Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. Colossians 4.2
In God’s Word, He instructs / adjures / commands / encourages us to pray. The good news is, This is for EVERYONE! Everyone can pray, regardless of limitations, circumstances, or economic status.
How to pray? Pray for what?
First, prayer is simply talking with God. In prayer, we can praise and worship Him, speak words of adoration, and talk with Him about how grateful we are for Him, His presence, His gifts, and His ways. The Psalms are great for finding words of expression. God’s Word always carries power, and praying God’s Word back to Him carries power.
- Psalms 18.1-3 I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
- Psalms 19.1-3 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
- All of Psalms 23
- Psalms 117 O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.
- Psalms 118.28, 29 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Be sure to make time for confession and repentance as you pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to search you
- Psalms 139.23, 24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
- Psalms 41.4 I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee.
- Luke 18.13, 14 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Prayer includes supplication, which is bringing needs to our Father’s throne. The needs can be for ourselves or loved ones, friends, family, neighbors, community, state, country, and world.
1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.
Tools for prayer / supplication:
- Pen and paper (or your smartphone, if you’re good with that): When you hear prayer requests, write them down. This is important, as it is so easy to forget a request. Also very important: remember to LOOK AT your prayer list when you pray and/or throughout the day.
- Quiet time is a luxury for some. If you can squeeze it in, do so. If your schedule doesn’t allow for dedicated prayer time, then pray on the go: driving, waiting room, grocery line, TV commercials, doing dishes, in the bathroom.
- Prayer trigger:
- Think of something (an event, an item) that reminds you to pray for something particular. When you see a pharmaceutical ad, pray for your ill friend. On your drive to work, and you pass a bus stop, pray for someone in a traffic accident. When it’s time for laundry, pray God to quicken and cleanse the spirit of a loved one. When you see a hospital, pray for the patients, families, and workers inside. When you see a fire / police station or vehicle, pray for law enforcement and rescue personnel. Pray for our military when you see a uniform or news spot.
- Set an alarm at a certain time to pray about abortion or persecuted Christians or your country.
- Fellow Christians (Ephesians 6.18: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. 2 Peter 3.18: But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.).
- Pray for your church and your pastor (Luke 22.32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.).
- The lost, and God’s people to do His work (Luke 10.2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.)
- The sick (James 5.16 Pray one for another, that ye may be healed.).
- Our enemies (Luke 6.28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.).
- Our authorities (1 Timothy 2.1, 2 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered for everyone— for kings and all those in authority—so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity.)
- A heart to pray as God wills (1 Thessalonians 5.16-18 Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.)
- Friends, family, loved ones (1 Thessalonians 2.8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.)
- Jerusalem (Psalm 122.6-9 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.
- God’s will be done (Matthew 6.9, 10: After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Matthew 26.42: He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.)
Remember, too, that prayer is talking WITH God. Be sure to watch and listen carefully, because He answers. He speaks to us in so many ways.