationship with Him.
The Parent-Child Analogy
The analogy the Holy Spirit gave me to understand all of this was the “Parent-Child Analogy.” Imagine you are the parent and you have two small children. The one boy really loves you. He has established a true, loving, personal relationship with you.
He wants to hang out with you. He comes home from school and tells you everything that happened to him that day. He tells you all the little things that may have gone right or wrong during the day. He values your opinion.
When he gets older and more mature, all of sudden he wants to hear more about you, your life, and your problems. He wants to know more about you, your past, why you do what you do and why you think the way that you do. This child is truly abiding in you, truly living in you. You feel like you and him are “one in spirit.” As you grow older, your personal relationship deepens and keeps getting better and better.
Then you have the other child. He could care less about you and your personality. The only time he will ever approach you is when he needs something specific from you. He will even go as far as to act like he cares about you, but once he gets what he wants from you, he is back to ignoring you until the next time he needs something from you.
As he grows older, you grow farther and farther apart. When he is finally able to leave home on his own, you never hear from him unless he once again needs something specific from you. He hardly ever calls or comes over.
Now if you are the loving father over these two children, which of the two will you have a strong, natural desire to help out when they may need your help on something? You will have no natural desire to help the one who has been using you over all of those years.
However, with the child who has established a true, loving, personal relationship with you, you will bend over backwards to give that child anything and everything that he may need. Why? Because he loves you for you! He does not love you for what you can do for him. He loves you for the person that you are and for the friend that you have become for him over all those years.
In fact, your love for this loving son will be so great, many of the times you will give him what he will need before he will even ask you for it. Why? Because you are so in tune with him, you will know what he will need sometimes before he will even know what he will need.
Then you will want to give it to him before he will even ask you for it because your love for him is so great. You have a very strong natural desire to want to make him happy, all because of the good personal relationship that he has established with you over all those years.
It is the exact same way with God the Father! Establish a true, loving, intimate, personal relationship with God the Father and see if your whole life does not do a complete 180! Nothing will touch the heart of God more than you attempting to establish a good, close, personal relationship with Him – with you truly wanting Him for who He is, not for what He can do for you by way of material blessings.
Again – as a word of caution – God cannot be tricked or duped.
You cannot try and enter into this kind of personal relationship with God in order to try and get Him to give you all of your wants and desires.
Your motives must be pure!
You enter into a good personal relationship with the Lord because you want to get to know Him personally!
You do not enter into this kind of a personal relationship with Him to see how much He can give you.
You have to want God for who He is – not for what He can do for you. The Bible tells us to seek the face of God – not His hand.
For those of you who have truly established this kind of close, intimate, personal relationship with God, I am sure you can testify that this is truly the greatest experience that anyone of us can have this side of heaven – that this one and only true God in the entire universe can actually make direct contact with you, communicate and talk directly with you, and establish a real, intimate, personal relationship with you.
For those of you who have not really established this kind of close personal relationship with God, the one thing that I can tell you is that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
God will handle and relate to you on the level that you are currently operating at with Him. This kind of intimate personal relationship with the Lord is not built up overnight, but over time.
God can satisfy and meet the deeper longings of your soul and spirit that no human could ever reach! He can truly give you a perfect, pure, and unconditional love that no other person will be able to give you in this life.
He will be able to love you better and deeper than anyone else in your life – including the good natural love that you can get from your parents, your children, your marriage mates, and some of your better friends.
You can totally trust God because He is totally and completely perfect in all of His ways. He will not hurt you or harm you in any way. God has no dark side to His personality, so He is completely trustworthy. He is totally incapable of hurting you in any way.
Some Christians are afraid to go deeper with God in their own personal relationship with Him because they have been terribly hurt in other relationships, whether it be from their parents, their lovers, or some of their friends.
All humans are imperfect and they are thus not capable of giving you any kind of perfect true love.
Since God is completely and totally perfect in His very nature and in all of His ways – then He, and only He, is the only One who can give you that perfect, pure, true, and unconditional love that you are really looking for in this life.
2. The Bible
Now we come to the second secret that is in the above verse. Note the second part of the first sentence then says, “My words abide in you.” I believe Jesus is telling us two things in this sentence.
His “Words” are literally meaning His Words. If you have established a good, loving, personal relationship with God, then He will talk to you just like you will talk to Him.
And if He is talking to you, then His words will be abiding in you! This will be as a direct result of the free flowing dialogue that you will have with God as a result of having established a close, intimate, personal relationship with Him.
The other meaning to His words abiding in you is that He is referring to the Bible. If you really want to enter into a close personal relationship with God, then you have to be willing to spend some type of regular quality time reading the Bible. The Bible is the only one true source that we have down here on this earth where we can really learn all about God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
When you first enter into a true, personal, love relationship with someone, the very first natural desire you will have is that you will want to get to know everything you can about this person. You will want to know about all of their likes, their dislikes, where they have come from, and what they have been through. And the only way that you can find all of this out about them is by asking a lot of questions.
With God, the #1 way that you will learn all about Him is to read the Bible, because the Bible will tell you everything that you will need to know about Him, His Son Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit.
You have to seek after knowledge about the Lord – and the Bible is the #1 main source that we have on this earth that can teach us about God and all of His ways.
To summarize the revelation in the above Scripture verse in one bottom line statement:
God is looking to establish a close, intimate, personal relationship with each one of us. This is done in two ways:
- By establishing a direct, free-flowing, and spontaneous best friend relationship with God where you commune and talk with Him on a regular and frequent basis in the exact same way you would with a best friend.
- And by seeking after the knowledge of God – trying to get to know all you can about Him by studying and meditating on what is written in the Holy Bible.
I guarantee you that if you are willing to enter into both of these realms with the Lord, your life will never be the same again. This close, intimate, personal relationship that you can enter into with the Lord will be the door opener that will change the course of your entire life forever. The journey is there for all who are willing to step into it!
by Anon ()
Thank you St Joseph for your help. Thank you so much..Thank You God for answering my prayers through the intercessions of St Joseph. 🙂
O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong,
so prompt before the Throne of God,
I place in you all my interests and desires.
O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession
and obtain for me from your Divine Son
all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord;
so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power
I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage
to the most Loving of Fathers.
O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you
and Jesus asleep in your arms.
I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me,
and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls,
pray for us.
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