If your like me, you have lost power to your phone because your battery ran dry. I have found myself searching for a power source to plug my phone into at gas stations, fast food restaurants…even department stores. Getting a “charge” is a key to staying connected with your mobile device. Prayer is sort of like that. Prayer is your connection with God. Talking to God charges your spirit so to say and keeps you connecting to this awesome God that so desires a relationship with you.
Can imagine becoming friends with someone and then never talking to them? It would be hard building a relationship with someone without finding some way to connect. Our heavenly Father created prayer so we could talk with him and he could connect back with us.
There have bene a lot of different ideas about how to pray to God that you may have heard about at one time or another. To keep things simple, we are going to define prayer as just learning to talk to your heavenly Father, just like you would talk to me if we were having a cup of coffee together at Jeremiah’s. If you’ve never really prayed before, just talk to him like he’s right there. Tell him about how you feel, what your day was like, the things that make you afraid and the things that cause you to feel immense joy. Take a moment even right now as you are reading this devotional to stop and spend a few minutes learning how to connect with him. He’s so pumped to just get your attention and start building a friendship between the two of you.
Jesus spent some time trying to teach his disciples how to pray in the first books of the New Testament.
“Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation. ” Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Luke 11:1-10 NLT
Jesus gives us a little bit of a format help us as we learn to pray. He also encourages the disciples not to give up, even if they don’t feel like they are hearing anything. Keep talking and connecting with God bringing your needs to him, sharing your highs and lows with him. Learning to know him. When I became a new Christian, I had a good friend teach me how to pray based on how Jesus shared some insight with the disciples. Maybe it will help you, too. All it takes is 5 minutes…
Spend the first minute just Praising God. Tell him how awesome it is to get to know him. Something about him you value or appreciate.
Spend the second minute asking God to Forgive you when it comes to the daily grind of struggles and our inner thought life. The awesome thing is that you don’t have to do anything to receive this forgiveness accept to ask. God’s Son, Jesus, died on the cross to cover each and every dark moment and sinful choice that we could struggle with.
Spend the third minute asking God to help you FORGIVE others that may have wronged you. There is such power in not holding onto bitterness or the strife of others. Forgiving others sets you FREE!
Spend the fourth minute asking God for anything you need. Strength for the day. Hope in a place you feel hopeless. Healing for your body. You can also take this moment to pray for anyone else you may know that has a need.
Take the final minute and just start to THANK God for all he is doing and going to do. Gratitude is one of the greatest ways to connect with God because it puts your FOCUS on the good things in life rather than just on what you or I would just complain about.
And, if you are still hungry to talk to God, keep going. Take another minute to just listen. I know it might feel weird, but take some time to just sit in a quiet place and listen to your heart. God may speak to you reminding you about something you read in the Bible, or heard during an Experience on the weekend. A song we sang in worship may come to mind. All of it reflecting in ways that God is speaking to you.
Look at that…you have started your journey into the power of prayer. Take the next week or two and just focus on taking 5 minutes out of your day and I know your passion to connect with God will only grow. As you grow in your connection with God, reach out to ask one of our 2911 pastors, a community group leader or a friend you trust about some more resources on learning how to pray. Maybe even take the risk to ask someone to pray for you to grow in this new relationship with God.