How I learned about simple praying.
Joyful news! Praying is simple—yes, it is! Like many people, I used to think that praying was only for Biblical scholars who could speak in long flowing sentences full of inspiring words. I was wrong! Permit me, please, to relate to you how I learned how to pray effectively.
Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
In the early 1990’s, I was commuting 45 miles to work, one-way. During my driving time, I listened to various radio preachers, including Charles Swindoll,1 Dr. Charles Stanley,2 Dr. J. Vernon McGee,3 and Dr. Adrian Rogers4 to name a few. Each of these men, in my estimation, have ministries that give out sound Biblical teaching. Although Dr. Rogers and Dr. McGee have both gone on to be with the Lord, their ministries continue to broadcast their messages.
As I drove back and forth to work each day, I began to absorb the teaching of these learned men. They taught me that I had to study the Bible in earnest so that I could apply its teachings to my life. I also learned how to become an effective prayer warrior through praying God’s word back to Him.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I learned there are powerful prayers in the Bible that I could pray back to the Lord. Prayers such as those in Colossians 1:9-14, Ephesians 3:16-19, and Psalm 51:10. There are many, many verses in the Bible, even whole chapters such as Psalm 91, that can turn into prayers for those who need them by inserting the name of a person or persons who need such prayers. For instance, when I know someone who has strayed from the righteous path (see Psalm 23) or perhaps has never been on the righteous path, I will pray Psalm 51:10 for them. My prayer might sound something like this:
“Dear Lord, I pray for (person’s name), and I ask that you will open their spiritual eyes of understanding and give them a hunger and a thirst for the knowledge of Your word. Create in them a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within them. In Jesus’ name. Amen”
It is that simple. Prayer doesn’t have to be full of long, impressive, flowery language. It is simply a conversation with God. I can talk to God the same way I talk to my best human friend, and you can do the same! God promises that He will honor His word.
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
For other helpful suggestions on how to pray, please go to this article by Becky Capps on “Five Point Praying.”