Think about the last conversation you had with your mom or your grandpa or your best friend. I’m guessing both of you took turns talking and listening. There might have been serious parts to your conversation, maybe some funny parts.
I’m also hoping you gave whoever you were talking to your full attention and didn’t start texting or start picking your nose or something. That would be gross!
Prayer at the most basic level is a conversation between you and God. Both of you will talk, and God is always listening. It’s us who need practice listening. And lucky for us, the Bible talks a lot about prayer, because it can still be confusing as to where to begin.
For starters, you don’t have to have a lot of words, and you definitely don’t have to use fancy words. Check out today's passage — you don’t even have to pray in the same place or even at the same time every day. God knows that prayer keeps us connected to Him, so He wants us to learn to pray so that we keep our hearts turned toward Him.
In the rest of today's passage, we find some more guidelines for prayer in “The Lord’s Prayer.” Let’s look a little more closely at each of these phrases.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. We start off by acknowledging who God is and His power.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We also acknowledge that it’s His plan that will prevail.
Give us today our daily bread. We ask Him to meet our needs.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Here we ask for forgiveness while also practicing forgiveness with those in our lives.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. And we ask for His help in resisting temptations.
This gives us a template for prayer, a great starting place. As you learn and grow, so will your prayers, but you have to start somewhere. As you spend more time with Him, you begin to desire what He wants, so your prayers will line up with His will more and more.
I encourage you to start a note on your phone or in a journal and list your prayers. Don’t forget to check back periodically to see how God answers them.