Whether you are just starting a relationship with God or have been for a while, you will encounter this single question: How should I pray?I’m going to be real with you. There have been times when I have prayed and got wrapped up in my thoughts. There have been other instances where I felt too ashamed or proud to bother God with my struggles. And there have been moments where I felt myself in a never-ending cycle of praying for the same thing and it felt as though nothing was becoming of it.
But then there have been moments where I have prayed and felt the Holy Spirit around me, guiding the words that I say. I’m sure the latter is what we all want to experience every time we lift up our prayers to God.
However, it isn’t always that way. Many times, we find ourselves distracted by the world, and our mind is so clouded by what is around us that it seeps into how we interact with God. The important thing to understand, however, is that God knows this and still loves us.
What God truly wants is for us is to strive to have a close relationship with Him. It’s amazing, really. The creator of the universe wants to spend time with us. Despite our flaws and insecurities, He loves us unconditionally.
So what can we do to enhance our prayer life?
Pray with purpose: Remember these old nursery school prayers? They were created to give us a guideline for how to pray (Matthew 6:9-14). However, God wants us to pray with a true intention or purpose. He doesn’t want our prayer life to be this structured routine that’s aimless. He wants there to be sincerity and a genuine discussion with Him.
Silence the noise and be still: As previously mentioned, one of the hardest things for humanity to do is be still. This is one of my biggest struggles. Yet, it’s in those calm and quiet moments where it’s just you and God that He makes Himself known the most. Oftentimes, myself included, we think that God is ignoring us, but what if it’s a hearing problem on our end?
My advice would be to find a prayer closet, corner, car, bathroom – wherever – that you can designate for having one-on-one time with God. I am still striving to gain further insight into God’s voice, but I have already been able to see a difference in my prayer life just by doing this. (Exodus 14:14)
Be specific: If you ask God to heal you but don’t lay out what you specifically want to get healed from, how will you know if your prayer has been answered? God wants us to tell Him the specific desires of our heart. By doing this, we strengthen the power of our prayers as well as our personal relationship with Him. (Luke 18: 35-43)
Pray constantly: Being a Christian isn’t a ritual, it’s a lifestyle. We should constantly go to God in prayer throughout our day. We can’t put God in a box after our morning prayer and come back to Him when we need to bless the food and get ready for bed. Try to get into the habit of talking to God all the time. Thank Him when He blesses you throughout the day, whether that’s with a parking spot near the front of a building or when you get to work on time despite the traffic that you thought would make you late. God looks over us in the most minuscule but significant ways every single day. I encourage you to be more aware of God’s presence in your day-to-day life. (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18)
Be yourself: This may sound cheesy, but God loves you just the way you are. He doesn’t want some fabricated version of you. He wants you in your true form. You don’t need to be a prolific speaker with perfect prose and word structure. God wants you to speak as though you are talking to a friend. He’s looking for a relationship. (1 Timothy 4:4)