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How Do I PRAY?

Have you ever sat down to pray and just didn’t know what to say? Or felt like your prayers were empty and meaningless? Or if God was even listening?

Prayer is one the most important things we can do in our lives, yet when life gets busy, its one of the first things we omit out of our daily schedules and what we give up when we do don’t see ‘our prayers working.’

Maybe one of the reasons prayer can be so difficult is because of it’s meaning.

In English, Pray means ‘to ask or beg.’

In Hebrew, the word for Pray tefillah means to ‘self-examine.’ The root word for tefillah is tofel, which means to ‘attach, join or bind together.’

In Aramic, the word for Pray salah means ‘to bow, worship.’

In Greek, the word for Pray proseuchomai means to ‘supplicate, to worship.’

As one can see, the definition for pray has a variety of definitions. So which definition is correct?

All of them.

Prayer is way to worship God, it is a way to sit before God to self-examine ourselves and how we ask God to intercede on our behalf and bow before Him in His presence.

Nonetheless, prayer doesn’t have one singular definition and fit into a box. Making prayer fit one singular definition would limit God’s abundant meaning, purpose and power for prayer. The purpose of prayer isn’t solely meant to just ask God for our own needs and personal gain, or just to ‘self-examine’ ourselves or just to worship. Prayer goes way beyond that.

Prayer is our invitation to God to open the door for His divine power to move the mountains in our lives and others. Taking our struggles to God through prayer invites Him into our lives, brings us into His presence and binds us closer together with Him.

So How Do We PRAY?

God doesn’t judge our prayers. They don’t have to be filled with eloquent words or with verbatim Scripture. We don’t have to be on our knees, bow our heads or even fold our hands. The prayer posture and how we pray is God’s least concern. God is more concerned about when we don’t pray and the condition of our hearts. Our prayers are a way to get our hearts right with God and communicate with Him.

If you struggle with what to say during prayer here is a prayer tool that may help.

Praise
Repent
Ask
Yield

If you struggle with what to say during prayer here is a prayer tool that may help. Praise Repent Ask YieldClick To Tweet

PRAISE
If you don’t know what to say, start with the very nature of what prayer is, praise. Some of the best prayers written in the Bible are prayers of praise spoken by David in the Psalms. Start telling God everything you are thankful for. Praising God first, sets our hearts and minds on our Creator and His greatness and puts us in His presence. Praise purifies and softens our hearts, so we can hear what God is saying. (James 4:6-10)

REPENT
Next comes the hard part of what prayer is—repentance. No one likes to admit their wrongs or even speak them out loud. Confessing our sins to God, opens a door for His forgiveness, so we don’t allow sin to reign in our lives but allow more room for God’s truth and grace. Confession allows us to humbly come before our Lord, lay our burdens at His feet, so He can do something greater than we ever could on our own. Confession invites God in to intervene on our behalf. (Matt. 3:8, Isa. 30:15).

ASK
Next, tell God all that is troubling you. He wants to hear what is in your heart. He wants every part of you, struggles and all. Ask God for help and healing, to supply for your needs, your provision, safety, wisdom, discernment, guidance, direction. God is always bigger than our struggles and can handle anything we ask of Him. (Phil. 4:19)

YIELD
Lastly, yield to God. Submitting our ways to God to His will and way, allows for God’s greater plan to happen through us. Pray for God’s desires to be your desires. At the end of the day, it’s about God’s plans, not ours. (1 Peter 5:6, James 4:7)

We may not always know what to say, but know when we are silent that is what Satan desires for us.

Satan tries to limit your praying because he knows your praying will limit him. ~Zig ZiglarClick To Tweet

Next time you pray, don’t allow Satan to keep you silent. Cutting prayer out of our lives, cuts our direct communication and relationship off with God, which is exactly what Satan wants. Your prayers matter and make a difference to God. Never stop praying, He is listening.

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There is Victory in our Thankfulness!

Have you ever had one of those days, where you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed?  You started your day in a foul mood and just couldn’t seem to shake the bad attitude?  I sure have!  I can always tell when I start the day off to a wrong start when I am in a pattern of complaining.  Each complaint takes my day towards a spiral downward in the wrong direction!

It isn’t until I have stopped to acknowledge God for all I am thankful for, that my perspective starts to change.  He gently reminds me that He’s got it and I need not to worry how things are going to work out. I just need to trust in Him.

When I am in a pattern of complaining I am reminded of the Israelites wandering in the desert for all those years.  The Israelite’s were concerned how they would be provided for.  They turned to Moses, who was leading them through the desert, asking him for food and water.  Each time they went to him with their requests, they were provided for by God, in more ways than they even realized.  In all the times they were provided for, not one time did the Israelite’s give thanks to God to all He had given them.  They were in an ugly pattern of complaining and ungratefulness.

Oh, how convicted I am when I read their story.  How many times have I been in this pattern not stopping to thank God all I am thankful for? The conditions in the desert were not the most desirable, but the Israelites were always provided for.  Yes, I am sure it was hot and even uncomfortable wandering around in that desert.  But the Israelites never went hungry, their clothes never became torn or tattered, and they even had water to drink.  They may not have liked their circumstances, but their circumstances became so much worse when they grumbled and complained, leaving them unsatisfied, wanting more.

God was trying to teach the Israelites that He is the provider and maker of all things.  He is the source of anything we could ever need.  God was showing them true happiness isn’t waiting for perfect circumstances to occur but learning to be happy with what you have right now.  

There is Victory in Thankfulness!

It is hard to complain and be thankful at the same time. Thankfulness can turn struggles, troubles and tragedy into hope.  Only God can turn our valleys of troubles into a door of Hope (Hosea 2:15).

There is always something to be thankful for no matter how desperate our circumstances.  Focusing on what we’re THANKFUL for, turns our circumstances in an UPWARD direction back towards God.  It helps us STAY FOCUSED on what He has provided for us.  We may not always have the best of circumstances or even like them, but know God has it all worked out.  He has the best plans ever!

Thankfulness could have not only helped change the Israelites situation but really helped changed their hearts as well.  Focusing on what we don’t have will always leave us unhappy, dissatisfied and wanting more.  Thankfulness turns what we have into enough, a meal into a feast and a stranger into a friend (quote Melody Beattie).

How has thankfulness helped change your perspective?  

When I am thankful it turns my grumbling heart into a happy heart.
When I am thankful it turns my complaining into gratitude.
When I am thankful in my storms, God turns them into something beautiful.

Psalm 118:24 NKJV
“This is the day the Lord has made; 
We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Trust in God’s provision for you, be thankful for it, it will transform your circumstances and your heart!

'Be joyful, pray continually, Give thanks in all circumstances.' 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIVClick To Tweet

Want to read more about Thankfulness?  Read Psalm 100 and Psalm 145.  

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