Prayer HotlineGod wants to hear from you! The Bible is filled with countless examples of God's people talking to Him. When we talk to God, it is called praying. Why would we talk to God, doesn't He already know everything about us? Yes He does, but He still wants you to talk to Him. We all have people in our life who are very close to us and know almost everything about us. Don't we still have conversations with them? What kind of relationship would we have with our closest friends and family if we never spoke to them? Failing to communicate with our Earthly companions is a sure way to ruin a relationship. It is the same with God. Speaking with God helps us to grow as Christians.

I don't know how to pray

Nonsense. Since you know how to communicate with others, then you already know most of what you need to communicate with God. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say you aren't confident in praying or you don't know what to talk to God about. Perhaps you aren't sure of what to say or how to say it. Maybe you feel like you are just talking to yourself and think that God isn't really listening. The Bible has a lot to say about praying. Let's consider a few things that will help you get started.

No special requirements

When we pray, it doesn't matter about our posture. We can pray while seated, standing, kneeling or in any other position. There is no special time of day when we must talk to God. He is listening all the time. There is no particular day of the week. We should pray everyday. There is no special place to pray. We don't have to be in a church building for God to hear us. We can pray at home, at work or while driving in the car. The place isn't important. There are no special words. "Thee's and Thou's" are not required. Just talk to God using normal everyday words. God doesn't want memorized or "canned" prayers. Jesus said, "...when you pray, do not use vain repetitions..." (Matthew 6:7). Just speak to God from your heart and tell Him what is on your mind. Our eyes do not have to be closed nor does our head have to be bowed nor do we have to pray out loud. Nehemiah silently prayed to God between sentences while conversing with King Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 2:4)!

What should I pray about?

The short answer is, "Everything". There is no concern too large or too small to speak with God about. He is our Father and is concerned for us. We should pray about all that is on our mind. We should share with Him our fears, worries, failures and our successes. When we yield to temptation and commit a sin we should quickly admit our wrong doing to Him and ask for His pardon. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness". We should express our gratitude to God for all that He has blessed us with. We should pray for understanding about what pleases Him and pray for wisdom that we might be better disciples. We should pray for those who are sick. The Bible tells us to pray for people in positions of authority (1 Timothy 2:1-4). We are even to pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:28)! There is no shortage of things to speak with God about.

Attitudes in prayer

If a person is a disciple of Jesus, the Bible teaches us that God is our Father. As His children we have a special relationship with Him. However, don't let this go to your head. God values a humble and meek demeanor. While the relationship is that of a Father and His children, we would be wise to remember that God is holy and powerful and deserves our utmost respect.

Will God answer my prayers?

Yes. However, the answer will sometimes be, "No". Sometimes He will give us the things we ask for, but maybe not right away. Did your parents always give you everything you wanted? Of course not. When the answer was "no", it was because they knew that what you asked for wasn't good for you or perhaps you weren't yet ready for it. It is the same with our heavenly Father; God knows what we need before we even ask Him (Matthew 6:8). He will always give us what we need and what is best for us, but not necessarily what we want.

There is a great deal more to learn about praying than what has been mentioned here. As you read your Bible, you will gain a better understanding of how to pray effectively. Even though you might not know all you'd like about prayer at this point, don't let that delay you. Get started talking with God right now. He is listening.