Is prayer something that you can “learn” or does it just come naturally? Quite simply, you can learn to pray by praying. God invites us to “ask” of Him. Asking is a good starting point to praying. But won’t God feel “used” by my asking? God wouldn’t invite us to ask if He didn’t want us to ask. Right? Actually, asking is a form of worship because it shows our dependency on God.
As you pray take note of the following to help you pray:
1. Become aware of God’s interaction with you. Look back on the events of the day. Your day may seem confusing to you—a blur, a jumble, or disconnected events. Ask God to help you be aware of “Godwinks.” Godwinks are those moments we may call coincidence but are actually God’s way pf getting your attention and reminding you He is interacting with you.
When and where God interrupts His natural laws by miraculous, supernatural intervention is not always clear. And what exact relationship exists between a believer’s prayers (answered and “unanswered”) and the outworking of God’s plans and purposes does not have a simple answer. We do know, however, that “the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16), and also that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).
2. Review your day with gratitude. Gratitude is the foundation of our relationship with God. Walk through your day in the presence of God. Focus on the day’s blessings. Look at the work you did, the people you interacted with. What did you receive from these people? What did you give them? Pay attention to small things—the food you ate, the sights you saw, and other seemingly small pleasures. God is in the details.
3. Pay attention to your emotions. We detect the presence of the Spirit of God in the movements of our emotions. Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day. Boredom? Elation? Resentment? Compassion? Anger? Confidence? What is God saying through these feelings? Look for implications. Does a feeling of unsettledness perhaps mean that God wants you consider a new direction in some area of your life? Are you concerned about a friend?
4. Choose one aspect of the day and pray from it. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important. It may involve a feeling—positive or negative. It may be a significant encounter with another person or a vivid moment of happiness or peace. Or it may be something that seems rather insignificant. Look at it. Pray about it.
5. Look toward tomorrow. Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s circumstances. Pay attention to the feelings that surface as you survey what’s coming up. Are you doubtful? Cheerful? Apprehensive? Allow these feelings to turn into prayer. Seek God’s guidance. Ask him for help and understanding. Pray for hope.
“I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know, God answers prayer
I know that He has given His Word
Which tells me prayer is always heard
And will be answered soon or late
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought
But leave my prayers with him alone
Whose will is wiser than my own
Assured that he will grant my quest
Or send some answer far more blessed.”
What answers to prayer have you received? Is there something we can pray about with you? Leave a comment or a request.