14th October 2023
'Ross McCall shares'
How to Pray: The Beginner's Guide
Prayer is communicating with God.
That can mean thanking Him, praising Him, confessing something you've done wrong or expressing a need you have.
It can mean talking to Him as you would to a friend.
Learning how to pray is really about developing a relationship with God.
Relationships are built on moments of connection and communication.
But how do you do that with the God of the universe?
Prayer is a supernatural activity.
It's talking with a God who is unlike anyone else.
He has a personality and qualities you can understand and relate to, but you cannot expect to relate to God in exactly the way you might to a close friend or family member. He's so much bigger and more incredible than that.
Even if talking honestly with other people comes naturally to you, it's understandable if talking with God feels like a steep learning curve.
In fact, the disciples - Jesus' closest followers - only asked Jesus a few questions about how to do something, one of which was "teach us how to pray."
People often say that prayer is just talking to God as you would to anyone else.
It's true that a relationship with God contains many of the same ingredients as other relationships.
But there is at least one unique factor: you can't rely on the senses of sight, sound or touch to connect with God.
First, to be a Christian is to believe that God invited you into a personal relationship with Him, and to accept that invitation.
Saying that you can experience being a Christian in the way God intended without learning to pray is like saying you can be happily married or have a deep friendship without regular communication.
But maybe the question is not why should Christians pray, but why should they want to?
Here are four great reasons to pray as a Christian:
You want to tell God how much you love Him and why.
You need to say "I'm sorry" for specific actions or attitudes.
You want to thank God.
You want to bring a concern to God and invite Him to help.
First, know that there is no secret formula to pray. God simply delights in us coming to Him in honesty.
You can start by addressing God directly in a way that acknowledges His uniqueness.
People will say things such as, "Father God," "Heavenly Father" or "Almighty God."
How you choose to address Him will remind you of who you are talking to and what He represents in your life.
Anytime and anywhere can work, but it's helpful to find a distraction-free time and place if possible.
God deserves your focused attention, and you might find it harder to listen to Him in a busy place.
Some people create a space in their homes, like a "prayer closet," for this purpose.
Others will choose a favourite park or coffee shop.
You can bow, kneel, stand or walk around when you pray.
God will hear you whatever you do, so choose a position that helps you focus.
Kneeling or bowing your head are great ways to focus your body and mind on God.
It's a symbolic way to demonstrate that you respect His authority.
John 17:1 also describes Jesus looking toward Heaven when praying.
Try praying to each member of the Trinity at different times, because they all listen to you.
If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit is the presence of God living within you.
So you can address Him directly, with confidence that He is as close as He could be.
Romans 8:26 says, "And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for.
But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words" (NLT).
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The sole basis of our beliefs is the Bible, God's infallible written Word, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.
We believe that it was uniquely, verbally and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit and that it was written without error (that is, it is inerrant) in the original manuscripts.
It is the supreme and final authority in all matters on which it speaks.
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