“Teach us to pray,” Jesus’ disciples asked him.
This seems a strange request from men who were undoubtedly devout in their faith.
They prayed and heard prayers being said at the temple. They listened to the prayers of their ancestors read from the scriptures.
They had been following Jesus, for goodness sake, and observed him praying.
Surely, they must have known how to pray. Yet, perhaps they wanted to learn to pray better.
Sometimes you might feel like the disciples.
You have been following Jesus for a long time. You have prayed in church. You’ve listened to other people pray. You know The Lord’s Prayer off by heart.
Yet, you have questions about how to pray. There are hurdles you want to overcome.
Next week, on the blog, I am beginning a new series called Prayer 101. It is going to answer some of the “how to” questions we wrestle with on prayer.
For example, if prayer is meant to be a personal, intimate relationship with God, how do I pray when God seems distant?
How do I pray to a holy God when I don’t feel respectable?
How do I pray and submit to God’s purposes? It’s more than wanting our own way, and backing down from our plans. It’s when we pray for God to do something good to overcome the bad and it doesn’t happen. Then it’s hard to accept his will.
The Bible teaches we are to forgive other people. Yet, How do I pray when I’m angry with another person?
How do I pray when I don’t feel thankful? How do I pray when I’m tempted? And, one we often don’t think about, how do I pray when things are easy?
Although we will be working through these questions on the blog, the best way to learn how to pray is to practice. So, I will be giving us practical applications to follow.
We will also look to scripture and find examples of people who prayed, so we can learn from them.
Finally, but not least, we will invite the one to whom we pray, God our Father, to teach us how to pray through the Holy Spirit, just like Jesus taught his disciples.
Heavenly Father, as we struggle with questions about prayer, we ask you to teach us how to pray. Through your Holy Spirit, through your Word the Bible, give us clear answers. Help us to understand with our minds and know with our hearts, the good purposes of prayer.
Will you join me on this adventure in prayer? I would love to hear your questions. Leave me a comment by completing: How do I pray when…
Here are all the posts in the Prayer 101 series:
How to back down in prayer
When God’s Will is not my will
How to pray when God seems distant
How to pray when fear is close and God is far
How to pray when you’re fuming
How to pray when things are easy
How to pray over your doorways
How to pray when you’re tempted
How to pray when you don’t feel respected
How to pray when you don’t feel thankful
Linking up with Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart and Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth
I’m constantly wondering if I pray good enough. Then I realize I am just muddying the waters. As long as I pray from the heart I know that God hears me even if I don’t always get it right. It is about relationship after all.
Absolutely, I totally agree. God looks at the heart and he listens to what we say from the heart.
I can’t wait to read this series. Prayer can be so tough!
Sarah, I hope it will help you feel more relaxed about prayer.
This sounds like it will be a great series! It is so easy to get caught up in self-serving prayers or giving God our lists, but God has a much greater purpose for prayers.
Yes, he does have a much greater purpose. I think he longs to get close to us through prayer.
This looks like a fantastic series, Rachel, and a much-needed one! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Grace & Truth.
Thank you, Jennifer.
. . . when my thoughts are muddled?
I’m living my way into the answer to this question, but so often I come to God with a flood of emotion and tangled thoughts, not trusting myself to ask in any direction because I’m not sure what’s best — for me, for my loved ones, for the Kingdom.
Often, praying Scripture is what I find to be of most help. Or just admitting to God that I am confused and that I’m trusting Him to untangle my motives.
Thankful, most of all, that His motives are always above reproach!
Thank you Michele, for telling me what what you struggle with in prayer.