I have been talking recently about spiritual growth. It is my belief that the best way to grow spiritually is to spend time with God by reading your Bible and by praying. My focus lately has been on reading the Bible. But, I wanted to switch gears a bit and talk to you today about prayer.
I don’t know about you, but I find that prayer can seem intimidating. Growing up in a Baptist church and hearing strong men pray always left me with the impression that my prayers should be like theirs. It was almost as if there a certain way that you should pray—a right way, which means that there is also a wrong way. Those men I listened to praying as a child always sounded so well-thought out and purposeful. Even the ladies in my Bible book club who lead prayers are always so, well, perfect. And, my prayers don’t feel anywhere close to that.
It may seem like our prayer life is a looming task to complete each day with set of rules that must be followed. (Must we be down on our knees to pray? Must our hands be folded? Must our prayers be eloquent and lofty? Should we only pray at certain times or at a certain place? How do we make sure God hears us?) Once you become a Child of God, praying should be a joy-filled exercise that becomes as second nature as breathing.
Praying may seem like a hard thing, but I must tell you--there is no such thing as a wrong way to pray. The Bible tells us that our prayers will be met with God’s delight. (See Proverbs 15:8 and Psalm 149:4) So, I think God is just happy to hear from us. And, while Jesus does provide us with guidance on how to pray via The Lord’s Prayer, we also learn from the Bible that the Holy Spirit will help us pray when we don’t know how to.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. (Romans 8:26-27)
Honestly, I think any communication we have with the Lord is a good thing. Do you have an inner dialogue or monologue with yourself? I do! And, I am willing to bet that you do too. I mean, don’t we all talk to ourselves? I have always done this. And, I have realized that rather than just talking to myself, I can talk to God! You can too. I often think of Paul’s command in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing. This seems like an impossible task. But, if you start directing your self-talk to God, you can come a lot closer to praying, or at the very least, communicating without ceasing. And, I believe that this is and can be a form of prayer.
We are self-centered creatures and often go to God in prayer for something we need or want. We put ourselves first. We put our needs first. We put our problems first. Thus, we focus on the wrong things.
If we truly love and trust in Christ, we should put Him first. Then, we can come to God in prayer and be confident in His peace and sovereignty. We need to honor God with our prayers and communication. We need to put God first in our prayers, just as we need to put Him first in our lives. When we put God first in our prayers and in our lives, it puts everything in the right perspective. So, before you go to God asking for His help with things in your life, take a few moments to thank Him first. God first always.
So, no matter how you do it, I want to encourage to pray as often as you can. Just remember to put God first. As I have been typing up this post, I have been thinking of a hymn that goes along with this subject perfectly, “Have a Little Talk with Jesus” by Cleavant Derricks. I want to leave you a link so you can listen to it. And, below is the refrain that fits so well with this topic of prayer. Please, go ahead and have a little talk with Jesus
(Now let us) have a little talk with Jesus
(Let us) tell Him all about our troubles
(He will) hear our fainted cry
(He will) answer by and by
(When you) feel a little prayer wheel turning
(And you) know a little fire is burnin’
(You will) find a little talk with Jesus makes it right
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light and any good thing that I come across.