I believe that talking to God is one of the actions he wants us to take action on a regular basis. The challenge for many is, how do you do it? We can, and should use the model of the Lord’s prayer, but I also want to throw in my two cents here. In addition, I also want to use a visual tip to get across an idea which is just as important. It will make a distinction between how we pray, and when we should pray.
This is how I pray, and by no means do I think it is “the” way to pray. If first give thanks for everything God has blessed me with, including the “problems” which make me grow in life. I thank Him for my family, my work, and even my material possessions. I know some might get hung up on praying for material possessions, but they are truly blessings in our lives. I’m grateful for the home I get to raise my family in, my clothes, and even some favorite items I like to “play” around with.
Admittingly, the next thing I want to do more of, is praise Him. After all, he is the God of the universe, the God who created everything. He is the God who created all of the things I just mentioned in the part before. Why wouldn’t I magnify His name, and hold Him above all others? (Side note, presently, I’m trying to do this more in my own prayers.)
Next, I open the faucet, and just admit all of the garbage in my life. The words I said which hurt, the action I took which are not pleasing to God, the times I compromised my integrity, etc. The times I might have lost my temper, the insults I said in my mind about others, and the things I did that I didn’t even notice.
After that, I pray for what I want to happen tomorrow and even in the near future. This is a touchy subject for many, because many think “how dare we ask for something”, but God wants us to bring all of our wants to Him. He wants to hear us ask for healing from sickness, a more satisfying job, better control over our emotions, a healthier marriage and yes, even a way to afford that family vacation! If it is on our mind, and it serves the greater good, why wouldn’t God want us to have it?
Lastly, I pray for others who I know need God’s help. Doesn’t matter if they are Christian or not, friend or foe (tough one), big or small. It is like I’m doing the previous part on someone elses’ behalf. As long as it serves the greater good, what couldn’t you ask for on another’s behalf? What if you have someone who isn’t treating you nicely? Could you pray to have their eyes opened and heart changed? Could you pray for greater sensitivity on their part? Of course! You can pray for protection during a surgery, help getting over a loss and even a door to be opened so a new business can survive. Believe me, I’ve prayed for them all, and so can you.