There are hundreds of books, stretching back to the beginning of the Christian Church devoted to prayer. Such acts of devotion and meditation have been a problem to many, many people, but after all, it’s a matter of having a conversation with The Almighty. Imagine the Old Testament hero Moses when he first saw the burning bush and heard the voice of The LORD, just a revered conversation occurred with instructions and guidance for the future.
You have already been inspired to seek God for a variety of reasons, and it is hoped that the following are a few hints that might collate those many thoughts.
Firstly: Slow Down; put aside everything you are holding. Sit comfortably and relax and become aware of God’s Presence. Recall that God is holy, majestic, gracious, just and merciful following the Psalmist’s advice in Psalm 100:4 ‘Come into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, and bless His holy name’
Approach the LORD in repentance and humbleness. Dwell for a moment or two, on the abundant blessings that He has given and thank Him. Two prayers found in ‘The Valley of Vision’, are a tremendous blessing: ‘The Love of Jesus’ found on page 24 coupled with ‘Longings after God’ found on page 127. Try them!
Gently, give to God something you need to let go of, sinful attitudes, hurt feelings, and stressful incidents in the day. Don’t try to give everything over all at once. Allow yourself to let go of things one at a time.
A further suggested reading: Psalm 145. Read the passage slowly and thoughtfully.
Secondly: Supplication. Your heart and mind may be full of private circumstances and situations that are troubling i.e. those closest to you. Name each one to Him.
Allow your thoughts to turn to national/international concerns. Pray for the people who shape nations and guide public opinion.
Pray for all who are weak, lonely, out-of-work, struggling to keep a family together during these difficult times.
Don’t be afraid of silence: There needs to be space to listen to God as well as talk to Him.
If you belong to a church then ask God to bless and guide its Leaders as they plan future activities in promoting the Gospel of Christ Jesus and the making of disciples.
Be encouraged by reading James 5:16 ‘The effective fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much.’
Thirdly, Pray with others. Praying aloud can be daunting but there is real power in praying together. Here are some suggestions that may help you get over those nerves.
Pray subject by subject
– Listen to the person praying and pray with them rather than planning what you are going to pray.
Pray short prayers
– Don’t feel like you have to pray everything there is to pray on each subject. A simple sentence is all that’s needed.
– If you know and understand the details of a situation don’t be afraid to ask God for specific help.
I truly hope you are encouraged by these few thoughts and able to engage with the ‘Prayers and Intercession Notes’ that will be posted.