Recently, I wrote an article about coming to God for your “emotional comedown“. About really having an open line of communication with Him. And just pouring your heart out in prayer. My friend read it and told me she admired my confidence in my prayer life. But, she felt like when it came to prayer she “didn’t really know how.” I told her I could empathize with that feeling because the recovering perfectionist in me used to feel the same way. There was a time in my life that I felt silly just talking out loud to God. I didn’t really know what to say or how to say it so I often just didn’t pray at all.
Learning To Pray
It wasn’t until my late 20s and 30s that I really sat down and started a prayer journal and my prayer life felt more comfortable and less forced. I remember I was pregnant with my first baby and committed to praying for my pregnancy every day. I would start my journal with a list of things to thank God for. They were just simple praises. It didn’t have to be anything extraordinary, but rather something that brought me joy.
For example, “time with my mom” or “a phone call with a friend”. Then I made a list of prayer requests: a healthy baby, a safe delivery, a promotion for my husband, etc. A prayer journal might not work for everyone, but it worked for me to feel like I had more direction and confidence in my prayer life. I also love looking back at journals to see all the praises and all the answered prayers.
Hearing God’s Voice
I know everyone feels and hears God differently. That’s what is so special about your own unique friendship and relationship with God. For me, I know I am listening to and hearing God when I feel peace in my heart about whatever issue I am praying about. For example, when my husband and I moved from New York to California to work for Amor Ministries we signed a one-year contract. After that, we thought we would come back East. Wrong.
After that year, I wanted to move back home and start a family. But God had other plans. I got into a Master’s program in San Diego, and my husband was offered a full-time position with Amor. Obviously, I was very torn about the future of our family. I didn’t feel peace about staying, but I also didn’t feel peace about leaving and missing out on the opportunities presented to us.
I prayed God would show me His plan and help us make the best decision. Sure enough, He helped me realize that our decision did not have to be permanent. Deciding to stay in California for another few years did not mean it was forever. We could always reassess. This gave me peace that we were where we needed to be for now and that we would always have another chance to move back to the East coast and start a family. I didn’t hear an audible voice, but I felt God’s peace about our decision.
Sometimes when I am feeling stumped on where to start in prayer, I turn to Stormie Omartian’s, The Book Of Prayer. Stormie has so many different, beautiful, relatable prayers written out that really help guide me in finding exactly how to pray for an issue. It really gets the ball rolling.
I often search the internet for specific prayers as well. I recently found this site and sent it to a friend. I feel like any mom can benefit from these prayers, no matter what stage you are in, 5 Prayers For The Overwhelmed Mom.
In all my years of following Jesus, I have learned there is no right way and no one way to have a relationship with God and to foster a prayer life. Everyone has unique needs and desires and you can find your own special way. My advice: don’t overcomplicate it. And don’t try to make it “perfect” or “right”. Just do it!