How to Pray
At Spiritual Life Church, we believe that
anyone can have a personal relationship with God and with Jesus Christ,
Many of us are raised in the tradition of
praying only at certain times, in certain places. We pray in church, at
funerals, over meals, at bedtime. But when you have a personal
relationship with God, you can pray all day, every day. At first, it may
seem like a burden, one more thing to do, about as exciting as exercise,
or mowing the lawn, or doing the dishes. But I think youíll find that
prayer will quickly become as natural as breathing, and a tremendous
"Be joyful always, pray at all times, be
thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your
life in union with Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Many people hesitate to offer their prayers to
God because they think they donít know the "right" words.
God isnít impressed by big words and flowery language. He just wants
to hear from you, His child. Pray in your own words. God knows whatís
in your heart. Talk to Him. Praise Him. Give thanks for a safe trip.
Pray for a friend in chemotherapy. Ask forgiveness for those hurtful
words. Praise God for that beautiful sunset. Ask for His guidance as you
take on a new project. You donít have to wait for a special time and
place. Say your prayer right then. God hears you.
Many of us are so caught up in our busy lives,
we get in the habit of thinking only about ourselves. Remember others,
family, friends and strangers, when you pray. Remember, too, that a
prayer is not a "wish list". God doesnít grant us everything
we ask for, when we ask for it.
We may think we know what we need and want, but
only God knows for sure. Only God knows when the time is right, or if weíre
ready to receive what we ask for.
Jesus tells us, "When you pray, do not use
a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that God will
hear them because theyíre prayers are long. Do not be like them. Your
Father already knows what you need before you ask Him." Matthew
The second part of prayer is listening.
Sometimes weíre so busy talking, we forget that God may have something
to tell us. Set aside a few minutes of quiet time each day just to be
Youíll be amazed what a difference it makes
in your life. How calm youíll begin to feel, how small the problems of
every day life begin to seem.
Be an example to your children. Donít tell
them to pray, but pray with them. A member of our congregation tells me
that one of the fondest memories she has of her childhood is kneeling
beside her bed with her father as they recited the classic childís
bedtime prayer together: "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the
Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my
soul to take."
Most important of all, remember to thank God,
and give Him Praise, even in bad times. What
a comfort, to know that youíre never alone. God and His Son, Jesus
Christ, are always with you.