By Jordan Guerra
Prayer is the most powerful action that a believer can do. This is how we become children of God and this is how we lift each other up; however, the most important aspect of prayer is the definition of it: communication with God.
When you communicate with a physical person right in front of you, you’re not the only one that talks. Even when I talk to my dog, I pause as if he’s going to answer me. A conversation has two sides. Prayer is just as much about receiving as it is expressing. We all want to tell God our problems, but do we ever stop talking to let Him tell us that He’s got it under control?
I remember as a student in Jr. High, a drama ministry group from Southwestern Assemblies of God University came to my church to minister for a weekend. Before we ate our meals, their staff advisor prayed, but first he was silent. He listened to what the Holy Spirit was telling him, and THEN he prayed. He actually let God talk to him first. I remember thinking, “I never let God talk first. That’s just selfish.” That was when my thought process of prayer life changed forever.
You know how the big thing with Christians lately is to say “it’s a relationship, not a religion?” Well, tonight I decided that I want more than a relationship. I have a relationship with my friend/editor, Cody, who invited me to start writing for this website. When we see each other, we know who the other is. We greet each other when we see each other, but because our lives are so busy, that’s about the extent of our relationship. With God, I want FELLOWSHIP. I want to be able to say “Hi, Jesus!” and He say “Hey, Jordan!” and we keep taking turns talking to each other. It’s the back and forth that is important. Without hearing God’s direction, we will never have more than just a simple relationship. God wants to have a deep fellowship with each and every one of us.
The second part of this post is HOW to pray. I’ve been told twice in the past month that I “pray good.” So, I want to give you guys my strategies for prayer. When Jesus was on the Earth, He gave us instructions on how to pray. We call this The Lord’s Prayer that is found in Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV):
“In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in Heaven
*Identify who you’re talking to. Praise Him.
Hallowed be Your name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
*Be open His plans for your life while you’re on Earth.
On Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
*Thank Him for what He’s provided you.
And forgive us our debts
*Ask for forgiveness for the sins you committed today.
As we forgive our debtors.
*Don’t lie, you know you do every day & need forgiveness.
And do not lead us into temptation,
*Ask God to guide you to the right way.
But deliver us from evil,
*Tell Him what’s going on that you need help with.
For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever
*You enter with praise, you exit with praise.
I know it’s popular to close your eyes to pray. In public, totally do this so it’s just you and God. But when it’s your bedtime prayers, keep your eyes open so you stay focused.
I don’t use big words. Seriously, if it makes sense to me, it makes sense to God. He knows my heart. It’s just me and Him. You don’t have to talk like you’ve studied theology for 8 years and use Hebrew and Greek words that are in the Bible. And if you do, make sure you know what you’re saying first. Bible glossaries and Google are great tools if you learn a foreign word from the Bible or in church.
Also, I ALWAYS back up my prayers with scripture. This is so I know that it lines up with God’s will, and as His Word says, it WILL BE DONE.
I hope this helps anyone who finds it hard to pray. You don’t automatically become an expert at what to say when you become a follower of Christ. It’s okay to be simple. I know it’s something that I’ve struggled with for a long time, and prayer life can always grow.