We would then thank the Lord for all we had: for our marriage, the ministry, the clothing on our back and food in the pantry. Were it not for His goodness and love, we wouldn't have it. We thanked Him for good health and ability to do our work. We thanked Him for the sacrifice of His son Jesus.
By the time we were finished thanking him, we saw the pettiness of some of our actions for the last few hours and began to ask forgiveness for our sin. We could have done all of this by praying the Lord's Prayer – but we wanted to be clear that we weren't just praying by rote. It's so easy to do this.
Robert's way of praying seems so much more formal than mine. I am sometimes embarrassed because the wonderful words he uses when talking to his Father don't seem to work in my mouth. He sounds great when he says them and I am in agreement, but I feel a little phony speaking like that. In fact, that's why I was always asking someone else to do the praying. I felt inadequate.
God created words for us to use to our benefit, not to hurt ourselves or others. He doesn't care whether we are literate or not, what language we speak or what church we belong to. He wants to hear from us. Our petitions to him are a sweet fragrance unto Him and he guards them with special care.
I have learned that I can just talk to God and tell him what's on my mind. The truth is, He already knows because he's omniscient and omnipresent. He's everywhere at once. But he wants me to talk with Him, to take special time to communicate with him. So I say what's in my heart and let it go at that.
Recently, a friend sent me something called God's Yellow Pages. It's a wonderful resource to use when I get ready to pray. I choose a topic and then pray the Word over the need. Then I know that I have scripture to back up the request. I've had some health issues that just don't seem to be resolving and I looked into scripture and found this:
I Corinthians 12:9-10
9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This is Paul speaking, who complained to the Lord about a thorn in his side. He wanted it gone. He wanted to be free of it. God had certainly done greater things for him. So I pray this way:
Lord, I thank you that you can work miracles. I am praying for that miracle in my own life. I want relief from the pain and the depression that comes with illness. I know that your Word says that there are times that your grace is sufficient and so I am at peace, Lord. I want to be strong in You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
None of this “If it's Your will, God, heal me.” I tell him what I want. I ask for it. I am bold before the throne. Having praised Him, thanked Him and having asked for forgiveness, I go forward. I ask for others, knowing that He already has the answers. I have faith that He knows just what to do.
If your life is busy and you think you can't make time for God, understand that He always makes time for you. He hears every prayer, sees every tear, shares all your joy as well. Pray in the car, in the shower, where ever you can take a moment. Then take a look at trying to make a dedicated prayer time every day.
The Bible asks us to pray without ceasing. This means that we should always have an attitude of prayer, being ready at a moment's notice to slip from everyday chores into conversation with God. See what is said in 1 Thessalonians5:17-18:
1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
r1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is thewill of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Even Jesus himself prayed for us. Read John 17: 1- 26 In this prayer, Jesus pleads for his disciples. We are those disciples today. His prayer is now as it was then before the Father.
Take time to speak with your Father. He loves you and wants to hear from you. Don't worry about how you speak, only that you speak.
Blessings in Christ,