Truth For Generations Blog

Prayer: What Is It & How Do I Do It?

By Alicia H.

Truth For Generations Blog

Prayer: What Is It & How Do I Do It?

By Alicia H.

What is Prayer?

Prayer is meant to be a conversation between us and Jesus (God). The first step to having a prayer life is to want to know Jesus on a deeper level. You need to first start with a prayer of salvation professing Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life. When you say this first prayer where you repent of living for yourself, you profess, claim, or declare that you believe that Jesus is the true son of the living God and that he died and rose again. Then commit your life to follow Him. More on “following” in a post coming soon. 

Example: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and I need you to save me.  Please forgive me all my sins (you should name what you are aware of). Cleanse me from unrighteousness.  I believe that you died and rose again so that I could have life and I ask you to take my life in your hands.  I call you my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name, amen!

Examples Of Prayer

Let’s talk about the most common example of prayer, The Lord’s Prayer. The disciples could have asked Jesus to teach them anything on any subject, but they didn’t. The one thing they requested for Jesus to teach them was how to Pray. Matthew 6:9-13 says,

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”(NIV)

I must take a moment and implore you to read the verses about and below this for full context on how to pray. I will comment on it but for the sake of length, I haven’t added the full section.

When praying according to the layout of this prayer you:

  • Acknowledge God and His role as Father in your life.
  • You exalt Him as the one to be honored.
  • Start your prayers with praise and thanksgiving, then ask for His will in your life.
  • You ask for provisions like “daily bread.”
  • You ask for forgiveness for the sins you commented since the last you asked while forgiving others. You must do both, seek forgiveness and give forgiveness.
  • Ask for God’s protection from the temptations that you struggle with, as well as protection from the attacks of the enemy. 

The “5 Finger Method” is a great tool for those who are new to prayer or someone who is struggling to get their prayer life up and going. There are 5 steps or suggested things to pray for.

  • The first is the thumb and it stands for those who are closest to you because it is the closest to your heart.
  • The second is your index(pointer) finger. It stands for those that direct (teachers, pastors, doctors, etc.) since it is used to point.
  • The third, middle finger, represents those in leadership or the government. It is the tallest finger so it reminds you to pray for those who are above others in leadership.
  • The fourth is the ring finger. This one reminds us to pray for the weak, the suffering, and the sick.
  • The last prayer is for ourselves, represented by the pinky. This reminds us that we need to put others before ourselves, especially in our prayer life.

I would suggest that you follow this method in conjunction with the pattern of The Lord’s Prayer. We need to always give thanks and recognize God’s goodness. 

How Do I Pray?

You may be asking, “How long or often should I aim to pray?” Without ceasing, as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (ESV)

This is the prayer that’s like having a continual texting conversation with God. You just share little things and say thanks and chat all day.

I’d also say that it is important to have dedicated and focused prayer time. This is more like an active phone conversation or a coffee date with an old friend. The kind of conversation where you share all your hopes, dreams, issues, concerns, and gratitude.

There are times that you can talk with a good friend for just 5 minutes and others that you can talk for an hour. The main thing is that you are connecting in conversation and building a relationship. 

Bottom Line: Prayer Is Building Relationship

Don’t get legalistic with yourself, rather focus on building a relationship. This also means that you should take time to pause in your speech and listen for His answer. You don’t like it when your friend calls and talks to you for a long amount of time but never gives you a chance to respond. Make room in your prayer time for God to give you an answer. 

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