Have you ever gotten stuck in a “prayer rut”? Do you feel like you don’t have the words to say when you pray, and your prayers fell empty? Many of us have felt like that at some point in our walk with Christ. We could all use a few tips on how to have more effective prayer lives, and God will show you if you just ask. He doesn’t need fancy words or long monologues, He just asks that we come to him with our hearts ready. He is always listening.
Luke 11 tells a story of one of Jesus’ disciples who came and asked for Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus gave them an example and gave us guidelines for what we should be both asking and thanking Him for. Even the disciples had trouble knowing how to pray sometimes! “Jesus said, ‘This is how you should pray: ‘Father, may your name be kept holy. May your kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.’” (Luke 11:2-4).
So, let’s break that down into a prayer road map to follow:
- May your name be kept holy: We should give the Lord the honor and glory that He deserves. We should begin our prayers by praising him!
- May His kingdom come: Asking the Lord to return soon reveals the eagerness in our hearts to be with Him in heaven someday.
- Give us the food we need each day: We ask him for the things we need to get through each day because we know that He is our provider.
- And forgive our sins: By admitting we fall short and need God’s grace, we humble ourselves and show we know that we need him.
- Forgive those who sin against us: We should be merciful towards those who do us wrong.
- Do not lead us into temptation: Pray that he will keep you strong and guard your heart from giving into temptation.
Our prayers should be like a continual conversation between you and the Lord – because talking to Him every once in a while is not enough! There is nothing too big or too small for Him to handle. Sometimes the answers to our prayers will be a yes, sometimes a no, and sometimes a “maybe.” But, you will always get an answer. He hears and he cares. Never stop talking to your Father in Heaven.