Abiathar

In His Steps

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Talking with Him.   HOW do I PRAY

Started Jan-1 by Abiathar; 36 views.
Abiathar
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From: Abiathar

Jan-1

When you were very young, did you suddenly start talking with your parents in long sentences and for great lengths of time? I doubt it. And yet they weren’t disappointed in you; they were delighted in your first attempts to speak.

In the same way, when we truly understand that God is our loving heavenly Father and we are His children, then we won’t worry so much about “running out of things to say” or disappointing Him. God wants us to talk with Him, our heavenly Father, and He takes delight in us when we come to Him in prayer. When His disciples asked Jesus how to pray, He replied, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven …'” (Matthew 6:9).

Begin when you pray by thanking and praising God for His love and goodness. The Psalmist wrote, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:8, KJV). Then confess your sins and ask for His forgiveness. Finally, bring your concerns to Him. You may find it helpful to keep a list of people for whom you are praying.

Perhaps, however, the first prayer you need to make is one of faith, asking Christ to come into your life and giving yourself to Him. Christ has opened Heaven’s door for us by His death on the cross, and when we know Him, we know God hears our prayers.  Billy Graham.

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 be
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  • Edited January 1, 2018 6:37 pm  by  Abiathar
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