Just about every great relationship shares a few key ingredients. Shared experiences, good conversations, and trust-building moments are vital to any meaningful relationship. And the same is true in your relationship with God.
Prayer is one of the best ways to share experiences, conversations, and trust-building moments with God. But how do you pray? Well, here’s some good news: It’s not complicated, and anyone can do it!
What Is Prayer?
Prayer is intentional connection with God. It’s inviting God into our lives by expressing our praise, joy, and pain. Prayer often involves speaking to God, making requests, and offering thanks. Other times, prayer is silent and reflective.
Why Do We Pray?
We tend to be like the people we spend time with. And when we spend time with God, we become more like Him. Prayer is powerful because it slowly transforms us into a new kind of person. As we pray, we gradually become more whole and more connected with God’s purpose for our lives.
Prayer is also an opportunity to present requests to God. What kind of requests? Anything on your heart. If it matters to you, it matters to God too!
Does God Answer Prayers?
Sometimes God gives people exactly what they asked for in prayer. Other prayers are answered in unexpected ways. Some prayers are answered quickly, and others take a long time. And sometimes God responds to our requests with a no—this happened to Paul. And it even happened to Jesus.
God loves us and wants us to share our hopes and needs with Him, but He has a different perspective than ours. He knows more than we possibly could, so if we don’t get the answer we hope for, it’s not a sign of God’s anger or lack of power. It simply means He chose not to do what we asked.
This can be challenging. Authors of the Bible wrestled with why God didn’t answer them as they had hoped. And we’re free to wrestle with the same question.
But even when we don’t understand God’s reasons, His presence still brings comfort. Prayer is an ongoing conversation with God. A conversation that may not always change your circumstances but always changes you.
Often God does answer our prayers in a clear way, and it’s always a powerful reminder of God’s presence in our lives. So come to God in prayer, and you’ll experience His life-giving presence. Ask for anything on your heart and remain aware of how He might answer your prayers in unexpected ways.
How Do I Pray?
There’s no magic formula to prayer. But the Bible gives us some helpful clues to kickstart our prayer journey.
1. We can pray in different ways.
Throughout the Bible, people pray in diverse ways. Some prayers are long, others are short and simple. Some prayers are silent, while others are spoken. And some prayers happen in private, while others happen in groups! So don’t worry about “doing it wrong.” Instead, focus on connecting with God in a way that feels natural to you.
2. Speak from your heart.
Prayer is an invitation to be honest with God, who loves us. So we don’t need to pretend or perform. Instead, we can speak openly and honestly. Praise, pain, and confession are all fair game in prayer.
3. Listen and reflect.
Prayer involves speaking to God, but it can also include listening. Taking time to pause and listen can amplify your prayer life. How? By helping you become aware of how God might be speaking to you. So don’t feel pressured to fill up your prayer time with words. Instead, give yourself space to listen and reflect as you pray.
4. Make a habit of prayer.
If you want to feel the power of prayer, try making it a habit. Set a time each day and commit to it for the next week. If it doesn’t work out, try a different time. Praying regularly keeps us connected to our most important relationship.
You Can Get to Know God
God wants a relationship with you. And just like in any other meaningful relationship, intentional connection matters. Prayer is our invitation to boldly step into God’s presence and find care, joy, and purpose. Talking to a God we can’t see isn’t always easy, but consistent and honest prayer will improve our lives. Why? Because prayer helps us get to know God, and that helps us to become more like Him.
So as we grow in our relationship with God, let’s praise God for the gift of prayer and accept His invitation to a relationship by making a habit of spending time with Him.
For some examples of prayer, check out this article.