#1 Say the Lord’s Prayer
Jesus wants us to pray, and so he has taught us how to do it. Read Matthew 6:9-13 to see it for yourself…
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
This beautiful prayer does not simply give us the words to pray, but it also teaches us how to structure our own prayers and what sort of things we should be praying about.
If you’re starting out as a Christian then can I encourage you to start saying the Lord’s Prayer. You could start your day with it, then say it again at lunchtime and finish off the day by saying it before bed. This method of saying it three times a day is something Christians have been doing for hundreds of years, and many in our world today still do.
Struggling to know how to structure your prayers? Well now you can STOP worrying and use this little acrostic.
T: Thank you
#3 Pray at a set time each day
Every evening at around 10pm I have a prayer time. I get out a list of people and projects I want to pray for, and I start praying. If I didn’t have this set time of prayer every day, then I think I would often forget to get on my knees and thus forget to pray for the people I love.
#4 Pray all the time
Prayers can be quick and you can say them anywhere. God wants to hear from you. So pray all the time. Pray a prayer of praise when you see something beautiful. Pray for help just before a difficult conversation. Pray a prayer of thanks before you eat dinner. Pray as you’re walking to work/uni/school that today you would serve the Lord Jesus. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, pray!
#5 Mix it up
Sometimes I write my prayers. Sometimes I sing them. Sometimes I say them in my head. Sometimes I pray alone. Sometimes I pray with others. If prayer is feeling stale, then try something new!
#6 Pray what is on your heart
I pray for the people I love and projects I’m supporting every day. Sometimes I find this easy to do and I can spend ages doing it, but sometimes it is hard. I think it can be hard because those people/projects are not on my heart at that moment. So I just pray about what is on my heart. I do this because if it is on my heart then it is probably something I care about, and if it is something I care about then it is definitely something I should be lifting up to God.
#7 Let the apostle Paul be your guide
Paul prays some big prayers. I love praying them because they reveal to me how small my requests are in comparison and how much I could be asking for. Try these ones: Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 1:9-11, or Colossians 1:9-14.
#8 Let the Puritans be your guide
Surprise, surprise prayer is not a new thing. People have been praying for a long time and Christians from the past have a lot to teach us. There is a great book called the Valley of Vision that is full of beautiful prayers written by the Puritans. I love using it as it not only gives me powerful words to pray, but inspires me in my prayer life to pray more.
#9 Pray the Church of England way
The Church of England has a prayer resource that provides you with prayers from Scripture and from wise Christian thinkers every single day, three times a day. And it is all available on an app!!! I say the Night Time prayers and I’ve found that they help my heart to sing, direct my words, and give my personal prayers depth.
#10 Create a prayer schedule
If you’re like me there are a lot of people and projects you want to pray for. If I tried to pray for them all each night then not only would it take ages, but I think I would get very distracted and just give up. So, I created a prayer schedule. The schedule has two parts.
Part one: The daily schedule. This stays the same throughout the year. Monday I pray for my parents. Tuesday I pray for my older brother and his family. Wednesday I pray for my sister and her family. Thursday I pray for my littler brother. Friday I pray for one of my God children. Saturday I pray for the other. Sunday I pray for the Compassion child I sponsor.
Part two: the monthly schedule. At the beginning of each month I write a list of people and projects that need prayer. As the month goes on I add to it when the need arises. This includes people who are going through hard times, people I’m reading the Bible with, people I’m telling about Jesus ect. I pray for these people everyday for that month.
#11 Just start
Prayer is a conversation with God. He wants to have this conversation with you. He wants it so much that he gave his one and only Son Jesus Christ so that you could be in relationship with him.
So just start talking, because if you’re trusting in Jesus then God is already listening.