You might not know it, but I used to struggle with prayer. It just never came easy to me. I always felt like I wasn’t doing it good enough, often enough or spiritual enough. I didn’t know how to take the pressure off of prayer.
As a result, I would compare my prayers with other people. I would look at the way they prayed and the words they said to see if I measured up. It was a constant struggle. I just couldn’t seem to get it right.
But God has delivered me from the pressure of prayer. No, I’m not saying that God told me not to pray. What I’m saying is he delivered me from the pressure I felt about my prayers measuring up to someone else’s standard instead of God’s.
What I didn’t realize is that all God wanted from my prayers was, well, me. So that’s what I started giving him, me, in all my flawed glory. You can do the same.
Here are five steps to help take the pressure off of prayer. You can do this.
1. Speak His Name.
I always start here and you should too. I literally say God’s name every time I pray. Especially at the beginning and the end. It’s my due north and it helps me make sure I’m pointing in the right direction.
2. Speak His Will.
I find that I have a lot of selfish prayers. I often pray about me, myself and I. To overcome this terrible habit I make it a point to seek and speak God’s will over my life. It’s like telling God that no matter what I ask for, my main desire if for his desire in my life.
You should strive to make this a serious part of your prayer time too.
3. Speak His Provision.
In my arrogance I’ve often thought that I’m pretty good at providing for myself. How silly! That’s why I make seeking God’s provision over my life an important part of my prayer time. It’s in that moment of prayer that I’m reminded that he’s my ultimate provider. Let him be yours.
4. Speak His Grace.
God forgive me. I utter those three words every single day. Do you know why? Because I sin every single day. Don’t you? Of course you do. That’s why you and I need to speak and seek his grace and forgiveness in our lives. We need God’s forgiveness in our prayer time. It reminds us that we should be forgivers, too.
5. Speak His Strength.
The older I get the more I realize I’m not strong enough, spiritual enough or smart enough to do it on my own. I need someone stronger to help me overcome the devil’s tricks and tactics. Jesus is the only one strong enough to help me. So I pray and ask for his strength. You can too.
P.S. – Just so you know, I got all five of these steps from Jesus.
Matthew 6:9-14 New Living Translation (NLT)
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.