Suggestions on How to Pray
Posted on July 10, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters
Lord, teach us to pray. Luke 11:1-4
I am fascinated with prayer and learning how to pray. I recently read an article by Pastor Chad Bird on prayer that intrigued me. I wanted to share this article with you:
Many of you are probably familiar with the expression, “Lord, teach us to pray…” from Luke 11. What you might not be as familiar with is the rest of the sentence, “…as John taught his disciples.”
As John taught his disciples. What are the implications of this? Both of these teachers, John and Jesus, had disciples who, on their own, did not know how to pray. Or perhaps wanted to grow in their understanding and/or practice of prayer. Or were looking for specific direction. Or wanted to know the exact words to say.
Either way, prayer was not something that just came to them naturally, like eating and drinking and sleeping. Prayer, like any language, is learned. To his disciples, Jesus gave the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer is essentially the entire book of Psalms summarized in seven “asks” or petitions. Pray the Psalms and you’ll hear echoes of the Our Father reverberating constantly.
Here are a few other ideas for talking to our Lord:
- Several times a day, repeat a short prayer and dwell on a different word each time. My favorite is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (the so-called Jesus Prayer). I will sometimes also just name people who are on my mind, saying, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on ________.”
- With the Lord’s Prayer, you can either pray all the way through it, or take one or more of the petitions and expand upon them. Something like, “Our Father, who art in heaven, thank you for making me your son/daughter, for being my Father, for adopting me into your family and giving me your name, etc.”
- My best recommendation is to pray the Psalms in order. The advantage of praying through all the psalms, over and over, instead of cherry-picking the ones you feel like praying, is that the full scope of the psalms begin to form your prayers. In a way, they pray you instead of you praying them. These words *from* God becomes your words back *to* God.
- One other option is to turn other words of Scripture into prayer. It’s very simple. For instance, “In the beginning, you, O God, created the heavens and the earth. Praise to you for the gift of this world, my body and soul, my family, my business, for they are all a gift from you.” Or, “Jesus, you have told us who are weary and heavy laden to come to you. Give me rest. Place your light yoke upon me. Help me to learn from you.”
I love praying Scripture and look forward to praying through the Psalms. Don’t knock it to you try it.
Have a great week!
Anchored to the Rock,
Bill Welte, President/CEO
Written by Bill Welte: President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12