We are so diminutive; so small in the universe. Think about it for too long and it will surely start to feel like we’re insignificant in God’s realm, because he is so BIG. But through Jesus, we have been given the gift of prayer; the ability to talk to God like He’s our best friend. We don’t have to wonder “How do I do this?” or feel awkward that He’s not here or not listening. To pray, just talk as if you’re talking to your parents or sister or brother or friend.
Jesus gives us an example of a prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. “So when you pray, you should pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, we pray that your name will always be kept holy. We pray that your kingdom will come.We pray that what you want will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. Give us the food we need for each day. Forgive the sins we have done, just as we have forgiven those who did wrong to us. And do not cause us to be tested; but save us from the Evil One.’ [The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen.]” (ICB)
When you pray, make sure your heart is genuine and true. Talk to Him in all sincerity, because through the Holy Spirit, your heart speaks.
“Our Father in heaven, we pray that your name will always be kept holy.”
1. Acknowledge how great God is.
Begin your prayer by telling God that you know how great He is, and you cannot begin to compare to Him. Acknowledge the power that He has, and how His power applies to your prayer.
“The voice of Jehovah is powerful; The voice of Jehovah is full of majesty.” Psalm 29:4 (ASV)
- In Suffering: “Lord God, only you can help me.”
- In Thanksgiving: “Mighty God, you are great! Thank you for the grace and mercy that you are willing to extend.”
- With a Request: “Heavenly Father, please listen to my prayer. You alone are holy, and you have the power to make this right.”
- In Sorrow: “Oh Lord, my heart is breaking! It hurts to breath. But I know that You care, God. You care about me. Mend my broken heart, and lend me Your strength. You are strong enough to overcome and outlast anything.”
- With Repentance: “God. You know everything. There is nothing I can do, say, or think that You will not know. I cannot escape your presence.”
“We pray that your kingdom will come. We pray that what you want will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven.”
2. Give your life to God.
There’s an old American Folk Hymn that sings “Would you be poured out like wine upon the altar for Me? Would you be broken like bread to feed the hungry? Would you be so one with Me that you would do just as I will? Would you be light and life and love My Word fulfilled?” The second verse responds to God’s call in the first verse, saying “Yes, I’ll be poured out like wine upon the altar for You. Yes, I’ll be broken like bread to feed the hungry. Yes, I’ll be so one with You that I would do just as You will. Yes, I’ll be light and life and love Your Word fulfilled.” Express it in your prayer. Let God know that you want to be ready to do His will, no matter what it is.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.” Romans 12:1 (ASV)
- In Suffering: “I don’t understand what You want from me, but I am trying to do your will. Please show me what You want me to do.”
- In Thanksgiving: “Use me God! I want to be a part of your awesome plans.”
- With a Request: “I want to do Your will, but I need Your help. Whatever it is, help me to do it. Help me know what to do.”
- In Sorrow: “God, how can you want this? Help me understand Your will. Help me understand what you want from me, so that I can carry it through as you wish.”
- With Repentance: “You have a plan for me. Sometimes I don’t go along with what You have planned, but I’m trying Lord. My spirit is willing, but my body is so weak. Tame my rebellious spirit, oh Lord.”
“Give us the food we need for each day.”
3. Make your request.
Let God know what it is that you want from Him. He takes delight in your requests. He wants to bless you. All you have to do is ask.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you,” Matthew 7:7 (ASV)
- In Suffering: “I’m having trouble Lord, and I need Your help. Please help me understand how to remove this thorn of suffering, or if it’s Your will for me to struggle with it, then help me learn to live with it and grow in faith because of it. Show me Your ways, oh God. Give me understanding.“
- In Thanksgiving: “These earthly blessings that you provide are all momentary, but please help this joy that I feel last beyond today. Help me feel this strength and happiness in You, even when I find myself in harder times tomorrow.”
- With a Request: “God, I come to you now with a request, heavy on my heart. I know you will listen to me, and I know you will respond. I wish for your will to be done, Lord; but if there is any way, then could it fit into Your divine plan, for…(continue by stating your request)”
- In Sorrow: “Stop the pain, Lord. You are the Father of Comfort; please share your peace with me. It’s too much for me to handle on my own. This night is too dark. Please shine your light on me again. Help me feel Your joy, so that I can live again.”
- With Repentance: “I’m sorry. I’ve sinned against you God. You know what I’ve done. I’m ashamed of the way that I acted. (Admit to Him what it was that you are sorry for.) Please forgive me, God. Help me be better.”
“Forgive the sins we have done, just as we have forgiven those who did wrong to us.”
4. Acknowledge that you are a sinner, and you need His forgiveness.
Humble yourself. Tell Him what He means to you. Be sure to thank Him for the forgiveness He extends to you.
“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23 (ASV)
- In Suffering: “You know that I am not perfect. I cannot help myself, Lord. I shouldn’t even have the ability to speak to You, because of my sins; but because of Jesus’ sacrifice for me, You listen. Thank you for listening, Lord.”
- In Thanksgiving: “I am a sinner, I am not worthy, and yet here I am, before You, able to talk to You as a daughter or son can speak to their father. Thank you God, for this amazing ability to talk to you. Thank you for forgiving my sins, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. All I have to do is ask.”
- With a Request: “I don’t deserve what I’m asking. I know that. But I come humbly before you Lord, as a sinner looking for grace. Please hear my plea, and remember Your own Son’s sacrifice. Forgive me, so that I may be redeemed and worthy of my request.”
- In Sorrow: “I am nothing more than a wild sparrow; no one cares about the sparrows Lord. I feel like I could die today and no one would notice. But you do, Lord. You care, and you know my pain.”
- With Repentance: “I strive to be perfect like you, God; but I’m not. I’m far from perfect. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t sin against you, whether in lusts or in lies or in doubts or complaints. I’m sorry, Lord.”
“And do not cause us to be tested; but save us from the Evil One.”
5. Acknowledge that you are weak, and God is your strength.
Admit that you are weak, and that you need Him.
“Jehovah is my strength and my shield; My heart hath trusted in him, and I am helped: Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; And with my song will I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 (ASV)
- In Suffering: “I am weak. Please be my strength. I fail You every day, please carry me through this hard time.”
- In Thanksgiving: “Tomorrow I may stumble and fall, but You’ll be there for me. You are my fortress, my hiding place. I know that I am safe with you, God.”
- With a Request: “I will never be worthy without you, God. You are the one who lifts me up and helps me conquer my weakness.”
- In Sorrow: “Please give me strength. I am weak, so weak. I can’t stop crying. Help me through the day.”
- With Repentance: “I can never be right; I fall short every time. God, help me cross the finish line. Help me reach our end goal, I want to finish the race with You. I don’t want to be anywhere but with You.”
“The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever.”
6. Praise God for his awesome power, and be assured that you are heard.
Thank God for hearing you, and believe that he has listened.
“And this is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he heareth us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him.” 1 John 5: 14-15 (ASV)
- In Suffering: “Thank you for caring about me. Lord, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. You are with me. Thank you for being with me. God. Thank you for listening to me. Deliver me soon.”
- In Thanksgiving: “You are always there. And you listen, even to me! Thank you, thank you.”
- With a Request: “But I have nothing to fear, because You are with me. You know my heart, You know what I want. You also know what’s best, Lord. You are omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. I trust you.”
- In Sorrow: “I feel so alone, but I believe You’re here, with your arms around me. Help me believe, Lord!”
- With Repentance: “Thank you. You will never leave me. You forgive me, no matter what I do or how many times I mess up. You are so great.”
7. End your prayer with the name of Jesus, so that God can be glorified.
Be sure to end your prayer in Jesus name.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14: 13