How to Pray – Really pray
Why It Can Be Hard To Pray
Maybe you just started going to church (for the first time or for the first time in a long time). Or maybe you've been going to years but still don't really know how to pray. Either way praying daily can seem impossible at times. Theses are my tips for anyone who needs help getting started.
You've never prayed before
You may have never prayed in your life. Prayer can be very personal or something you do with your family or community. Starting with your personal prayer life is the easiest.
A prayer is just talking to God about something - anything. It's thanking Him for something, asking for something, or just telling him your fears. Praying is a conversation between you and God.
Start small. Say a quick prayer before dinner each night. Thank God for your food and providing everything you needed to make it. Pray for the people you're eating with, ask God to watch over them during the week. And thank God for a hot meal and a place to eat at night.
As you get more used to prayer it becomes much easier and more natural. Say your prayer out loud or in your head. God hears you whether you speak or not. Just taking time out of the day to sit with God is a huge step toward a better relationship with Him.
You haven't prayed in a while
Maybe you grew up saying prayers at the dinner table. Or you go to church but you're not really involved. Maybe you just recently started going to church after a break from it. No matter what happened, praying daily can help relieve your stress, anger, sadness and it will make you more thankful for the things in your life.
Start by saying a prayer every morning. Thank God for waking up alive, and putting a roof over your head. Ask him to protect you from harm's way during your day. Ask him to help you with anything you're struggling with - work, money, your car, your relationships, ANYTHING. Saying a prayer before starting you day can completely change your outlook on the day.
Once you get comfortable praying everyday start doing it more often. If you are nervous about something, say a quick prayer. When you sit down to lunch and dinner, pray. When someone around you is having a tough time, pray for them. There are a million things to talk to God about. Start the conversation and eventually it'll become much easier to pray.
You don't know what to pray about
If you don't know where to start the best thing you can do is a challenge! Look up prayer challenge on Pinterest, or just what to pray. There are a ton of lists, ideas and people to pray for. Start there and work your way out.
Pray for the people around you, your family, friends and neighbors. Ask people how you can pray for them. Pray about anything that you would talk to a friend about. Pray about your worries, your fears, your joys, your struggles and the things that cause you stress.
Praying vs. Talking to God
There is a difference between praying to God and talking to God. Prayer is something we do in religions. It's something we do before meal, or during the Christmas season. We pray in church, we pray at funerals and we pray in hospitals. Talking to God is something you should do every single day. Prayer is important and a key part of the Christian religion but talking with God is how you really develop a relationship with Him.
Talking with God isn't hard. Tell him your worries, your fears, things that make you happy, things you're thankful for. Talk to Him like you're talking with a friend and you will find prayer much easier.
Things I Pray For Each Week
Right now I'm working on the 31 days of prayer challenge that Madison from the Wetherhills Say I Do blog started up back in July. I absolutely love the idea of kick starting your pray life by doing this challenge. I also love that she focuses on prayers each day for one specific person. If you have no idea what to pray about, start here.
In addition to the prayer challenge, there are things I pray for every day/week/month. Below are a few of the most common prayers, and hopefully they will give you some ideas!
- I thank God for my health and my loved one's health.
- I ask God to keep my family and friends safe doing their daily activities.
- I pray for my family's struggles. (example, If my boyfriend had a hard day at work, I pray for God to give him the chance to relax)
- I ask for patience. It's something I struggle with often and I'm slowly working at it.
- I pray for my sisters to make smart decisions in school, with boys and in life.
- I ask God to watch over my parents. They both have stressful jobs that can really tire them out, I ask Him to relieve that stress.
- I thank God for my opportunities. I'm in school, I work full time and I have my Etsy shop and this blog. I'm grateful for each one.
- I ask God to protect my boyfriend and the thousands of other in the U.S. Military.
Of course I thank God for the small things that happen everyday. I thank Him for my meals, my car starting properly, my family's support, my friend's love and everything in between.
The easiest prayers to pray are the ones where you are thanking God for everything He has given you. Start there and work your way out. Good luck :)