How to Pray When We Can't Find the Words
Can we all admit that sometimes we don’t know how to pray? Maybe the circumstance is too big, or we are too weary. We can't seem to find the words.
Over the last few days, really last few months, I have been stretched and stressed. You know how it feels…when things continue to pile one after the other until sometimes the smallest thing will set off never-ending tears. Ever been there?
Maybe that is why I woke up today with the Lord’s prayer on my mind. I am at a place that I don’t really know what to pray any more…especially for one particular situation.
As I thought about it, I love how Jesus beautifully laid out a pattern for us to follow in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). It is short and simple, the four P's of prayer:
Acclaim God’s POSITION - Praise God and give Him all honor and glory.
We first start by elevating God to His rightful position in our lives. Many times, we allow so many other things, including ourselves, to take that spot.
Align with God’s PURPOSE - Pursue His kingdom, His plans, and His will.
Then, we adjust our focus. We lay down our kingdoms, our plans, our will and we seek after what God desires for our lives, homes, communities, and world.
Acknowledge God’s PROVISION - Petition for our needs and His forgiveness.
Next, we recognize that ultimately God is our provider in every way…from our daily needs to eternal life. We present our requests and watch Him work.
Appeal for God’s PROTECTION – Present our struggles and prepare for battle.
Finally, we are honest about our temptations…not only our actions, but what is in our hearts and minds. Are we struggling with greed, envy, lust, bitterness, pride, worry, comparison? Whatever the temptation, we ask God to protect, rescue and restore.
In this way, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray. Not only did He teach about prayer, He modeled it. Throughout scripture we see Jesus pulling away from the crowds and chaos. Like Jesus, we too need to “Find a quiet, secluded place…be there simply and honestly as we can manage…” Follow His pattern for prayer and “watch as the focus will shift from us to God, and we will begin to sense His grace.” (Matthew 6:6 MSG)