How to Pray from Your Heart

At times, we may feel that we have to impress God when we pray. We remember the eloquent, graceful prayers we’ve heard others pray, and we try to imitate them. “After all, I want God to answer my prayers. I’d better make sure they’re just right,” we think. 

However, trying to be more acceptable to God with our prayers is not only unnecessary. It’s also harmful to our understanding of God. He is not a Teacher handing out grades. He is a Father listening to His beloved children.

If you have a personal relationship with Christ, God loves to hear your prayers. (Join us at our church in Sydney Mines  to learn how to start a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.) 

However, God doesn’t want you to try to impress Him with your prayers. He wants you to pray humbly, honestly, and confidently.

Here are 4 tips to help you pray from your heart.

 

1) Learn to be still before God.

 

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10) You don’t have to fill every second of your prayer time with words. It is good to stop, take a deep breath, and focus your mind on God. 

Often, we pray for God’s guidance. But do we ever pause and ask God a question? Do we take time to listen for His response? God has all the time in the world. If you are too busy to slow down and listen to God, you are too busy. 

Remember Mary’s example? When Jesus came to her family’s home, her sister Martha was preoccupied with many things. Martha rushed about, trying to prepare for the guests, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His words. 

When Martha complained, Jesus responded, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

2) Pray for today.

We can easily get into the habit of praying only in generalities. “Bless my family, help us be a light at school and work, and protect us from evil.” Although these are good requests, we should be more specific.

When Jesus asked the two blind man what they wanted, they said, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” (Matt. 20:33) And He healed them immediately. 

What mountains are you climbing today? What decisions do you have to make? What sins are you battling? Pray for God’s help and grace in those things. And pray specifically for your family, friends, and church. 

At our church in Sydney Mines, we pray for each other’s needs.

We are in a spiritual battlefield, friends. We need each other’s prayers…not just general prayers, but specific prayers.

3) Remember that He already knows.

 

Do you think we can ever catch God off guard with our prayers? Does He ever have to say, “Wow, I didn’t think of that. I wonder what I should do next?”  

Of course not! God already knows what we need…even better than we know ourselves. He has all the resources, grace, and strength that we need. Why should we pray? Because prayer expresses our dependence on God. 

Prayer says, “God, I’m not enough. I need You.” And God, being our loving Father, says to us,

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)

God already knows what you need, and He will provide it. You just need to ask!

4) Remember that He loves you.

 

In Matthew 7, Jesus told His disciples to ask, seek, and knock. He pointed out that, if their children asked for bread, they would not give them stones. If they asked for fish, the fathers would not give them snakes. 

He said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt. 7:11)

Because God loves you, He will answer your prayers in the best possible way. Knowing this will help you pray confidently and look forward to how He will answer.

If you have struggled to be transparent in your prayer life, take heart. God wants a close relationship with you. Learn to be still and to pray for what you need today. Remember that He already knows and He loves you more than you know. 

As Hebrews 4:16 tells us, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” ________________________________________________________________

Do you want to draw close to God in prayer? Join the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church on Sundays at 11:00 am to learn more about knowing God.

For more information, call (902) 736-6465 or email northside1178@gmail.com