September 25, 2008

 

What Should I Say?

Renee Swope

“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and petitions.” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

 

Devotion:
My prayers used to feel kind of flat. I didn't know what to say so I stumbled over my words when I talked to God. I especially didn't know how to pray when I was struggling or when a friend was going through difficult times. I wanted to say the right things because I thought that if I prayed the right way, then God would listen and answer my prayers, the way I wanted Him to.


It took me a while, but I finally got up the courage to talk with a friend about my fears and struggles. She explained to me that prayer isn’t about saying or asking the right things; it’s about building a relationship with God by talking to Him, and listening. She taught me how to be still and listen for His still small voice in my spirit before I started praying. I found that if I waited for Him to lead the conversation, the Holy Spirit would guide my thoughts and my prayers.

 

Over time, I also learned the power of praying God’s words written in the Bible. I read books and heard sermons that taught me that when we pray God's Word, we pray God's will. I loved that idea. It gave me a sense of confidence and direction when I didn’t know what to say in my prayers.

 

I also wanted my prayers to be filled with power. I wanted to believe that God was able and willing to accomplish what I was praying for. The Bible says that scripture is “alive and active” so I knew that when I prayed in agreement with God’s Words, I could expect those prayers to come alive in a situation and become active in the person's life that I was praying for.

 

Oftentimes when I pray now, verses that I’ve read in the Bible will come to mind. For instance, when I feel like my plans are spinning out of control, Jeremiah 29:11 will pop into my thoughts. On those days, I’ll pray:

 

Lord, you know the plans you have for me, plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a future and a hope. You say that if I come to you and pray, you will listen and you will lead me. So, today I surrender my plans for Your plans. Please guide my decisions and thoughts to match Yours so that I can experience hope and not harm. Even though things aren’t going so great today, I trust the plans You have for me.

 

I love knowing there isn’t a certain way I have to pray to get God’s attention. In fact, prayer has become one of my greatest passions and joys. I don’t feel any pressure to say the right things anymore. Sometimes I just sit still and let Him whisper His promises into my thoughts and then I ask for their fulfillment with my prayers. Other times I simply pour out my thoughts to Him. And when I need a little direction, or I am not sure what to say, I open up the Bible to align my words with His Words – knowing that I’m also aligning my heart and desires with His will.

Lord, I’m so glad I don’t have to say that right things to get Your attention. Thank You for Your Spirit that lives in me and leads me – in my daily activities and even in my prayers. I would love it if today You’d give me a verse to pray so that I can see Your Word come alive in my circumstances and become active in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

 

For a list of scripture prayers to pray for you, your family and friends, visit Renee’s Blog.

 

31 Days of Prayer: Moving God’s Mighty Hand, by Ruth Myers

 

A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer by Cheri Fuller

 

Do You Know Jesus?

 

Application Steps: 

Find one of your favorite verses and turn it into a prayer. Here’s an example:

 

May the God of hope fill ______ with all joy and peace as ______trusts in him, so that ________may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

 

To find a verse on a specific topic or keyword, click here to go to Crosswalk’s online Bible search tools.

 

Reflections: 

Do you ever avoid prayer because you feel like you don’t know what to say?

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 66:19-20,God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!’” (NIV)

 

Romans 12:12,Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (NIV)

 

Philippians 1:9, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,” (NIV)

 

© 2008 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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