Prayer is speaking directly to God. As with any relationship, communication is key. And just with any new relationship, communication may be awkward at first, but the more that you practice prayer, the more natural it will be. He LOVES hearing from you.
There is power in prayer; there is intimacy in prayer; there is authenticity in prayer. There is no need for big “churchy” words, a special language, or even words at all. Even when words fail us, God can read what is in our hearts. However, a quiet time away from distractions, set apart to speak to God is imperative to a healthy relationship.
Jesus was seen throughout scripture praying and speaking directly to God. He even gave us a road map to prayer in Matthew 6. Here is a breakdown of that prayer and a simple way to get you started:
Start with praise. God is awesome. He created us, loved us, sacrificed for us, and provided for us. The best way to start communication with God is through putting ourselves in the position of praise. It takes the pressure off of us and directs our attention to an almighty God.
Forgiveness is a staple in any relationship, so repenting of anything that may separate us from His goodness opens our hearts to the knowledge that He is good, and we are blessed. This is also a good time to offer forgiveness to others. It provides for a clean slate for the next part of prayer.
Next comes appreciation. When we thank God for everything He has already blessed us with, it changes our attitude. It’s good to start with, “Thank you God for __________,” but then start moving into, “Because of God I am _____________ .” This is just as much for our perspective as it is for God’s adoration. Gratitude sets us up perfectly for the last part of prayer.
Yearning—making requests of God comes last because all of the other steps align our hearts and minds with God first. We are to come boldly with our requests and ask them constantly, but aligning our hearts with God’s heart first assures that our desires also match up with His.
Usually you will hear people start their prayers with, “Dear God,” and end their prayers with “Amen” (this is a Biblical word meaning; “truly,” or “so be it.”) This isn’t a requirement but it is a simple way of bookending our prayers like a personal letter.
Here are some verses that will give you some more insight to prayer.