Learning to Pray (part 2)

Last year I wrote a post for those of us that may be struggling with learning to pray. At the end of that post, I said that I would be back for a second installation of that blog post. Well, here we are…

In the last post, I said:

“Prayer is also one of the best ways to build your relationship with God. How can you get to know someone if you don’t speak to them? The same applies to him. The more you speak to God, the more comfortable you will become in his presence and the more comfortable you will be with actively seeking his guidance.”

That is still true. When we become more comfortable with prayer, it will start to feel less like a chore or shouting into the unknown and more like a conversation with an old friend. But before that can happen, we’ve got to practice it.

The last tips I gave were:

  1. If you have a hard time praying at first, journal it out.
  2. God doesn’t want the prayer you heard growing up in church every Sunday.
  3. You can speak to God anywhere and everywhere.

Today I want to leave you with 3 more tips that you can take with you in your journey on the path to closer communion with God through prayer:

If you find yourself losing focus, try to pray on your knees. Growing up, I’d gotten into the habit of rolling out of bed and onto the floor to begin my morning prayers. However, as I got older and lived in college dorms, the floors were no longer carpeted. Now, I was trying to pray on cold tile floors with beds lifted so far off the ground that my elbows didn’t stand a chance. That was the thing that ended my kneeling prayer routine. Now that my bed is back to normal height and I have a rug to kneel on, I’m back to praying on my knees. I’ve found that in this position, it’s easier to stay focused on the task at hand; prayer. Although I said that you can pray anywhere and everywhere, sometimes things around us can serve as distractions. When you’re just getting into the swing of things, try praying on your knees first.

God wants you to pray for yourself. Isn’t is odd that so many of us forget to mention ourselves in our own prayers? Well, at least for me this has been the case. It wasn’t until last year that I realized I spend a lot of time lifting others up in prayer but fail to do the same for myself. For some reason, I felt that it may have been selfish for me to spend my prayer time asking God for things I wanted. How could I when there are people homeless and starving?? That’s not how God wants us to think. Yes, we should pray for others but we should also pray over our own lives. Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Why would the word say that if we were only to pray for others? Don’t feel like you’re being selfish when praying for yourself. God wants to know what you want and how you’re doing, just as much as he wants you to pray for others.

Just talk. Whenever we’re learning a new thing, it’s normal to be apprehensive and tip-toe around it. With prayer you don’t have to be this way. I want for you to jump into the deep end and stop putting too much thought into it. God wants you to talk to him exactly as you are. There’s no need for fancy words and well constructed sentences with him. The word says that he knows every hair on our head (Luke 12:7) and that he knew us before we were even formed in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). No one else knows us that well or will ever begin to know us with that much detail. That’s why we should be comfortable coming to him exactly as we are. There’s no need to try to present versions of ourselves to him that he already knows we aren’t. Just talk to him.

That’s all the advice I’ve learned so far in my little 24 years of living. But if I learn any more, know that I’ll be back to bring it to you.

Good luck in your journey and I hope this was helpful to you.

From Me to You, Love.

Shaakira White

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