How do I pray?
Do you ever have trouble thinking of something to say when talking to a good friend? Probably not as you know each other so well, you just chatter away about life in general or things that are on your mind. I have a friend that I talk with often but sometimes we actually run out of things to say, so we end the telephone call and say to each other speak later.
It shouldn’t be any different when we talk to God, however, there are times when we know it would be good to pray but just can’t think of the words to say. Maybe we don’t feel confident talking out loud to God, or forget He is listening and wants to help. Does that ever happen to you? We call a conversation with God prayer, but in reality, prayer is just talking with someone who cares. Someone we can trust with our situation, problems, heartache, temptation or whatever it might be we need help with.
Someone came up with a simple idea to help us lay a foundation that helps build up our confidence in prayer and in turn our faith. If it helps, we can put hands together in front of us in the way we expect prayer might be, however, that isn’t necessary but is helpful for our reflection today. In prayer we can close our eyes so there are fewer distractions, but it doesn’t really matter whether eyes are open or closed.
So, how do I pray?
Well, starting with the …
- Thumb – Since it’s the closest to you, the thumb could remind you to pray for those that are closest to you in life. Pray for your family members, your friends, and those who mean the most to you.
- Index finger – This is used for pointing, so could remind you to pray for those that might provide guidance and help in life. For example, you could pray for those in the medical professions, fire and police officers, teachers at school, ministers and leaders in local churches, local business owners that provide services in the community. Who else could you think of?
- Middle Finger – This is usually our tallest finger and could remind us to pray for our leaders. For example, we could pray for the queen, the leaders in our government, and leaders of other nations, also those who are leaders in our community like our local councillor, MP and MSP. Especially after this week of local elections.
- Ring Finger – The fourth finger is the one that shows everyone you are in love when there is a ring on it, but this is also considered the weakest. In our prayer, this finger could remind you to pray for those who are suffer from ill health, for those who are living in poverty, the vulnerable, isolated, lonely or people who live with addictions.
- Pinkie–Our pinkie is last but not least, so looking at our littlest finger could inspire us to pray for the children we know and others in our street or community. Don’t forget to pray for yourself too. It’s a godly principle to pray for your own needs as much as it is to pray for others. So, now you feel a bit more comfortable praying to God, tell Him what is on your heart, your problems, concerns or fears.
- Palm –one more thing, have a look at the palms of your hands, remembering that God holds each one of us in the palm of His Almighty hand, close and safe. So, with open hands thank God for all he has done, all he has given and for the answer to your prayers.
The next time you want to talk with God and you can’t think of anything to say, this is a good way to lay a foundation that helps build that relationship with Him, that He so desires. Before you know it, you will be talking so much you might just run out of things to say. The Bible tells us in 1 John 5.14-15, ‘Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him’.
Dear Lord, we thank you for being able to just come and talk to you as our friend in prayer, but even friends sometimes have trouble thinking of something to say. Help us to remember this simple approach to make it easier to start a conversation with You as we bring everything to You in prayer, in Jesus Name, amen.