Have you ever found yourself wanting to pray- but didn’t know what to say? Do you find it difficult to comprehend where to start? There are many instances in life where I found myself not being sure of what to pray. I thought there needed to be a set outline, some certain phrases I needed to include. I wanted to pray, but was too afraid of where to start. Here are a few ways I’ve found helpful when it comes to voicing your prayers and thinking of what to say.
1. Just Talk
Simple as that- just talk to God (or whatever being you believe in). I attended a conference while in college that explained just have a conversation with God; no rules, no guidelines, no right or wrong, just talk. You can imagine sitting down with a close friend over a cup a coffee, and just chat. There’s no need for a defined thought process. Just open your mouth and let the words and thoughts come out. It’s okay if they don’t make sense or if you feel like you’re rambling- at least you’re vocalizing your prayers.
2. Write it Down
Some people are more visual, so writing out prayer requests helps to get the same outcome as speaking. If you keep a daily journal, writing out your feelings or praises can be therapeutic- but also effective in reaching the Lord. This way, there’s that visual reminder of what your heart needed to say, and it can also remind you to keep certain people in your prayers.
3. Borrow Song Lyrics
This is the way that I find helps speak to my soul the most. There are times when I want to pray for so much, yet I can’t find the words I need. Sometimes I don’t even know where to begin. It’s often when I’m least expecting it that God places a song on my heart, and the words are exactly what I needed to hear. From there I dig up the words in times when I want to pray, but can't find the words I need. When you hear the song again, it’s a friendly reminder of the Lord watching out for you.
4. Seek Out a Friend
If you’ve ever been prayed over, or you have ever prayed over someone else, you know the powerful act it is. Praying with someone can help to narrow in on certain prayers you want to bring forward. It also allows for the connection with someone else, and gives you someone to help keep you accountable. Praying with a friend provides someone to follow up with you.
5. Just Do It
Making prayer a continual piece of your day is going to take practice. It’s the same concept as riding a bike; it’s scary at first, but there’s always someone nearby when you’re first learning. God is nearby, making sure you are feeling supported. It doesn’t come naturally right at first, but time and time again it gets easier. You’ll notice yourself praying about concerns or blessings more often.
6. Be informal...it's okay!
Start out with something informal, “Hi God” or “Thank you Lord for (fill in the blank). You don't need to start with "Heavenly Father" or some other phrase you’ve heard people use. Do what’s comfortable for you. After all, it is a conversation between you and Him, do what works best for you.
Whether you speak your prayers out loud, whisper them in your mind, or journal them out…God can hear them. There comes a time when you need the power of prayer, and the fears of “doing it wrong” will become less of a priority than voicing your prayers to the Lord. I encourage you to find the method of prayer that works best for you. Ultimately the prayers come from your heart, and you know your heart best. It might be a little uncomfortable at first, but remember the more you do it, the easier it will become. Once you voice your prayers in whatever way you choose, you’ll see the work of Him responding to what’s been on your heart…and that’s a great feeling!