Let Us Pray

by Manfred Koehler

Have you ever felt that prayer was so, well . . . formal? Quiet? Boring? Even scary? Does it seem as if you’re walking on your tiptoes through a huge library where everyone talks in whispers when you pray to God?

Prayer shouldn’t feel that way. Talking to God isn’t scary. You shouldn’t worry about being too loud. Prayer is something you should want to do all the time.

Good Examples

Some people think you need to be in a church to pray. Others think it’s important to bow your head, fold your hands, bend your knees and close your eyes.

But none of those things are necessary for Jesus to hear and answer your prayers. Prayer was never meant to be limited to one special way or one special place.

David, the shepherd who became king of Israel, wrote several of his prayers while caring for his sheep. He wasn’t in a temple, and he wasn’t on his knees. Most likely, David was sitting in the shade of a tree by a stream while his sheep slurped the cool waters. (Read Psalms 1 and 23.) David didn’t close his eyes. He was writing. He may have even been singing his prayers, because the psalms were put to music so people could remember them more easily.

But that’s only one type of prayer.

Jesus, on the other hand, didn’t sing His prayers. He simply spoke them. Like David, Jesus didn’t have to be in the temple to pray. He prayed in the mountains. He prayed in a garden. He prayed everywhere.

Most important, Jesus prayed all the time. He constantly checked in with His heavenly Father as He walked through crowded towns and lonely deserts. Sometimes He prayed with His face to the ground. Sometimes Jesus held His hands in the air. Other times he simply walked along, talking to his Father.

Follow Your Leaders

King David and Jesus Christ led people closer to God with their prayers. And you can follow their example.

You can pray wherever you want: in the park, at the mall, in the dark, in a bear-infested cave—it doesn’t matter. Jesus is there, ready to listen.

Plus, you can pray however you want: standing, skipping, bouncing on a big trampoline, kneeling—it doesn’t matter. What matters is the attitude of your heart, not the position of your knees, hands and head.

Finally, you can pray whenever you want. God is always awake. You can’t ask too many questions. Your Heavenly Dad never gets tired of listening. And you don’t even have to get all your words right. He’ll understand.

But do you know what the coolest part is? When you pray, you don’t even have to use your voice.

Jesus knows what’s going on in your mind. You can talk to Him with the whisper of your thoughts.

In the country of Mexico, there’s an Indian woman named Julia who speaks a language called Pima. Only 500 people in the whole world speak her language. One day Julia was alone in a big, scary city without any money. Sitting down on a curb, she prayed in Pima: Jesus, You know I’m all alone here. Could You give me some money so I could buy a soda? I’m thirsty.

Julia’s lips didn’t move.

Soon after Julia’s prayer, a woman sat on the curb beside her. They chatted in Spanish, but Julia didn’t say anything about money. As the other woman prepared to leave, she reached into her purse, pulled out some money and handed it to Julia.

“Here,” she said. “Use it to buy yourself a soda or something.”

Julia had never met the lady before, and she never saw her again. But now she had enough money to buy 80 sodas.

Did Jesus hear Julia’s prayer even though it was only in her thoughts and only 500 people speak her language?

Jesus understood. Jesus heard. Jesus answered.

Pray All Day

The apostle Paul wrote “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). He wasn’t asking the Thessalonians to do something impossible. He was inviting them to enjoy a constant conversation with their Creator. Since all you have to do is think your prayers, you can pray all the time without even moving your lips.

It takes some practice, but you’ve got a lot of good examples of prayer in the Bible, a patient and loving Father to talk to and a lifetime to get good at it. 

Friendly Conversation

Jesus wants to be your best friend. And if you’re best friends, you won’t have any shortage of things to talk about. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

      • Tell Jesus about all the things you’re grateful for (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

      • Admit to Jesus every time you do something you know is wrong (1 John 1:9).

      • Ask for wisdom in all the tough situations you encounter (James 1:5).

      • Pray for everyone you meet, that they might find out Jesus can be their best friend, too (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

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