I'm staring into space again. I'm supposed to be praying, but honestly I don't know how to pray. My sister and brother are gone, I'm having relationship issues with Kim, Lucy's making some bad life choices, Renee has health issues, Michelle is struggling with depression, and I'm supposed to be praying for all of them, but honestly I just don't know how. There is so much I could be praying for, yet here I am struggling to pray. How do I pray for others?
I’m sure at some point in your life or perhaps right now you can relate to my own situation of ‘prayer uncertainty’. I had gone through the easy prayers "Please help so-and-so, protect blank, heal you-know-who--but beyond that I didn't know what was acceptable to pray. It was at that critical point in my spiritual life that I learned to pray the word; my prayer life flipped upside down.
I must share that a lot of what I learned about prayer I gleaned from reading “A Praying Life”. Praying the word did three things in my life:
- Praying the Word made me confident in prayer. As Don Whitney says “Can you have any greater assurance that you are praying the will of God than praying the Word of God?” There is no fear involved when I pray the word, no question of whether it's 'ok' to pray for this or that--I have confidence in prayer because I'm praying the very words of God!
- Praying the Word taught me how to pray. Scripture is full of models of how we are to pray. From the Old Testament prayers and psalms to the Lords prayer and Paul’s prayers in the New Testament. The biblical authors are constantly praying to God because they see their need for him. As I have prayed the word, I have learned what prayer means from the best prayer warriors.
- Praying the Word requires you to learn the Word; I can’t pray for what I don’t understand. Praying the word caused me to be intimate with the Bible. I wasn't just reading a text, I began to really think upon it and in turn see God more deeply. The more I learned about God in his word and more I knew what caused his heart grief, what he was worthy of and what I should change in my own life. In brief the more I read the Bible the more I ran to Jesus in prayer.
MY CHALLENGE TO YOU
If you’re struggling to pray, I challenge you to read through a Psalm a day focusing on how you can pray the Psalm for yourself, friends, unbelievers & the world. Pay attention to the life sustaining character of God—pray that you and your friends would experience that character. Look at the effects of sin and pray that God would protect you and your friends from sin. See the satisfaction found in Jesus and pray you & your friends would be satisfied in Jesus.