Prayer FAQs

by Sally Smith

You can communicate with your friends in a ton of different ways: cell phones, instant messaging, e-mail, home phone, text messaging, writing letters or just plain talking. But even with all these modes of communication, sometimes it’s impossible to reach your friends.

Communicating with God is very different. You talk to Him through prayer. The cool thing is, you can always get through, and He’s never too busy listen.

Check out these top-10 Frequently Asked Questions about prayer.

FAQ No. 1 – How much does it cost to call God? Nothing. You can come before God “without money and without cost” (Isaiah 55:1). Simply start talking. If you don’t have anything to say, then you can thank God for His power, protection and provision.

FAQ No. 2 – When I call, will the line be busy? No way. Jeremiah 33:3 tells you to call, and He promises to answer. There are no restrictions mentioned. The Lord even says He will tell us incredible things we do not know.

FAQ No. 3 – Will I recognize His voice? You are promised in John 10:4-5 that His sheep (believers like you) will know their Master’s voice. Our Shepherd is no stranger. Prayer is like chatting with a best friend.

FAQ No. 4 – Will God put me on hold? If we sin, we have broken communication with Him. He will not listen if we continue making wrong choices (Psalm 66:18).

FAQ No. 5 – How do I get off hold? Come clean about what you have done. Commit yourself to not follow the same sinful pattern. God will announce you free and clear and give you unlimited minutes once again. First John 1:9 has all the details: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

FAQ No. 6 – Have I ever put God on hold? If you have your daily devotions in the morning and pray at breakfast, that’s a sweet start. But if you get busy at school and don’t get back with Him until doing homework that evening, you have put Him on hold. By staying connected, you can fulfill the command in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray continually.”

FAQ No. 7 – Will God ever hang up on me? No, absolutely not, nada, no way, not in your lifetime. Double negatives are a real no-no in English grammar, but it was a common method of stressing something important in the Bible. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” But in the original language there are no less than five negatives heaped together for extreme emphasis. So relax; you’re covered!

FAQ No. 8 – What if I don’t know what to say to God? Go to Scripture and see what others have prayed. The Bible, especially the book of Psalms, is full of prayers. For example, David prayed, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4). You might say, “Lord, school was tough today. I’m so glad I can trust You and not be scared of what will happen. You can protect me from bullies and when kids say mean things.”

FAQ No. 9 – Can I instant message Jesus? Cool idea! By reading His Word, you can get His message written to you. Christians through the ages have written back to God through a process called journaling. It’s like a diary to Jesus. With wireless technology, we can now do text messaging. If you express yourself better by typing on the computer, then go for it! 

FAQ No. 10 – What could I talk about that will please God? Think of what you tell close friends. What will produce a smile or make their eyes light up? We should thank the Lord for the awesome things He’s done. For example, 2 Corinthians 9:15 says, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” Most of all, tell Him “I love you, O Lord” (Psalms 18:1). He will be delighted.

Now kick back, flip open that prayer phone and connect with your heavenly Father. It doesn’t have to be at a meal or bedtime; you can pray anytime. You can pray at home, school, church, the mall, the movie theater . . . anywhere. He’s waiting to hear from you.

This article originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2008 by Sally Smith. Used by permission.