There is a book that I have not read . . . I know, very very sus. However, the endorsement for it is all I need to know that this is not an imposter. It is called WHAT EVERY CHILD SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PRAYER, and the reason I mention this is so you don't think I made this stuff up. Nope, it is from an actual author. Nancy Guthrie to be exact.
The highlights are:
God wants us to talk to Him
Prayer is more than asking God for things
God's people have always prayed
The Psalms give us words to pray (It's ok to copy as long as you know meaning)
Jesus Teaches us to Pray (The Lord's Prayer)
I am going to add a few things to this list which is a good list, but all that is given in the preview...man I am cheap. Insert Princess Leia rolling her eyes . . . . here, below. Ooooh.
So, what I would add is that sometimes we don't know what to pray and its ok to, well, grunt or groan. I know that sounds weird, but have you ever been so tired that you involuntarily groaned? God knows what that means, the Bible tells us in Romans 8:26: "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." and Psalm 55:17 "Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice."
Here are some verses to inspire questions or discussions at home . . .
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Pray without ceasing,
!! Note from Dad----!!
So...This is a tough one. I had some great advice from some book I read some time in the past . . . great reference, huh? The bottom line was to choose a verse, so for example lets take the first from Psalm 23, which is a great one to start with: "The Lord is My shepherd I shall not want". When you are on the bus or between classes or anxiously awaiting a phone call or test in Math class repeat this over and over, think about it, what does it mean for the Lord to be your shepherd, what do you know about Jesus that indicates what type of shepherd he is? What does it mean you "shall not want"? Another thing to try is to remember a song that is a worship song and keep it close through the day, sometimes this is inevitable as the tune may just be that catchy (do doo do do do, Menomenah . . . sorry). As things come up throughout your day talk to God, doesn't have to be out loud, it could be a thought and you don't have to address it, God knows what is on your heart and he hears your prayers even before you say them Psalm 139:4
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
!!!!END NOTE FROM DAD!!!!
Finally: Matthew 5:44
"But I say to you, love your enemies and bless the one who curses you, and do what is beautiful to the one who hates you, and pray over those who take you by force and persecute you."
I know this last one is hard, it will take some time, but it will help you and may plant the seed that God uses to save them.
So far this is just a 2, oops its now a 3 minute read, but I want you to look at it occasionally and challenge yourself to memorize the verses mentioned and try the praying without ceasing. I look forward to talking with you all more about this.