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Praying is first and foremost
listening to Jesus.
who dwells in the very depths of our heart.
He doesn’t shout.
He doesn’t thrust. **
His voice
is an unassuming voice,
very near a whisper,
the voice of gentle love.

Henri Nouwen 
** thrust means “to push (something or someone) suddenly or violently in the specified direction


Let’s be clear: THERE IS NO SINGLE RIGHT WAY TO PRAY.  Our prayer life changes through different seasons of our life, whether emotionally, physically, or spiritually. It also is different when you’re a young adult or a young family or a person who is retired. 

In some ways prayer is simple in that it is a conversation, much like the conversation between friends, one might be talking and the other really listening and then responding to the first person. At other times it is hard and we don’t know how to pray.

There are many formats for praying which can be helpful. Yet, I don’t want to be prescriptive either. Who can prescribe a conversation. Yet formats for praying can be helpful, especially when we don’t know how to prayer. Here is another format I like, the acronym P.R.A.Y.E.R. taken from the book “The Praying Church Idea Book”

       Honour God for who he is and what he has done. 
       (Psalm 100:4)
       When we praise God, we draw close to him by acknowledging his sovereignty. Praise is               always appropriate as we come into God’s presence.

        Confess personal and corporate sins.
        (Psalm 66:18)
       Tell God you are sorry. Confess your ungodly thoughts words and deeds.  Unrepentance 
        builds walls between God and us, while repentance tears them down.

       Include petitions and intercessions. 
       (Psalm 38:9)
       Imagine Jesus sitting next to you. He offers you the opportunity to talk about and ask for            anything. Ask your questions; share your concerns. God’s Word tells us that he will 
      always be with us and listen to us.

       Submit to the direction of the Holy Spirit.
       (Psalm 143:8)
       Having offered our needs and requests to God, we leave them there. We also submit 
       our lives to his answers – including the possible “no”. Wait, watch, and listen for God to 

      Anticipate that God will answer your prayer.
      (Matthew 7:7-8)
      This is the time of waiting on the Lord with expectation, Ask the Lord to help you receive
      his answer and offer thanksgiving to him in anticipation of his response.

       Praise God for who he is and what he will do.
       (Philippians 4:4-6)    
       Thank God for answering prayer – for answers you have already witnessed as well as 
       those you know will be in the future.