How to pray when you don't know how

Even when I want to pray, I sometimes feel I don't know how.

Faced with disasters on a grand scale, or the smaller but just as painful griefs we all encounter at some time, there don't seem to be the right words.

That doesn't matter. Prayer is about the focus of the heart, not the babbling of the mouth.

Jesus taught that when we pray we shouldn't keep on babbling in the hope that God will hear because of the repetition of many words.

When Jesus' disciples asked him to teach them to pray, he gave a framework or pattern for prayer which Christians call 'The Lord's Prayer'. 

There are two versions of the Lord's Prayer in the gospels, one in Matthew's gospel and one in Luke's gospel. Here's the Matthew version, from the New Revised Standard Version:



Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.     Luke 6: 9 - 13


This prayer is used throughout the world in every language spoken by Christians and in every branch of the Christian church.


Jesus teaches us to come to God like trusting children to a loving Parent or a perfect Friend. If we do not know how to pray, or what words to use the Lord’s Prayer provides all the words we need. There is no hope, fear, sin or need that is not covered in that short prayer.

Jesus spoke Aramaic. In Aramaic requests were often expressed as affirmations. It might help encourage your faith to apply that to the Lord’s prayer:
“Father, your name will be hallowed...your kingdom will come...you will give us what we need for today...you will forgive our sins as we forgive others...you will deliver us from evil...”
Try it.

You may find other sources of aids for prayer in my Prayer Page.


Postscript:
This post is created in response to the ProBlogger Challenge 5. Today's challenge is to create a 'how to' post.

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