woman praying in trees looking up to sky
Gaylynne Giliberto
Adult Bible Studies Coordinator
November 9, 2020

Have you ever wondered how to pray?

Maybe you have felt intimidated by the prayers of others, thinking they are eloquent, and you may not be able to do likewise.

Have you looked for resources to learn how to pray?

Bookstores have shelves of resources on the subject of prayer. The internet has pages of information and can be overwhelming leaving you to wonder where to start. 

But God’s Word, the Bible, has the answer for us to know how to pray.  

The Bible is full of resources. There’s a collection of King David’s prayers found in the Book of Psalms. King David knew God intimately and prayed for his every need. 

Here are a few of King David’s prayers you may find helpful: 

  • Psalm 17: God’s protection.
  • Psalm 27: God is faithful, and we can be confident in His love and care.
  • Psalm 28: God provides us with strength when we need His help to overcome situations.
  • Psalm 34: praising God for who He is.
  • Psalm 52: God’s enduring, everlasting love for us.
  • Psalm 86: God’s steadfast love for us gives us assurance He hears and answers our prayer.
  • Psalm 91: God is our refuge, who we may run to in times of trouble.

Now what?  Does it still seem a bit daunting? Let’s consider what prayer is.

What is prayer? 

We understand that prayer is important in the Bible. But what is prayer, anyway?

Bible and journal on table with mug of black coffee

Prayer is:

  • Talking to God like you would with anyone.  
  • Communication with God.
  • Prayer can be simply silent before God in awe of Him.
  • Putting your trust in God’s provisions.
  • Connection in God’s presence
  • Not simply a wish list you give to God.

So now where to start?

A helpful model when learning how to pray is ACTS:

A is for Adoration. Give praise to God for who He is. I like to read scripture and make lists of the attributes of God and Jesus, such as: creator, king, savior, holy, faithful, trustworthy, loving, patient, righteous and just, merciful and full of grace, compassionate, and so much more.

C is for Confess. Confess our wrongdoings. Anything that separates us from a relationship with God is sin. Sin may look like pride, putting other things before God, and desiring the wrong things. and persons. You may not murder, but there might be hatred, a time you may have said or thought hurtful things toward others, harbored selfish feelings, or judging others. We confess the things we know we have done wrong and ask God to reveal the things we do that displease him in order to receive His forgiveness.

T is for Thanks. Be thankful in every situation. God gave us Jesus, to helping us exist to impact the world with the love of Christ, to value every[one], influence every[where] we go and give generously with every[thing]we have.  Give thanks for everything that you have.

Thank God for His Word, the Bible, for peace, joy and patience, understanding, faithfully forgiving us, protecting and providing for us. Thank Him for all you have in life, even the unfortunate things that may be something He is using for His glory.

S is for Supplication. Make your requests known to God in accordance with His will. Remember, prayer is not your Christmas wish list or demands of God.  We can pray for ourselves, to be more like Christ, loving, compassionate, faithful, to understand scripture, or whatever your personal need may be. Pray for others, for their relationship with Christ, for God to provide for their needs.   This is when I pray scripture back to God, claiming His promises and entrusting Him with the request.  

Jesus Teaches us How To Pray

In Matthew 6:6-15, Jesus gave his disciples the steps on how to pray.  Go into a quiet place to be alone with God, realizing God knows our needs and we pray trusting He will answer or prayer.  

Jesus gave a model for prayer:

  1. Pray to God, that He would be received by others. Pray that the attempts from our enemies would be overcome as Christ overcame death.  We pray that God would act on behalf of His name, His kingdom and His will for our lives.
  2. Ask God to provide for our daily needs, to forgive our wrongdoings, and to lead and deliver us from temptations. God wants nothing but the best for us and will provide and protect by His power.
  3. We must have a forgiving spirit, we need to realize we are part of God’s family, united by Christ loving and forgiving of others as Christ does.

Tips when first practicing how to pray:

  • Begin praying alone. 
  • Start with opening the Bible, maybe the books of Psalms or Proverbs. Ask yourself what the passage says about who God is and what He desires of you.
  • Have a journal and write down praise of God, your faults, the things you give Him thanks for and then the things you are requesting for yourself and others. I have found this to be a way to continue to pray for a need and watch how God answers that prayer.  

Prayer is a relationship builder with God and like with any other relationship, it takes time. Do not be discouraged if you find this difficult. If you would like someone to pray over you or with you, contact our prayer team today.

“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the Lord’s people,” Ephesians 6:18.