[ In this post; Learning How to Pray for Beginners ]
You set aside time to pray and yet sleep tried to encroach upon your prayer time. You could barely keep your eyes open. You remembered how Jesus told His disciples, “Could you not watch with me one hour?”
I’m sure the words of Jesus hung in the air and resonated in the disciples soul. The crucifixion was soon and Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane asking His disciples to pray along with Him. This was not a quick and easy prayer but a earth altering moment in history was about to take place. Jesus was asking for prayer.
They were tired and their eyes were heavy with sleep. They could never fathom the event was about to take place.
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Every believer in Christ must cultivate a relationship with God and learn how to pray
Why is Learning How to Pray for Beginners so Important?
Are you having a difficult time in knowing how to pray? Or perhaps you have been a believer for a good while and haven’t learned how to pray. There is good news, Creative Sister! Learning how to to pray for beginners doesn’t have to be difficult!
As a new believer it is imperative that you learn how to pray to God.
Prayer is vital for every believer in Christ. But many do not know HOW or what to pray for.
Why is learning how to pray for beginners (or even for older Christians) so important? To answer that question, we’ll have to answer a question that is crucial to our growing faith…
What is prayer?
What is prayer?
Prayer is the act of speaking and communing with God and forming a relationship with Him. It’s really that simple. In our closest relationships with those that we love, we know them, we talk to them and we learn about their character and nature.
Prayer is the same!
Prayer is simply conversing with your Lord and getting to know Him. Prayer is when you set aside some time and talk to God like you would your best friend, mother or father. Just as communication is important in family and friendship relationships, prayer is vital for every believer in Christ so the relationship can grow.
There are many types of prayer, and it’s not important to know the various types of prayer and put a name to them, but here is a summary of those that I have found to be helpful to grow in my prayer life.
Different Types of Prayer
- Worship– Worship is sometimes mistaken for the portion of a church service where we have corporate worship in song and praise the Lord. While that may be true, worship isn’t just that specific time frame where we worship the Lord. Worship is when we exalt and glorify God for who He is. It might and it might not include music and both are examples of worship when we praise God for who He is. There are many examples in the Bible where worshipers are prostrate on the ground (Rev. 7:11) or at a seat kneeling, but it’s important to know that worship isn’t a position of the body. Worship is a position of humbling yourself before God and acknowledging Him for who He is. Worship in prayer could be based off of many Bible Scriptures but Rev. 7:11 is a good example.
And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,
- Thanksgiving– A prayer of thanksgiving is simply a prayer to God where you say thanks. There are so many blessings and opportunities where we can thank the Lord for all of the wonderful things he has done for us. A prayer of thanksgiving is based on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and Philippians 4:6-7
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Supplication– Supplication is when you request something to God for the needs usually for your own personal needs. There are some beautiful examples of supplicatory prayer in the Bible, such as when Hanna prayed for a child in the temple (1 Samuel 9:10-11) and when King Hezekiah asked God to prolong his life in 2 Kings 20:3-5 (which he did).
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. 1And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.
- Intercession– Intercessory prayer is when you plead to God on behalf of others and their needs. There are many examples of intercession in the Bible. When Steven was being stoned as accounted in Acts 7:60 just before his death, he uttered a selfless prayer of forgiveness for his murderers. Another example of intercessory prayer was the prayer of Paul for the Philippians for them to grow in Christ and be blameless at Christ’s appearing.
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.
- Communal Prayer– Communal prayer can be some or all of the above prayers, but usually happens in public places such as church, small groups or among friends. I love it when I am chatting with a good friend and she stops everything to take the time to pray. It’s wonderful to build a friendship on the bedrock of prayer.
Why Is Prayer Important?
Why is prayer important? Learning to pray to God is important for these reasons:
- Cultivates Relationship between us and God
- Helps us have Godly priorities
- Jesus Prayed- he is our example
- Communication with God
- Prayer conforms us to the image of Christ. Left alone to our own devices we will become more and more like those around us in the world. The more time we spend with our Lord, the more we will desire to be like Him and grow in grace.
- Prayer allows us to partake in God’s will for others.
- Obedience We are called to Pray (scriptures commanding us to pray)
Tips For Learning How to Pray for Beginners
- Find a Peaceful Place
When you want to cultivate your prayer life, it’s best to set aside a place where you can go to talk to God in prayer. Some might have the luxury to do that, and others may not. Maybe you can make your quiet time place a comfy chair, a blanket on the floor or at your desk. I’ve even heard stories of how a busy Mom would throw her Apron over head to be ‘alone’ to say an SOS prayer to God. If you can, find a place that is free from distraction.
- Be Consistent
It might be difficult to daily carve out a consistent quiet time but keeping your appointment with God is most important. Set an alarm. Do it first thing in the morning. Make time for prayer when your kids are napping. If you happen to miss your quiet time, it’s also important to show yourself grace and just get back on track. When you learn how to pray, you are building a sure foundation of faith and relationship with God. Don’t let Satan condemn you. We are not working for grace, but we are working from grace. Pray out of love for your Lord and not because it’s a required thing to do that you can tick of your to do list.
- Be Authentic
God made you uniquely you and you are different from everyone else. You like certain colors. You prefer different foods. You have habits that you love to do. All of these things make you special and they are not hidden from God. It is important that your quiet time reflect who you are and that you not be a cookie cutter of anyone else. Be authentic in your prayer time. God doesn’t expect any less.
- Talk to God as a Friend
You know those deep conversations that you have with your bestie? Those conversations where you pour out your heart and soul. That’s exactly how you should talk to God. He created you. He knows everything about you. Nothing surprises Him.
All of your cares and concerns can safely be brought to the One who is your true confidant.
It’s important to pour your heart out to God, but it’s also important to listen. In today’s society, there are many voices that masquerade as being from God. How can you truly know that you are hearing God’s voice? The answer is simple- the voice of God will never conflict with His word. It’s important for our prayer life to be steeped in God’s holy Word, the Bible so we can always be learning how to pray effectively.
- Use Scriptures as Prayer Points
How can you make your prayers in line with God’s word? You can use Scriptures as prayer points. I like to pray from the Psalms and you can read how I do that in this blog post about How I pray Psalm 23. Using Scripture can assure your heart that you are praying according to God’s will.
- Pray as you Read your Bible
Prayer and Bible reading are technically two different activities to cultivate closeness with God but they overlap in so many ways. You can personalize the word of God and make them your own prayers. In the book of Philippians, Pauls’ introduction to the church at Philippians reads as follows:
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Look at the heart of Paul towards his fellow believers in Philippi! He thanks God EVERY time he remembers them. When you have fond memories of loved ones and friends, take the opportunity to pray for them. On the contrary, when someone who has hurt you comes to remembrance, take the time to pray for them and ask God to heal your heart.
Paul also was confident that the good work that the Lord began would be completed until the day of Jesus Christ. Is there anyone in your life that you can pray that for as well?
- Pray Always
Paul told the church in Thessalonika to Pray Always. In the KJV it says to pray without ceasing. Prayer isn’t just a set time but it is a lifestyle where we can continually be in a prayerful state of mind. When you drive, walk, do dishes, scrub the floors or exercise… all of these are wonderful times to pray without ceasing.
Pray Without Ceasing.
- Journaling your Prayers
Journaling is a wonderful way to keep track of your personal prayers. You can draw three evenly spaced lines down the pages of your notebook/notebook paper and record prayer requests, prayers answered and praise for answered prayers. It doesn’t have to be perfect! When your notebook is full, you’ll have a wonderful record of God’s faithfullness to you! Amazing!
- Pray for Others
Lifting up others in prayer is so important to your spiritual growth. It’s easy to focus on your needs but praying for others also helps us become less self centered and more focused on the needs of others. Praying for others is also commanded in 2 Timothy 2:1
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, cintercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
- Pray for Yourself
There are so many things that you can pray about as a believer.
- Pray that you will know God’s will
- Pray that you grow in God’s grace
- Pray that you overcome sin by the grace of God
And the list goes on… Whatever burdens are on your heart, pray about it.
- Use an Acronym
If you need a quick formula to keep you focused on prayer, you can use these wonderful acronyms:
The ACTS Prayer Method
9 other acronyms to pray
- Say Thank You
The best way to close your prayer time is to say Thank you.
Thank God for his sacrifice on the cross. Thank Him for grace, for provisions, for answered prayer, for the opportunity to enter boldly into the throneroom of grace. Thank him for your husband, your family, a roof over your head. Thank him for all He has done. Cultivate gratitude by giving God thanks. You can also read more about cultivating gratitude
Bible Verses on Prayer To Encourage you
Here are some Bible Verses on Prayer that you can take to your prayer closet as an example of how to pray.
Pray without ceasing. -1 Thessalonians 5:17
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. -1 Peter 5:7
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; -Colossians 4:2
And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. -Luke 5:16
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. -James 1:5
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. -James 5:16
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: -1 John 5:14
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? –Matthew 7:7-11
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? – Luke 18:1-8
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. -Matthew 18:18-20
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? -The Lord’s prayer in Luke 11
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 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. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. -The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:5-13
Check out these other related PRAYER posts.
How to Pray for Beginners: Closing Thoughts
Creative Sister, you have a wonderful line of communication open to God to intimate fellowship with Him. You can experience His goodness and draw near to Him in communion all by simply taking time to pray to Him.
May God Bless you as you draw near to Him with these tips for learning how to pray for beginners!
Check out these other posts about the topic of prayer:
Thanksgiving Prayer Points to Help You Cultivate Gratitude
Learn How to Pray Psalm 23
How to Use the A.C.T.S Model When you Pray
All About the Serenity Prayer
How to Pray for Self Control
How to Pray Creatively with These Acronyms in Prayer
Pray Without Ceasing Bible Journaling