Prayer is talking with God: asking Him for guidance, praising Him for His goodness, sharing with Him the needs of ourselves and others, and knowing by faith that He hears and will grant our requests.” The important thing is to take time to be still with God. The big question is … how?
Bill Bright once wrote, “Prayer is the most intimate communication ever devised. It is heart to heart, spirit to Spirit communication between creation and Creator. Enjoy His presence.”
We can pray in many ways! In this lesson, we will discuss a couple of different ideas and approaches that will help you to actually pray!
Allow God to speak quietly to you. First of all, take time to be still! The great theologian, A.W. Tozer, once said, “More spiritual progress can be made in one short moment of speechless silence in the awesome presence of God than in years of mere study.” This can be a frightening concept in a world of constant activity! But take the time each day to stop and be still with God. Let the Holy Spirit fill you.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God! I will be exalted over the nations! I will be exalted over the earth!”
Q. How do you feel about being still with God?
Choose a Specific Time to Meet with God Every Day
If you want your relationship with Christ to grow, plan to meet with Him every day! Many Christians find that morning works best before the busyness of the day sets in. But everyone is different! Choose a time that really works for you!
Prayer Notebook or Journal
Many people find it helpful to keep a prayer notebook or journal. You can actually combine this with a study journal or notebook where you record all of your thoughts and anything that you are learning about your walk with God. Simply record your requests and how and when God answers them. A prayer notebook can be especially helpful when you feel that God is far away. As you review the times and places when you have experienced his specific answers to your prayers you will be encouraged by His faithfulness to you!
Q. Have you ever done any kind of journaling? In what ways might this approach be helpful for you?
Claim God’s Promises
Apply the truth of God’s Word to each day and claim His promises by praying verses of scripture. Here’s a great verse to get you started:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.” —Proverbs 3:5–6
Pray: “Lord, today, I am going to trust You with all my heart. Help me not to depend on my own understanding, but to seek Your will for my life in each situation. Help me to trust that You will show me throughout the day which path to take.”
The ACTS Approach to Prayer
Rather than simply rambling all over the place when you pray, you can try to be more focused by using the acrostic ACTS. ACTS stands for four points: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. It’s a great way to center your thoughts on what you are talking to God about.
Adoration of God involves acknowledging His character and reflecting on His power, majesty, and holiness with humble praise and worship. Worship is a part of adoration. Confession is only possible for a person who is willing to submit to God.
Worship is not a fuzzy feeling brought on by soft lighting and music, nor is it limited to a place such as a church building. It does not consist simply of religious duty, listening to a great sermon, or hearing the choir. Singing hymns may not be worship if our hearts are not in the right place, and even prayer can be from purely selfish motives and therefore not worship. True worship is “in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
One of the ways to worship and adore God is to use scripture. Pray a passage or use keywords to help you express your love and admiration for God.
As you read Psalm 145:1–6, look for keywords and phrases of worship …
“I will extol you, my God, O king! I will praise your name continually! Every day I will praise you! I will praise your name continually! The LORD is great and certainly worthy of praise! No one can fathom his greatness! One generation will praise your deeds to another, and tell about your mighty acts! I will focus on your honor and majestic splendor, and your amazing deeds! They will proclaim the power of your awesome acts!”
Q. Keywords and phrases of worship
Worship is our response to God. It is what happens in our hearts when we know God well, and love Him deeply. This response comes from an intimate relationship with Him and is enabled by the Holy Spirit. Our worship includes praise, thankfulness, wonder, joy, delight, trust, obedience, awe, and reverence.
Worship is recognizing God’s majesty, glory, honor, power, wisdom, love, and justice. It is finding God to be of infinite worth! Worship is when we are overwhelmed by God’s sovereignty, person, and works. Express gratitude for all your blessings and privileges, as well as your trials and troubles!
Q. What are some adoration words you can use during your prayer time to worship God?
When you sin and feel like no one cares about you, run to your Heavenly Father’s waiting arms. He will gladly welcome you! To restore fellowship with God, simply tell Him that you have sinned (name it), ask for His forgiveness, and then choose to let the Holy Spirit control your life. First John 1:9 promises, “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.”
Confession is only possible for a person who is willing to submit to God. You cannot spend your day being angry, deceitful, selfish, lustful, or proud, and then decide to “worship” God. Confess your sin to God and restore your relationship with Him!
This part of your prayer involves expressing gratitude for all your blessings and privileges, as well as your trials and troubles! A thankful spirit is very pleasing to God.
“Always giving thanks to God the Father for each other in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” —Ephesians 5:20
Take time to thank God for all He is and does for you! Think about his love and grace. If you are having a hard time thanking Him, read the Psalms, and as you read the many praises, stop and make them your own. Think about God’s greatness and his great love for you!
God wants you to bring your requests to Him! By approaching Him through adoration, confession, and thanksgiving, you will often find that you are more in tune with Him as you present your requests to Him. Know that God delights in your requests! Never stop asking Him for things that are Biblical and within His will. He promises to answer those prayers … in His time! Ask God to supply your needs, making special requests and desires known to Him. Don’t hesitate to pray for the needs and desires of others. As you read God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to control your life, you will find yourself naturally talking with God more.
The important thing here is to take the time to pray! Don’t get stuck on one type of approach. Keep your conversations with God alive! Pray with others, pray alone, pray any time!
Here is a helpful and concise resource in PDF: The Navigators “How to Have a Daily Quiet Time” [external link]
For the next 30 days start a prayer list. Add to it each day. Record how and when God responds:
- Ways you are growing in your relationship with God
- Specific issues regarding your family and friends
- Non-Christians you desire to know Christ
- Other Christians you can help in some way: physically, emotionally, or spiritually
- Other requests