Different Ways to Pray

We can pray in many ways!

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.

It 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.” (His Intimate Presence)

The important thing is to take time to be still with God.  
 The big question is … How? 

In this lesson we will discuss a couple of different ideas and approaches that will help you to actually pray!

Be Still!

Allow Him 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 frenetic activity! But take the time each day to stop and be still with God.
Let the Holy Spirit fill you.  

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God” (NIV).

 Take time to be still with God. Enjoy His presence.
Allow Him to speak quietly to you. Let the Holy Spirit fill you. 

How do you feel about being “still” with God?

A:___________________________________________________

Take time to be with Him every day.

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!

Worship is our response to God.

 

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!

It is what happens in our hearts when we know God well, and love Him deeply.

Have you ever done any kind of journaling? Might this approach be helpful for you?

A:___________________________________________________

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; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT).

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.”

When you sin, and feel like no one cares about you, run to your Heavenly Father’s waiting arms.

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 stand 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

 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 to a person who is willing to submit to God.

Worship is nota 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 of a simply 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, NIV).

 One of the ways to worship and adore God is to use scripture. Pray a passage or use
key words to help you express your love and admiration for God. 

As you read Psalm 145:1-6, look for key words and phrases of worship …

You cannot spend your day being angry, deceitful, selfish, lustful, or proud, and then decide to “worship” God.

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. (NIV)

Key words and phrases of worship:

A:___________________________________________________

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 enabledby the Holy Spirit.Our worship includes praise, thankfulness, wonder, joy, delight, trust, obedience,awe, and reverence. It 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 byGod’s sovereignty, person, and works.

Express gratitude for all your blessings and privileges, as well as your trials and troubles!

What are some words you can use to during you prayer time worship God?

A:___________________________________________________

Confession

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. 1 John 1:9 promises, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV).

Confession is only possible to 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! 

Thanksgiving

 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.

Ephesians 5:20 says: “Always use the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to thank God the Father for everything” (CEV).

Don’t hesitate to pray for the needs and desires of others 

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!

Supplication (Request)

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 to Him as you present your requests to Him.  Know that God delights in your requests! Never quit 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!

Additional Study: 

Read 7 Minutes with GodHow to Plan a Daily Quiet Time. You can access this document at http://www.navigators.org/us/ministries/college/resources/7-minutes-with-god.pdf 

Application:

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

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