A person without discipleship is not a Christian. A church without prayer is a powerless church.
One of the most frequent questions people ask me is: “how do I pray correctly?”
I love this question because there is a sense of angst and eagerness behind it; a sense of desire.
One of the biggest hangups in many peoples walk with Christ is praying. Yes, Jesus gave us a model of prayer in the Lords Prayer. But, for most people, praying is still very difficult. It’s foreign to a new believer and it could be foreign for a longtime believer that has never made prayer a daily habit or discipline. Let me say this… if you struggle with prayer, you’re not alone… And, there is not an incorrect way to pray if you’re just talking to God. It may also be helpful for you to know that your posture of prayer is not nearly as important as the prayer itself. You don’t have to bow your heads, clasp your hands, get on your knees, etc.
Hopefully what I’m about to say will help you somehow.
First, where do we begin if prayer is not a habit or we don’t know what to say? Start with the Psalms. The Psalms are very much a collection of prayers. Think of the Psalms as God’s word to us intended to be spoken back to Him. God tells us what to pray and how to pray in the Psalms. So, start there. Open the Book of Psalms and let the words sink into you and pray them back to God. Through this, God will shape your prayer life.
Next, the Psalms will force you to pray big-thinking prayers. Often times peoples fear of praying incorrectly is that God won’t hear their prayers. Humble yourself before God in repentance and joyful thanksgiving and simply speak His words back to Him. Trust me, His words are better and more powerful than our own words. (there’s not an incorrect way to pray but there is a way to pray that will shake the foundations of the world) Often times in the Christian world today, prayers are so weak and powerless…(because we pray our own, often-times selfish words) If we’re not praying scary big-thinking prayers then be assured that the enemy is not scared of our prayers. The Psalms will gently teach you how to pray while forcing you to pray for things that will actually require God’s intervention. I want to get away from praying prayers that can quite literally be answered out of human flesh and pray prayers that require God’s intervention because it’s too big for us! Don’t be scared of praying scary prayers. You’ll find them in the Psalms.
Lastly, if you’re praying God’s word then you can be assured that you’re praying for God’s will to be done. So, whenever Matthew says, “and whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” you can rest in the fact that since you prayed God’s Word it will come to be because God is unchanging and steadfast in holding true to His Word.
This is the best way that I know of to begin your prayer life.
Action steps at Christ’s Church:
1. Find a Prayer Partner (sign-up at the Welcome Center). Community is the context of discipleship. We can’t and shouldn’t do this alone. Prayer Partners pray for the church, the community, the lost, and each other often times using the Psalms as a guide.
2. Take advantage of the new Prayer Wall which is located in the hallway entering the Auditorium. Allow God’s faithful prayer warriors to cover you or another situation in prayer. It’s powerful!
3. Set an alarm on your phone to pray. I know that may sound silly but if prayer is not a habit now then you have to make it a habit. You may need a reminder to help with that. I know it helps me.