Prayer: A Guide on How to Pray and Why

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In the quiet moments of our lives, when the world’s noise fades away, we often find ourselves longing for a deeper connection. It provides solace in times of distress, guidance in moments of uncertainty, and joy in our everyday blessings. In today’s blog post, I’m talking about the power of prayer and the profound impact it can have on our daily lives. 

Be sure to grab my free printable Praise Prayer Journal at the bottom of the post!

How to Pray @ AVirtuousWoman.org

Whether you’re a seasoned prayer warrior or someone looking to understand its basics, this guide aims to enrich your spiritual journey, drawing you closer to God with every word.

Prayer is a simple yet powerful way to make our everyday lives better and draw us closer to the God of Abraham. Prayer is a basic and personal act, but even Christians who have trouble opening up to others can talk to God.

Why Prayer is so Powerful

Prayer is not just a routine or ritual; it’s a conversation with the Creator of the universe. When we pray, we connect with God on a personal level, pouring out our hearts and listening to His voice. It’s through this connection that we draw strength, guidance, and peace. It’s also how we express our love, gratitude, and commitment to Him.

James 5:16b: “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Learn The Basics Of Prayer: 

While there are many different ways you can prayer and different forms of prayer and mediation, I don’t believe praying to the Lord Jesus Christ should be complicated. He is our friend and whether you are feeling sadness and despair and need God’s counsel or whether you want to pray a prayer of thanksgiving, He is our friend and you can talk to Him about anything. 

How To Pray

Praying is like having a heart-to-heart conversation with a close friend. I want you to know that no matter what, you can always come to God, our Redeemer, in prayer. 

It can be helpful to find a quiet place to pray – especially if you’re looking to set aside a focused time for prayer and devotion. However, you can pray anytime! You can pray while you’re walking, you can pray while you’re driving, you can pray while you’re cooking dinner in the midst of the chaos of a bustling children. There is no right or wrong way to pray. 

When I’m alone and have time to sit and read my Bible and then pray, I like to close my eyes. I like to close my eyes during corporate prayer as well – like in church or around the family dinner table. But, if I’m busy with something else but want to just have a conversation with God, I can talk to him while I work or drive or do the things I need to do. 

The Bible says to pray without ceasing! The key to praying and having a real conversation with God is to be genuine and speak from the heart.

The Lord’s Prayer, found in the Gospel of Matthew 6:5-15, is one of the most well-known and frequently recited prayers. You may be familiar with it, but if not I’ll share it below. 

Jesus offered this prayer as a model in response to His disciples asking Him how to pray. 

The Lord’s Prayer and How It Applies to Our Lives:

Matthew 6:5-15: “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.

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Let’s look at what this prayer can teach us about how to pray:

1. Acknowledging God’s Holiness

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.”

The prayer begins by addressing God as “Our Father”, signifying a close and intimate relationship. 

It acknowledges the sanctity of God’s name, emphasizing the reverence and awe with which we should approach Him. When we pray, starting with praise and adoration orients our heart towards God’s sovereignty.

2. Submission to God’s Will

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Here, we express our desire for God’s dominion and reign. It’s a declaration of surrender, indicating that we prioritize His will over ours. 

This challenges us to align our desires and actions with God’s purposes.

3. Petition for Daily Needs

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

This is a humble request for God to provide our basic necessities. It not only refers to physical sustenance but also spiritual nourishment. This teaches us to rely on God daily and trust His provision.  I want you to remember that you can always come to the almighty God with your needs. He loves you and wants the best for you! Intercessory prayer is another way we can petition God on behalf of others.

4. Seeking Forgiveness & Offering Forgiveness

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

Forgiveness is a two-fold process: seeking it for ourselves and extending it to others. Jesus emphasizes the importance of a contrite heart and the act of reconciliation. We need to be willing to forgive and and humble ourselves before Him if we want to have eternal life. 

5. Guidance and Protection

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

This plea seeks God’s guidance away from the allure of sin and His protection from evil forces. It’s a recognition of our vulnerabilities and an expression of trust in God’s protective power. You can ask God to give you more patience and lead you away from unholy passion, thoughts, and desires. You can also pray for God to send the Holy Spirit to comfort you and guide you. 

How Does this Apply to Our Own Lives? Let’s put it into practice.

Framework for Prayer: The Lord’s Prayer provides a basic framework that can guide our personal prayers. While it’s not meant to be the only way we communicate with God, it offers a balanced structure of praise, submission, petition, confession, and protection.

Emphasis on Relationship: The Lord’s prayer underscores the relational aspect of our communication with God. It’s not just about asking for things but cultivating a relationship with Him grounded in trust, reverence, and love.

Reminder of Forgiveness: It’s a constant reminder that forgiveness, both receiving and giving, is central to our faith and our relationship with God.

What Should I Pray For?

While God already knows our needs, expressing them helps us align our will with His. You can pray for strength, guidance, peace, or healing. You can also express gratitude, confess sins, and seek forgiveness.

How Can I Pray For Others?

Intercessory prayer is when we pray on behalf of others. Whether it’s for a friend, family, or even a stranger, we can ask God to intervene in their lives. Remember to be specific in your requests and believe that God hears. I like to pray Scripture. Praying the words of God back to him is a powerful way to pray!

1 Timothy 2:1: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people.”

How Long Should I Pray?

While there’s no set time, it’s essential to spend quality moments with God. Whether it’s a brief moment in the morning or an extended session at night, what matters most is the sincerity and intention behind your prayers.

What Is A Prayer Journal?

A prayer journal is a personal space where you write down your prayers, thoughts, and reflections. It’s a wonderful way to keep track of your spiritual journey, and over time, see how God has moved in your life.

9 Free Printable Prayer Journals for Christian Women

Here are some of the free printable prayer journals I have available for you to enjoy! Just click on the links below to download:

  1. My Blessings and Prayer Journal for Kids
  2. Prayer Journaling Page for Women
  3. Grace and Gratitude Prayer Journal
  4. Simple Prayer Journal
  5. Be Still and Know Prayer Journal
  6. Gratitude Prayer Journal
  7. Prayer Journaling Page
  8. Proverbs 31 Prayer Binder
  9. A Contented Heart Prayer Journal

Why Should We Pray When God Knows What We Need?

God indeed knows our needs, but prayer is more than just making requests. It’s about building a relationship with Him. When we verbalize our thoughts and feelings, we’re inviting God into our situations. It’s an act of faith and trust, acknowledging that He is in control.

Matthew 6:8: “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

Recognize That Prayer Is For You and Me

Prayer isn’t reserved for the “holy” or the “righteous.” It’s a gift that everyone can access, no matter where they are in their spiritual journey – including you. 

Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Whether you’re a new believer or have walked with God for years, you have the privilege to approach Him with confidence and openness.

Prayer and the Proverbs 31 woman

The Proverbs 31 woman exemplifies the virtues of a godly woman, and one of her defining characteristics is her relationship with God. Through prayer, she seeks wisdom, strength, and guidance to fulfill her roles with grace and love. As modern-day women, we can draw inspiration from her unwavering faith and make prayer the foundation of our daily lives.

related: Praying through Proverbs 31 | a Proverbs 31 Prayer

Action Steps to Take Today

1. Think about how often you pray and whether you think you should be praying more often. 

2. How can you increase your prayer time and grow your prayer life? 

3. Make a plan for when you will take time each day to spend in prayer – whether it’s a few minutes first thing in the morning or before bed, you can always make time for prayer.

Prayer Resources & Articles on AVirtuouWoman.org

For those looking to deepen their understanding of prayer and its significance, there are numerous resources available. Whether it’s books, workshops, or online articles, one can find many avenues to grow in their prayer life. Remember, the journey of prayer is personal, but it’s also shared among all believers. As we lift each other up, we reflect Christ’s love and unity.

By prioritizing prayer, we allow ourselves to experience the profound effects of God’s love. It’s essential to maintain this practice to see its positive impact on our lives.

Free Printable Prayer Journal

Free Printable Praise Prayer Journal @ AVirtuousWoman.org

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