My 5-year-old loves me to pray for her every night.
“Mom, are you going to pray for me?”
I’ll be honest. Sometimes she’s gotten into so much mischief during the day that by the time bedtime rolls around I don’t always feel like praying. So one night I asked her if she would pray.
“I don’t know how.”
I’ve heard my other children say this before as well. This year at a women’s retreat we were talking about pouring our hearts out to the Lord in prayer like David did in the Psalms. One woman in our small group expressed her uncertainty about how to pray. She felt like all she should do is thank God in prayer. So she never told God her doubts and hurts. And so I wonder if perhaps some people don’t pray because they feel like there’s a certain formula they need to follow and they don’t know what that is.
Friends, God wants you to know him.
It’s ok to pour your heart out to him. It’s ok to not know how to pray.
Just tell him what’s on your heart. Start there.
It may feel awkward at first. And that’s ok.
Sure, there are some great models of prayer in the Bible. The Lord’s prayer is one of them. There’s also the ACTS method. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). These methods help us to grow deeper in our prayer life.
The Bible says we can approach God’s throne with confidence.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Perhaps you’ve read about praying the promises of scripture and you’re not really sure what that means or how to do it. I want to give you a guide and show you how I pray the scriptures. You may find a different way to pray scriptures, and that’s ok!
How to Pray the Promises of Scripture
First, it helps to know what a promise is.
A promise is a declaration that gives someone the expectation that a certain action will take place.
What are the promises of God? How can you find them?
Some promises are meant for a specific time and person in the Bible, like when God promised Sarah she would have a baby. Other promises are met with a condition that if you take a certain action, then God will do something.
If you draw near to God, He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
That’s a promise based on an action. Some promises are meant for all believers. He promises to give the gift of the Holy Spirit to all who believe. He promises eternal life. Peace. Comfort. Strength. There are thousands of promises in the Bible!
So where do you start?
Start by searching for some promises. Are you looking for promises that pertain to parenting, marriage, trials, health? Then look up topic words in the concordance of your Bible. Do a google search (Bible promises for children, marriage). Use biblegateway.com and type the topic you want to find a promise for. Study the promise. It’s important to read the entire passage surrounding the verse in order to understand the context and meaning of the verse. Who is the promise meant for? Is there an action that needs to be taken in order to receive the promise?
Write the Scripture down
After you write out the scripture then read it a few times. Pray the scripture back to God. I like writing the prayer down so I can use it later.
Use the ACTS method and write a prayer
Adoration-Thank God for who He is (His attributes) and for the specific promise given in the verse. Confession- Is there a condition to the promise that you need to work on? Confess how you fall short and your desire to grow in that area. Thanksgiving-Thank God for already meeting that promise in your life. This shows faith that you believe God will keep the promise He made. Supplication-Ask God to help you grow in your faith and give you a deeper understanding of how His promise impacts your life.
Go back and insert your name or the name of the loved one you’re praying for
This is a great way to claim that specific promise for you or your loved one!
Have you ever felt like you didn’t know how to pray? How have you grown in your prayer life? I would love for you to leave a comment below.
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