Even as you read that question, are you already asking yourself “how do I pray?”” Am I doing it right?” “Am I allowed to pray for this?”
Prayer is talking to God. I know it sometimes seems more complicated when we see public prayers given by gifted speakers. However, really and truly prayer is talking to God. And He wants to hear all about your joys and concerns. He wants to hear the things you are worried about, the things you are wondering about, and the things you are excited about. He want’s to know what you are thinking.
But doesn’t He already know those things? Yes, and No. Yes, God does already know you in the sense that He is fully present with you all the time. He knows you because you can’t hide from him. David sings of this in Psalm 139:1-4 when he rejoices:
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and
know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.”
And yet, what God desires isn’t only to observe you. God wants a RELATIONSHIP with you. And that’s where prayer comes in. Do you have friends? I sincerely hope that you are blessed to have good friends in your life! The way you probably have those friends is because you communicate with them. The difference between a teacher or coach knowing you, and friends knowing you is that people like teachers and coaches aren’t the ones you talk to and share your thoughts, feelings, and fears with. Yes, your teacher may observe a lot about you; but they are missing out on a huge piece of what it is to have a personal relationship with you. And that’s the difference. God wants to be in a personal relationship with you. He wants to know you and for you to in turn grow to know Him. Just like how it works with your friends from school!
So how do you pray? Just start talking! You can do this out-loud, in a journal, in your head, or on a hike. Start talking about yourself; try imaging talking to Him like a good friend. Jesus says in John 15:15 that “I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you”. He (God/Jesus) has made Himself known to YOU. Prayer is your chance to hang out with your good friend Jesus and have a long chat to share what’s on your mind, ask Him for what you need, and listen to the best advice you could ever possibly get!
If you are interested in learning more about prayer, I have two devotional recommendations:
Prayer– 5 days of video 3-4 minute videos, a couple Bible verses and space to journal/share
5 Days of Prayer– Student focused devotional reading that takes about 5 minutes with scriptural support
My prayer for you:
This week I pray that you encounter God. I pray that He makes Himself known to you in a clear way and that you spend some time together. Amen.