How to pray

When was the last time you had a conversation with God?

Was it when you were a kid, kneeling beside your bed at night saying, “Now I lay me down to sleep…?”

Or maybe mindlessly rattling off 10 Hail Marys and 5 Our Fathers as your penance after confession?

Maybe it was the last time something went wrong and you yelled up to sky, “Why me, Lord, why me!”

Actually, it’s very easy. There’s no set formula, just some guidelines. But you need to know that God is a loving God and you are His child. You can speak to Him like if you’re speaking to a loving parent that cares for you and does not want to see you suffer.

Just talk to God no matter where you are. He doesn’t care what the words are, just that they are sincere – from the heart.

Here are some guidelines based on the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:6-14 when Jesus’ followers asked him, “Teach us how to pray.”

Jesus replied, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, (Praising God)
your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Acknowledging that God is in control and it’s His will not yours.)
     
“Give us today our daily bread. (He is the ultimate provider, but you still have to ask.)
Forgive us our debts (sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors (those who have sinned against us).

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (“The evil one” is Satan, the Devil, whatever you want to call him. Satan and his demons are all around us – tempting us. Evil is the absence of God just as darkness is the absence of light.)

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

You need to thank God for what you have – food, a roof over your head, a job if you have one, etc., because everything you have came from God. You may think you worked for it, but God created everything and he allowed us to work for what we’ve got. Everything belongs to Him and we are just the caretakers while we are on earth.

Then you can ask Him for things, help, whatever is heavy on your heart for yourself or a family member or friend in need. The more open you are with God, the better.

But if He supposed to know everything, why do we need to ask? Yes, he knows you and what’s in your heart, but He wants us to recognize His power (“For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever…”) and to lay your needs at His feet. When you do that, He takes them off your shoulders and you’ll feel the weight lifted. That is what trusting God is all about.

Read this post: Up the Down Escalator – When-Tough-Times-Get-You-Down

Remember, praying is just talking to God, your Father – “Daddy”. He loves you unconditionally. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done – God loves you.

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