Do you ever feel like you have to spend hours praying to be effective?
Or perhaps you feel like you pray the same thing over and over and somehow God is getting tired of hearing from you.
When learning how to pray….sometimes we can overcomplicate things.
We tend to think that it has to be perfect and lengthy to be effective and acknowledged by God.
I think we often forget that prayer is simply talking to God.
We think that we need to say certain things to “make Him listen”.
But the truth is….God longs to hear from us. He wants to visit with us each day throughout the day.
I really began to understand this truth when I began having children.
Every day I want to talk to them. I want to hear how their day went, what they loved, any hurts they experienced and anything else they desire to tell me.
I want to connect with them.
And God wants to connect with us too.
To help my kids (and me!) learn to pray everyday prayers I established a template, a basic outline, of how we can communicate with God…
How to Pray Everyday Prayers in 3 Easy Steps
Thank God for Who He is
Starting our prayers thanking God, opens up our hearts and positions us for an encounter with God.
Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
Psalm 100:4 MSG
When my kids come to me and thank me for anything, no matter what it is or how small, my immediate reaction is to want to bless them, to draw them in and show them love.
I believe God feels the same way.
The Bible says we enter God’s gate with thanksgiving. As I studied this verse, I realized that by thanking God, we come closer to Him, we enter into His gates. As we praise Him for who He is, we enter into His sanctuary.
Starting our prayers with thanksgiving, allows us to draw closer to Him.
Tell God How You Feel
Have you ever tried to hide your feelings from God?
There have been many times where I’ve tried to “hide” some of the ugly things that I’m feeling: insecurity, jealousy, anger… just to name a few.
Yet the truth is, God already knows.
He is our Creator. He knows every tiny detail about us….the good and the bad, and yet, He still loves us.
We don’t have to hide the hard stuff from Him.
In fact, He wants us to come to Him with those things.
When my kids come to me with these feelings, I honestly feel blessed that they trust me enough to bring the hard things to me.
I believe God feels the same way. In fact, Paul encourages us to bring our supplications, our requests to God….
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
He can handle whatever we bring to Him.
Jesus not only invites us to bring the bad to Him, but to lay it all down at His feet.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
When we bring our hurts to God, He takes on our burdens and gives us something in return.
For our fears, He gives us peace.
When we’re insecure, He reminds us of who we are.
In our sadness, He brings us comfort and joy.
He longs for us to bring these things to Him.
God is not intimidated by the ugly things in our lives. He wants to heal those things and make us whole, but He asks us to lay them before Him.
Ask God for His Guidance
We all need direction in life. Rather than following my feelings, I want to be led by the Holy Spirit.
God knows the end from the beginning and can lead me down the path He has for me.
I don’t just want this for myself.
I also want my kids to get into the habit of seeking God’s direction.
Now that my boys are adults, I want this more than ever!
When our children are younger, they seek us for advice and answers.
But as they get older, they begin to make decisions for themselves.
I want those decisions to be influenced by Jesus and not their flesh.
It’s not that they don’t come to us for counsel, they do. But once they reach adulthood, they have to learn to rely on God more than us.
This is something I can teach my girls through prayer.
Many times we are tempted to skip this last step of seeking God’s direction, unless we are in a situation where we desperately need it.
However, I want to be in the habit of seeking Him whether I’m in a season of desperation or prospering.
If we seek Him in the good times, we’ll be prepared to seek Him in the hard times.
Are you struggling in your prayer life? Friend, prayer doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated and neither does our quiet time with Him.
This week I’m sharing a featured post by Wholeheartedly Messy about daily rhythms with God. Keela shares insight about her frustrations with the daily devo “have to’s” and what she’s doing to make her time with God less complicated.
It’s tough to find the time. It’s tough to get in the Word. And it’s especially tough when the enemy throws a whole bunch of crap at you to keep you from spending time with God.
Plus, you have so many people all over the internet telling you that you need to be doing #AllTheThings. They say that you need to be studying the Word, praying the Word, praying boldly, praying for yourself, praying for other people, reading the Bible, doing a devotional, being quiet and listening to God, praising God, journaling, and the list goes on and on and on.
And while I completely agree that, yes, you should be doing those things, I also recognize that it can get really overwhelming.
And then you try anyway and feel guilty when you just can’t juggle all of it.
If you’re overwhelmed by your quiet time with God, Keela has some great daily suggestions!
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