Are you new to prayer Prayer – communicating with God – is an important and powerful way to grow spiritually. If you haven’t prayed much, starting a prayer habit may seem intimidating, but it should be a pleasant process. God will pick you up where you are when you choose to pray. Experiencing the miracle of God’s presence while you are praying can inspire you to make prayer a habit in your life. Here’s why prayer can be difficult for beginners, and how to start with it.
Why prayer can be difficult for beginners
Starting a new activity – including prayer – can be difficult. You may initially feel challenged by the idea of praying. Since you do not yet know what it is like to pray, you may be concerned about starting. You may be concerned that you are not saying the right words, or that God does not care to listen to you or answer your prayers. However, if you do choose to give prayer a try, you will find that these concerns go away.
Just be ready to take the first step even if you are afraid and God will give you the faith to overcome your fear and start a new habit of prayer. Prayer can make you aware of God’s constant presence with you. Focus on that presence to have the courage to start praying. As Joshua 1: 9 says, “… Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and do not be frightened, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. “
How to start praying as a beginner
You can start praying simply by telling God that you want to connect with him. Don’t worry as you try to follow certain formulas of prayer, such as: Use formal language, sit still, or close your eyes. God has given you the freedom to pray in any way that is best for you as long as you are genuinely trying to connect with Him. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” promises 2 Corinthians 3:17.
God sees your heart. 1 Samuel 16: 7 reveals, “… People judge by appearance, but the Lord looks to the heart.” If your heart is truly determined to spend time with him, God will accept your prayers. You don’t have to try to impress God with fancy words. You can just talk to God like you would talk to a friend. You don’t need to speak softly and carefully when you pray. You can sing your prayers, sing your prayers, or even shout your prayers.
Not only that, you don’t even have to verbalize your prayers. You can just think them calmly in your mind. Psalm 139: 2 says of God: “… you perceive my thoughts from afar.” If you want, you can even express your prayers non-verbally (e.g. by kneeling or dancing). Basically, accept the freedom to pray in any way that is good for you, and expect God to answer you with love.
Prayer is an opportunity rather than an obligation. In my book, Wake Up to Wonder, I describe how you can begin to enjoy your prayers and discover awe in the process. Prayer should be an enjoyable experience that will help you recognize the presence of your loving Creator with you – not a stressful chore. When you pray, expect the miracle of God to work in your life. Let yourself be inspired by the good opportunities that can arise through prayer.
Choose to believe that God wants to hear from you and help you. Hebrews 4:16 explains that all of us “may approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our need”. Look forward to trustingly approaching God in prayer! Here are 3 simple but powerful ways that prayer can begin for beginners:
3 powerful prayers for beginners
1. The breath prayer
This type of prayer is easy to start with as it is super short. However, it is powerful! Saying a breath prayer means praying a phrase that you can say in the time it takes to take a full breath – inhale and exhale once.
You can choose any simple phrase that makes the most sense to you. Some phrases to consider are: “God, show me you are here”, “Dear God, please help me”, “Give me more faith, God”, “Please guide me, God”, “God , I have to feel your love ”and“ Please give me hope, God ”. Split your sentence into two parts that you can say naturally as you inhale and exhale. Feel free to say your breathing prayer several times and meditate on its meaning.
2. The prayer for overcoming worries
In this prayer, you will focus on one vital habit as you establish your connection with God: worries Prayers. As soon as a fearful thought crosses your mind, practice praying about it instead of worrying about it. The more you let go of your worries and entrust them to God, the closer your relationship with God can become.
You can pray, “God, I’m worried about [mention one of your biggest concerns]. Please give me your peace and hope in the midst of this situation. I also need your wisdom to deal with it. Show me what I can do under the circumstances. Please do for me what I cannot do myself to improve this situation. God I think you want to help me with this. For now, I leave this situation up to you and I trust that you will deal with it. May your will be done with it. Help me hold onto the peace and hope of you while I think about it. Thanks very much!”
3. The Lord’s Prayer
Jesus gave us all a model prayer through what is known as the Lord’s Prayer, which the Bible describes in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Matthew 6: 9-13 relates how Jesus shared his prayer: “So 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 have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. “
Luke 11: 2-4 records Jesus’ prayer in this way: “He said to them, ‘When you pray, say,’ Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us our daily bread every day. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'”
The Lord’s Prayer guides you through the elements of prayer that Jesus taught are most important: acknowledging God’s holiness, seeking God’s will in all situations, asking for what you need, seeking forgiveness, and asking for spiritual wisdom and strength. You can just say this prayer directly and think about the meaning of the words. Or, you can add a few brief personal thoughts to each part of the prayer.
For example, by praying, “Our Heavenly Father, hallowed be your name,” you can praise and thank God for something awesome He has done for your life recently. Or, as you pray “Give us our daily bread today,” you can mention specific needs you or other people have and ask God to help in those situations.
Remember that prayer involves two-way communication. So after you’ve finished talking, take some time to listen. Focus your attention fully on the greetings from God and see what thoughts come to mind. Expect God to answer your prayers in the best way because of His great love for you at the best of times.
Prayer for beginners may seem difficult at first. But when you start praying, the miracle you will discover will inspire you to keep praying.
The more you pray, the more you will experience what is described at Psalm 16:11 when people spend time with God: “You will teach me the way of life; In your presence is the abundance of joy; Eternal joys are in your right hand. ”There is always more to be learned about God in prayer, so enjoy the process and look forward to wondrous adventures along the way!
Photo credit: © GettyImages / fizkes
Whitney Hopler is the author of the book “Wake Up to Wonder” and the blog “Wake Up to Wonder”, which help people achieve success through experiencing awe. She heads communications at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University. Whitney has worked as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations including Crosswalk.com, the National Salvation Army publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel about angels and miracles). Connect with Whitney on Twitter and Facebook.