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Prayer Is Talking

When people start their prayer-journey, they often ask, “How do I pray?”

The good news is that the answer is pretty simple. You just talk to God the way that you would talk to any other person. You don’t need a special formula or special words. You don’t need to have some particular order to your prayers and there aren’t really any formalities.

Part of the reason for that is that Jesus encourages us to see God as our heavenly Father, and to think of ourselves as his children. While we teach our children to be polite, respectful and kind when they speak to their fathers, we don’t make them read their requests out of a formal book! Or only say certain things on certain days. We just want them to talk to us. If that’s true with earthly fathers who do well, how much more with our heavenly Father?

Jesus in the sermon on the mount encourages the disciples to pray freely, knowing that God delights to hear them and to answer their prayers. He says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will you Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?” (Matthew 7:7-11)

Now obviously Jesus doesn’t mean that God is like Santa Clause, giving you whatever is on your list. His point is that we don’t have to be worried about approaching God with our requests. And we don’t have to do something special to get him to hear us. We just have to talk to him.

Pray with me. Father, thank you so much that you hear our prayers and that we don’t have to do anything crazy to get you to hear us. Please help us on this prayer journey—that we could get more comfortable with praying. Help us to see you as our heavenly Father and to trust that you really do hear us, and that you really do care for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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