...I believe all of us have personally struggled most times with what to say and how to say it when we pray. Even the Jesus’ first disciples ask him to teach them to pray. And with kind, compassionate patience in his voice, he taught them to pray simply, humbly, confidently, according to God’s word and for God’s glory. Here are a few abridged summary guidelines from desiring God via ChurchLeaders.com.
- Slow Down and Be OK With Silence. God knows our hearts; so, it is OK to slow down when you speak to him. It is OK to pause in the midst of your prayers. Perhaps God wants to speak to you in the silence.
- Pray to God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is Trinity. We ought to relate to God (rightly so) as Trinity, adoring and thanking and pleading with Father, Son and Spirit in our prayers. Yet while doing this, it can be easy to get confused and begin to thank the Father for dying on the cross and so on and so forth. When you pray, consider the person of the Trinity to whom you are praying. The Father sends the Son to be the Savior of the world. The Son came obediently, died in our place, rose from the dead, then sent his Spirit to convict of sin, to convince of truth, and to equip and empower us. So as we pray, pray with that in mind.
- Use Normal Language. We speak to friends in normal language; we should do the same with God. When you pray, there is no need to speak like someone from a bygone era in order to sound more spiritual or reverent. Use normal language, and pray like yourself.
- Use Your Normal Voice. We should pray with all of our emotions and affections, but it must be sincere and authentic. If you’re moved, be moved, but be real about it. No need to alter your voice or manufacture emotion. God knows our hearts better than we know ourselves.
- Keep It Short and Simple. Our prayers can be simple and still faith-filled. Prayer isn’t a love bank where many words equal a more substantive deposit. Our prayers don’t have to be long or eloquent. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he taught them a short prayer that exemplified the vertical (glorifying God) and the horizontal (edifying others) aspects of prayer. When praying with others, aim to build them up with short, thoughtful prayers, and if you feel the need to pray longer, go to God “in secret” (Matthew 6:6).
Prayer is naturally one of the most spiritual things we can do as believers, so we don’t need to add anything extra to over spiritualize it. We can simply come as deeply joyful sons and daughters with reverent awe that we have been rescued by a God who loves us and hears us.
Pastor Robert Chew