When I was younger, I thought there was a formula for prayer. I was under the impression that you had to follow a specific method or God wouldn’t listen. To this day, I get in conversations with people who believe that only certain individuals, such as priests, can communicate with God.
It’s just not true. The way I see it, we’re all human — no one has a greater or lesser ability to talk to God than you.
Just like any relationship, the more you talk and spend time with another person, the easier it is. Think about it. When you first meet someone, it can be slightly awkward and it’s typically a very surface-level conversation. That’s when you are just getting to know them. After some time, conversation shifts because you begin to go deeper and relate to each other more.
Unlike our relationships with each other, God already knows everything about us. He sees us and understands us fully. You don’t have to worry about being misunderstood because even if the words come out wrong, he knows your heart.
When it comes to praying, you don’t have to set aside hours every day, or get on your knees, or go into a special place, or have a beautiful memorized script, though none of those things are bad. They just aren’t required.
God wants to be in constant communication with you, and you don’t have to make it weird. Here are a few of my favorite ways to keep prayer a part of my everyday, ordinary life.
Write them down
You don’t have to handwrite your prayers. I often type mine in the notebook on my iPhone. I jot down things on-the-go such as, “Thank you, Lord, for Kristin. I just had coffee with her and she is such an encourager in my life. I am so grateful for her”; or, “God, please heal grandma. She isn’t feeling well and I know you have the power to comfort her and heal her. Be with her”; and, “Jesus, help me to rise above comparison today. Let me look for the good in others and cheer them on as they succeed. Rid me of envy and fill me with joy.”
Writing down my prayers — even if they are one sentence long — simply puts the intention, the praise, the request, or whatever it is in my mind and heart. The benefit of writing it down is that you can date it and look back on how God has answered prayers and transformed your heart over time.
Keep your eyes open
When you are out and about, walking, driving, spending time with people, simply talk to God silently. You don’t have to pause or be weird about it. In your mind, speak the words. He sees you, and he hears you. He isn’t a God of legalism and rules. Get into the habit of praying on the go. There’s even an app for it!
Whisper them all day long
Don’t be consumed by your thoughts. Let prayer keep you positive and purposeful. If someone says they aren’t feeling well and you commit to praying for them, do it right then and there so you don’t forget. If you’re nervous about a presentation you have to give, slip away (yes, even into the stall of a restroom) and whisper a prayer of gratitude and request to God.
Most of all, recognize that prayer is powerful. It is a way to put our lives in God’s hands, even in small ways, which has a big impact. If you aren’t sure what to say, just start thinking, writing, whispering, or speaking with God as if he is there in the room you are in.
If you aren’t sure it’s “working,” remember the act of praying does so much for you, and that alone is reason enough. Plus, God isn’t a genie we go to simply to get what we want.
God is our creator, our trusted refuge, and He longs to hear from us. As we seek more of Him, he reveals more of Himself to us. That is the gift of prayer. Make it part of your everyday life and watch that relationship grow — and transform you.