How to Pray
Most of the questions that I get asked have to do with prayer–
“How do I pray, am I doing it wrong, and what do I say?”
My answer is always the same…
You can’t really DO it wrong! The point is just to DO it.
I realize that answer isn’t very satisfying though, so I decided to write up a practical step-by-step guide on how to pray. My ‘method’ is what has worked for me as I have narrowed in on how I best hear from the Lord. Guess what–it might be different for you–and that’s ok! I pray based loosely on the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13:
“This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
The 6 Steps of Prayer: A Beginner’s Guide
Take the Correct Posture:
That doesn’t mean that you have to bow your head, close your eyes and fold your hands. For me, the correct posture is often a mindset.
Am I in the right state of mind to hear from the Lord?
It looks different at different times. For example—if I’m praying warfare prayers (marriage/children/sickness) I’m on my knees with my head in my hands or on the ground. I’m pleading with God—but at the same time, submitting to His will.
For daily prayers, I’m sitting in my favorite chair, head back, Bible and notebook on my lap, and palms up. It’s a familiar posture for me and muscle memory kind of takes over.
When I’m here, my thoughts settle down and it signals to my body and mind that it’s time to pray.
If you’re just starting out with prayer—don’t worry—it takes practice to find the posture. Start with these 3 tips:
- Find a quiet spot and get comfortable—maybe this is your bed, your comfy chair, or your car. There is no right or wrong place.
- Close your eyes (if you’re safely able to) and place your hands on your knees—palms up.
- Deep breathing exercise—breathe in for four counts, and then out for four counts. Do this until you are focusing only on your breathing and not your to-do list.
At this point, you should be fully relaxed and ready to receive what the Lord has for you. Don’t worry, there will come a point when the posture will come more quickly. That’s why I like to pray in the same place each time—because each step of my prayer life is like a habit.
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