I often hear phrases like: “I don’t pray in front of others”, or “you pray so much better than me”, or, “I don’t have the right words”, or my personal favorite, “pastor, you know all the right words….”. Of course, there are variations on these but I think you get the point. Prayer is not something you do better or worse than someone else. On the other hand, we shouldn’t trivialize prayer either. Prayer, in large part, defines our relationship with God made real to us in Jesus by his Holy Spirit.
Yet, I know that there is struggle as I, too, go through wilderness periods where I wonder, “is any of this getting through”. So, what can you do…when prayer seems hard? Certainly, one of the easiest, is to have a book of prayers written by others – there are many available.
One, that I think is easier and readily at hand is to use your Bible or a Bible APP on your phone or tablet (YouVersion.com is one of the best!). When you find yourself in a tough spot with prayer, though, sometimes simplicity is the best course of action. While you can read through the Psalms – the great prayer book of the Bible, a solid “method” to get back on track is to begin with the fundamentals…you can begin with individual verses that focus on realigning and grounding yourself in truth. Individual verses allow you to focus on these truths and provide a focus for your day…praying your prayer all day long. For example:
- “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” (1 John 4:16)
- “…he (Jesus) humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
- “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 – the verse from YouVersion.com as I sit and write this Friday)
- “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10)
- “You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13,14)
Your Bible is filled with truth…so open it up, pick a verse and pray – talk to the God who loves you and wants to hear from you and wants to speak to you. Better yet…for everyone who reads this particular post – why don’t you add one additional verse you think would be beneficial to someone else – we can grow together!