Suggestions for Praying

Since there are many ways to pray, here are a few possibilities. Don't feel limited to just these ideas but experiment with other variations that help you to focus on God.

1. Begin by quieting your mind and body. Take slow and gentle breathes and seek to be attentive to the presence of our Triune God (see Psalm 46:10). How do you sense God? How might God be encouraging your prayers? 

You may want to try listening prayer, an approach to prayer that intentionally focuses on listening to what God is telling you. Read more about listening prayer here.

2. Many people find models helpful in praying.

One of the most common and balanced models is that of A.C.T.S.:

A= Adoration which praises God for God's nature and being,

C= Confession and invites us to seek forgiveness and cleansing for our lives,

T= Thanksgiving provides an opportunity to say thanks to God for all the blessings and gifts we have received, and

S= Supplication or presenting the needs and desires of others and ourselves to God.

3. Try praying a prayer from the Bible. The Psalms are excellent examples. Also you can use any of Paul's prayers (i.e. Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-21; Philippians 1:3-11; Colossians 1:3-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; Philemon 4-7). As you read these samples personalize them into your own prayers.

4. Read a section of the newspaper or watch the news and pray for the needs of our nation and world.

5. When you don't have a clue how to pray or what to pray, and realize we all have times like that, remember the incredible truth that Jesus Christ is always interceding for us (see Hebrews 7:25). Ask Jesus, how he is praying for you or others at this time? How might this assist your own prayers?

Remember, praying is like any other spiritual exercise. It takes time to develop and the best way to learn is through practicing. Don't be discouraged! And if you do feel that way, make that your prayer to God.