Photo byMatheus BertellifromPexels

Eight hundred ninety-six million. That’s how many results Google shows for the search “How to pray.”

Who is this God you pray to?

The God of this universe, who made everything you see, including us, is a pretty big deal! Think about it. He breathed the earth into existence and created every star and galaxy.

And if that wasn’t enough, He made way for us to have a personal relationship with him through Jesus.

What if it doesn’t work?

We foster that relationship with him by talking with him. That’s what prayer is. It’s a two-way conversation between you and God.

You may be thinking, “I’ve tried to pray before, but nothing happened.” Did you give it more than a couple of minutes? It takes time to recognize the voice of God if you have never tuned into it before.

If you are persistent in seeking to hear from God, he will show up! And you will discover how to listen to him in response to your prayers.

How are you navigating these strange days?

These are desperate times, and if you don’t have a prayer life, I suggest you start. I honestly don’t know how anyone can get through the trials of this life without the comfort of knowing God’s got you.

Some may be thinking, “I’ve done too many things in my life that I’m sure God doesn’t approve of — he’s not going to listen to me.” Maybe you’re afraid of God, and you think he’ll strike you down in an angry fit of rage.

If you’ve ever heard someone say, “God is love,” they’re right. He’s not only the author of love; he is Love, himself.

How can you approach God?

If you are turning to God for the first time, I have some good news for you.

God is sitting on the edge of his throne waiting just for YOU!

The best way to come to him is to acknowledge all those things you said you did that would keep you from God. Sincerely apologize for them and ask his forgiveness. Trust him because he said he would forgive everything you’ve ever done.

It took me about a year to come clean with everything I ever did in my past. I was on my face before the Lord for a long time. But afterward, I was cleansed from it all. God is amazing!

Here’s what the Bible says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Isn’t that the best news you’ve ever heard? What peace and joy that follows a decision to follow Jesus!

Can I talk with God?

If you confessed, NOW you’re ready to have that conversation with him.

The first thing to ask him is, “Come into my life — change me!” Ask him to work with you on your past, present, and future. Ask him to show himself to you in tangible ways and to build your faith.

You. Will. Be. Surprised.

Make prayer — talking with God — an all-day event. How do you do that? By including him in every move you make throughout your day. Just as if he’s right beside you all day long.

Another fun fact in the Bible is that if you asked God to forgive you and come into your life, he seals you with the indwelling of his Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit guides and comforts you gently all day long.

“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t have time to pray.” To that, I say, “If you have time to worry all day, you certainly have time to pray all day.” You’re just replacing an unhealthy choice with a healthy one.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

It’s not easy to do, but practice prayer instead of worrying. Every time you catch yourself worrying, turn it into praise and thanksgiving to God. Give all your cares to God — He cares for you.

How do you pray?

Here are some ways you can pray first thing in the morning and at any time of the day:

  • Good Morning God. Thank you for this new day. I know every day is a gift, so thank you that I woke up today to serve you here on earth.
  • God, I am here to serve — what can I do for you today? You’ve done so much for me!
  • God, help me to know you better. Teach me your ways in the Bible.
  • God, my life is in shambles. Please help!

These prayers are faith-filled. If you are praying these prayers, you believe that God exists and can hear you. And he will respond — just don’t put God in a “box” and expect him to answer you in a certain way. He’s much bigger than that, and he knows everything. He will answer in a way that helps you, and you will look back afterward and see his fingerprints.

Here are some ways NOT to pray:

  • God, I know you’re busy doing other things and helping other people, but can you help me (fill in the blank)?
  • God, if you get me out of this, I promise I’ll never ask for another thing again.

These kinds of prayers operate in unbelief. The fact is, God can meet all of your needs AND the handful of people living on this earth simultaneously! It’s mind-blowing.

He even has time for a joke you want to tell him. The only thing you can’t do with him is play “Punch Bug” because he saw that VW Beetle coming from miles away.

When he answers your prayers, big or small, to God be the glory!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory…” (Ephesians 3:20–21)

What’s all the talk about a relationship?

Pray throughout the day, and let him know what you notice around and inside you. He is listening, and you will learn to hear his voice. Just as you would become friends with another person, you spend time with him and get to know him. You begin to tell him your deepest thoughts and dreams.

The best way to know God is to read the New Testament in the Bible. Read Psalms and Proverbs. Don’t ignore the Old Testament — it ties in richly with the New Testament. But do start with the New Testament. Do you want to know God’s heart of love toward you? Read 1 John toward the end of the Bible.

You’ll become a grateful person along the way, and your heart will soften toward God and the people around you. You will begin to love the way God does, and people will notice a positive transformation in you. They will wonder what’s different about you, and you’ll then have a chance to show them the relationship with God you now have, leading them to God’s heart.

You’ll be amazed at how prayer changes your life — and that’s a big deal!