P-R-A-Y

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

Repentance

Ask

Your will

silhouette image of person praying
Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

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!

 

 

14 thoughts on “P-R-A-Y

  1. Love it! I’m right there with you. I’m a women of few spoken words. My words seem to sound better, at least to me, if they are written. But I do “just talk” with him through out the day. And then when there is a real struggle I need to go to him with, I simply and quiet and ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for me. I figure he knows better than me anyway. HE just wants us to come to him, he doesn’t really care how. Thanks for the reminders.

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  2. Crystal, this is such a meaty topic! Loved your point that if someone thought their words weren’t enough and just didn’t speak to us at all we’d be devastated. And the ever-unpopular repentance issue (it’s very hard to be willing to see our own huge faults sometimes) makes me remember years ago someone comparing how we feel like our prayers are going only up to the ceiling to the bank drive-thru vacuum canister. If something (our sin) is blocking the passage then nothing’s going through until it’s cleared up so we need to do some confessing!

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    1. Thank you, Ginger!! Yes, your comment brought to mind the verse where it says to pull the plank out of your eye before you pluck the splinter out of someone else’s. Woah! I ask God to reveal to me the areas I need work!!

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  3. When I was a little girl the church used the king James bible and when they prayed in church they would use this type of language and I never felt comfortable doing that because I was afraid I wouldn’t do it right. Now I know God here’s us before we say a word and I try to just talk to him because like you said he knows what we need before we ask. I loved this because I always feel uncomfortable in public. Thanks for your words.

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  4. I feel praying is one thing that I am really good at, especially praying for others. I pray for most all of the prayer requests I see in my feed, I pray for when loved ones are sick, having conflict or have lost someone they love. If you need a prayer warrior, I got your back. BUT, what I fail at is thanking God for answered prayers. I also fail at having willingness to pray in front of people. Prayer doesn’t have to be anything formal. We can talk to God anytime, anywhere. I talk to him in the shower, while I am in the car, in the early morning devotion time with just me and my coffee. My favorite place to chat is sitting in a chair ocean side with my feet in the water, admiring his greatest creation. 😉

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