How NOT to Pray Part 1: Don’t (Do.)
The best way to NOT pray is to just never start.
Our excuses are numerous. The result? Predictable: disconnection from God.
If you want to develop or maintain a good spiritual funk, then just don’t start praying.
However, if you’d like to break through that barrier…
Don’t wait. Just start. Not later. Now. Pray.
(My hope is you’ll STOP reading this post and just start praying. If you’re willing to, do that now. If you must, read on.)
“I’m not sure there’s a God that’s listening.”
Ok, your body knows when it needs food. That’s called an appetite. Your spirit is similar. It was designed by a Designer who engineered you to hunger for Him. Your desire for connection is evidence of His existence. Would you thirst if your body didn’t need water?
So respond to your soul’s longing to connect with your Creator. Respond to the conversation He is initiating.
As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you O God. I thirst for God, the living God. Where can I go and stand before Him? (Psalm 42:1-2)
Satisfy the longing of your soul by praying to the God who’s just waiting to pour into you. Begin now. Pray.
“I’m not good at it.”
What does that even mean?
Of course you’re not good at it! The entire history of the human race is marked by brokenness in relationships, originating with the rift created by Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden. Up until that day God talked face to face with humans. But ever since then we’ve been relegated to other forms of communication.
There has been a great repair, however. Jesus Christ opened up unrestricted prayer for us. Being God, He came to earth on a mission to mend what was broken between God and man. He lived a perfect life, and then sacrificed Himself to bridge the gap between God’s holiness and our brokenness. Now we can…
“…approach God’s throne of grace with confidence…” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Consider my mind blown. When I think about all the stupid, sinful things I’ve done, I think, “There’s no way God would want to talk with me.” But He does. He wants unbroken relationship with me so intensely that He sent His own Son to be my Savior. Wow.
So don’t think that just because you’re not “good” at praying that you shouldn’t. You should. By doing so you’re confessing your need for a Savior, and you’re accepting His gift of repaired relationship with God. Do it. Pray.
“I don’t know what to say.”
The words don’t really even matter. Be clumsy. Backtrack. Be willing to enter into a messy conversation rather than waiting until you can make some kind of flowery string of words. God isn’t impressed with pretty prayers anyway. He knows exactly what you need, so just start talking.
By the way, God will even help us pray. And who says you need words anyway? Consider this:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26)
That’s right. God Himself, through the Holy Spirit, will pray for you! So just make yourself available. All Him to start this communication. He lives in you. He will help you connect with Him. Wild, isn’t it?
Bottom line: When you’re hungry, I bet you know how to get food. When your spirit senses a need, reach for it. Just start praying.
Please do what we’re talking about here. Don’t close out this post and think, “That was nice.” Pray.
Then share the experience. Invite others in. Click that facebook button or email this post to your friends.
Finally, please comment below. I can’t wait to hear what God does inside of you through this journey.
P.S. – FOLLOW the blog by signing up with you email on the top right of the page. That way you won’t miss any of this 10-part series on “How NOT to Pray”.
About Joe WickmanI'm the husband of the most beautiful woman I've ever met, the father of our four daughters, and on staff at the church I grew up in. I'd say I'm blessed beyond belief. I hope the lessons I've learned along the way can help others keep from tanking the most important things in life.
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