Monday, January 23, 2017

How To Pray When You Don't Know What To Pray

There comes a time in every woman's life when the circumstances around her turn into overwhelming background noise. Even sitting alone in her prayer closet, she's not sure what to pray, how to pray or even where to start.

If you've never experienced this heart condition before, you probably will be at some point. It's in these times that we just want direction to get our prayers started and to know which words will touch the heart and ears of God.

The best way to find instruction for praying is to read the prayers of Jesus Christ. There are many, many places in the four gospels where we are given very specific prayers that the Son of God Himself used to speak to His heavenly Father. When you don't know what to pray - or you want to be armed and ready when you need these words most - start with these verses of Scripture and make them your own.

* And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39

Nothing in our lives will ever compare to the pain and suffering Christ endured in the last days and hours of His life. But when we're overcome with our circumstances and don't know exactly how to pray, this prayer is a wonderful place to start. Jesus asked, even knowing that His death was inevitable, that God step in and take this cup of sorrow and death away. But even then, He prayed that the will of God be done regardless. This is a very difficult prayer for any of us to pray, but it releases our need to have control over the situation and the outcome. Simply pray that God's will be done in your circumstances so He will receive all the honor and glory.

* And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. Luke 5:16

When the words won't come or you don't know where to start praying for your situation, follow the example of Christ and remove yourself completely. If you're in your prayer closet and don't know what to pray, get out of the house. Find a different quiet place and focus on the Lord's voice. If you're surrounded by people, get away for a few minutes, look for a quiet corner and try again. Jesus knew that He needed that special, quiet, uninterrupted time with God to communicate openly, and we need the same thing.

* And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us... Luke 11:4

Confess your sins to the Lord, those done knowingly and those unknowingly. Release everything from your heart that is weighing you down and renew your fellowship with God. Sometimes we're not sure what to pray because there is entirely too much going on in our hearts and minds. Confession, repentance and forgiveness cleanse us completely so our eyes and ears can be opened to the moving of the Holy Spirit.

* And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. John 17:10

In the depths of despair and in the moments when no words seem to come, pray that the Lord will be glorified, even in this situation. He has you going through it for a reason, and while we may never know that reason until we meet Him face to face, we can ask that we be used as vessels unto honor no matter what circumstances come our way.

I encourage you to read the gospels carefully in the days to come, paying special attention to the prayers of Jesus. As our perfect example, His words are special, powerful and sharper than any sword. Use them to get through the difficulties and confusion and pray with new direction and guidance as you speak directly to the God of all creation.

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