So how do you pray?
What is it?
More than anything, its simply talking to God. He’s often called our heavenly Father, but that kind of makes him seem a long way away. But at the same time he’s holy, so don’t just think of God as your best buddy. Don’t be afraid of him…the bible talks about the fear of God, but the best way of understanding that is to think about fear being you completely knowing how much God loves you…and how much he forgives you.
Watch this video
Right, so prayer is about talking to the God who loves us like this.
How do you pray?
Chill, relax. A great way to start is just to say the prayer Jesus taught: the Lords prayer. Its not a magic formula, or a way to make God do what you want. When we say it we start to realise that it’s God who is in charge, and its good for us to learn what his ways are. Trust me, it is!
When you get used to the Lords prayer, you can then start adding bits in. Worried about money? Stop at the ‘daily bread’ bit which is about God taking care of all our needs. Tell God your worries. And yes its ok to yell and moan at him. He hears you.
Got a problem with someone you have fallen out with? Ask God to forgive you and to help you to forgive them (forgive us our trespasses…).
You have to S.T.O.P. to pray, right? (ok, well actually you can pray whilst moving around too. Had a friend who used to close his eyes on his bike to pray…I wouldn’t recommend that!) You get the idea though.
Stop…initial letters. Really easy.
Say Sorry to God for things you feel you have done which upset him.
Then Thank him for the good things he has done for you
Pray for Other people. As you get used to prayer you’ll know how to do this. But for now, just read through the list!
Then you can say Please and ask God for things.
So STOP is Sorry, Thankyou, Others, Please.
The bottom line is this: praying is about building a relationship with God. If you are only just starting out, don’t think that you need to be clever either. Think of babies, they gurgle, cry, splutter, and don’t make a lot of sense. But the person who is there to care for them loves them, and generally knows what’s good for them (of course as humans we can get it wrong!). We can splutter gurgle and cry to God too, he ALWAYS knows what we need, and he loves us.
And after a time, you can start to develop that prayer. Ask Andy for tips when you’re ready to explore!