If I’m being honest, my prayer life is something I struggle with. We are clearly instructed to pray in the Bible. In Ephesians we are told to “pray at all times” (Ephesians 6: 18 CSB), and 1 Thessalonians we are told to “pray constantly” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 CSB). Jesus says in Matthew, “WHEN you pray” (not IF you pray) (Matthew 6:6 CSB, emphasis mine). I always feel that I don’t know how to pray, and I certainly feel that my words are not eloquent enough to approach God. I’m always in awe of people who pray “good” prayers, especially in front of others. The Gospel mentions Jesus praying more than 25 times in his short ministry on earth. Who knows how many times he prayed that wasn’t recorded. If HE needed to pray, then how much more do we?? God’s Word tells us how powerful prayer is, “For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5 CSB). In the book of James we are told that prayer is very powerful (James 5: 16). Ok, so we know how important it is to pray and that it’s powerful, now HOW to pray? God has been whispering to my soul and telling me that He isn’t impressed with how big my vocabulary is, or how many words I use. He simply wants me to come to Him. Think of the most important human relationship in your life. If that person felt that they didn’t have the “right words” to have a conversation with you, so they simply didn’t speak to you at all, how would that make you feel?
So I have been thinking about a simple way to remember how to pray. It’s a simple acronym for PRAY.
Praise– Praise God first and foremost. For, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise” (Psalms 145: 3 NIV). “My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life” (Psalms 63: 3 CSB). If we don’t praise Him, “even the stones will cry out” (Luke 19: 40 CSB).
Repentance– Confessing our sins and asking God to reveal things that are hindering us is such an important part of prayer. “If we say ‘we have no sin’, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1: 8-9 CSB). In Matthew we are told to, “Produce fruit consistent with repentance” (Matthew 3: 8 CSB).
Ask– Simply ask God for what you need and the desires of your heart. “When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask” (Matthew 6: 7-8 CSB). And when we ask, we can be assured He hears us, “This is the confidence we have before Him: if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked of Him” (1 John 5: 14-15 CSB).
Your will– Ultimately we need to pray for God’s will to be done. “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God” (Psalms 143: 10 CSB).
I hope this simple acronym can help you. The most important thing is to talk to God. Ask Him to teach you how to pray and the words to use. He is faithful! If you have a specific way you pray, I’d love for you to share it with me in the comments. Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!