Prayer is an essential part of my life. Honestly, without prayer, my life would be in total upheaval. This simple way of communicating with God is a lifesaver, figuratively and literally. Sometimes, just knowing I can look up and speak to the Lord comforts me.
Currently, my favorite scripture to pray is Philippians 4:6. The English Standard Version says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” As I simultaneously experience growth as an author and speaker and in my children’s ministry, I am constantly praying. As Philippians 4:6 tells me not to be anxious or worried about anything, I take every issue that arises to God in prayer. So, how do I pray in my life?
- Quick Prayers: When I am experiencing a crucial situation, the only thing I can say sometimes is “Lord help me!” This quick prayer acknowledges who God is in my life, what I need, who needs it, and acknowledges that he can deliver. The word “Lord” equates to God the ruler of my life. The verb “help” tells God what I need, and because he knows all and sees all, he knows what I need exactly. Using the word “me” tells God for whom I am asking for prayer. Finally, the phrase in its entirety shows that I trust that he can do it. It’s a lot in this one phrase, but this is not for long term use.
- Daily Prayers: For long term use, I strive to say daily prayers. Usually, I say this type of prayer in the morning and at night along with, before, or after my devotional readings. In these prayers, I usually start with the phrase “Father God in Heaven” or “Lord God”. Next, I thank the Lord. “Lord, I thank you for waking me up this morning. I thank you for providing for my needs. I thank you for keeping me.” Then, I express any need. “Lord, keep me throughout this day. Keep me during the night hour. Lord, you know what I need. Please bless according to your will.” Next, I ask for forgiveness. “If there is anything that I have done that is not pleasing to you, forgive me for that sin, whether known or unknown. If the sin is unknown to me, bring it to my remembrance, so that I can learn from it. Thank you, Lord.” Finally, I say, “In Jesus’s name. Amen.” When I use the phrase “In Jesus’s name”, I am saying through God’s Son Jesus Christ I have established a relationship with him. When I say “Amen”, I am saying let it be so or let it happen. Amen is similar to an affirmation or confirmation.
- Praying the Scriptures: When life is really crazy, I have to put a word on the situation. Going back to Philippians 4:6, I may say the following. “Father God, you said in your word that I could bring every concern and worry to you. You have told me that I do not have to be anxious about anything.” Another way I may start is this. “Father God, Philippians 4:6 says ‘do not be anxious about anything but by prayer and supplication make your request be known to you.’ Lord, I am facing a difficult time. I have been plagued by worry, and I no longer want to be. Thus, I am coming to you.” Then, I will follow with my specific need. When I pray the scripture, I am helping myself remember God’s power, and I am calling on it to manifest in my life. God knows his word, so it’s not like we are reminding him. Matter of fact, the “Word” is sitting next to him on the throne. What I have found is as I concentrate on God’s word and not on the situation, I feel peace, a comfort. I feel this because I am saying, “greater is he that is in [me], than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). If it’s not of God, then it’s the enemy.
CAUTION: When praying, don’t worry about how it sounds. Simply, be open and sincere. You can say it aloud or to yourself. And… if you don’t know what to pray, say, “Lord, I don’t know what to pray, but here’s my situation. I am simply asking you to help me with it. Give me guidance.” This is still praying. Why? Prayer is communication with God, and you are communicating with God.
No matter what my situation or status has been, I have learned that I need prayer. I need prayer as I write. I need prayer as I teach. I need prayer as I speak. I need prayer as I lead. For example, I am always praying “Lord, let nothing I say or do lead anyone astray.” I recognize the need for prayer, and because I recognize this need, I am heeding what Paul said in Ephesians 6:18. Pray, all the time. What about you? How are you praying? What are your prayer requests? Share your thoughts with me. #PrayDaily #LiveEmpowered
To see more sample prayers, look in my book God Didn’t Calm the Storm; Instead, He Calmed Me.
Originally published on April 25, 2016.