What do we pray for? We care about the needs of others and ourselves; we think about the internal and external needs. We pray about emotional, social, physical, mental, psychological, and medical concerns. We pray for the next momentary decision as well as our future.
Where do we pray? We pray in our beds, at the table, in our cars, at school, at work and even at ball games. Since God is omnipresent, He is everywhere. He knows where we are and He knows what is happening around us. He is always available, ever present, ever caring.
When do we pray? We can pray anytime; God is never too busy or too tired or too discouraged or too overwhelmed to hear us. He invites us into His presence and awaits our calling on Him. We pray when we wake up, when we go through our day, when we have overwhelming circumstances, when we face obstacles, when we are discouraged, and when we are content. I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray continually.” Be ever mindful of God and His desire to hear from us.
How do we pray? We can speak from the heart, we can repeat words from others, we can sing our prayer or we can let the Holy Spirit make intercession for us, sometimes by groaning instead of words (Romans 8:26-27).We can follow the Model Prayer given by Jesus in Matthew 6:5-15. We can read prayers written by those who have gone before us and we can express total honesty.
We can also use a great acrostic: ACTS: A=Adoration; as we recount the wonderful attributes and character of God we realize He does have our best interests in mind and can lead us on a straight path and give us abundant life. C=Confession; it is imperative that we have a right relationship with God therefore we confess our sins and ask Him to forgive us and lead us. T=Thanksgiving; concentrating on the many ways God has blessed us and provided for us, through material and nontangible things, refocuses our prayer direction. S=Supplication; now we are ready to ask God for our needs, for others needs as well; we have realized that it is not necessarily the material things but the heart we are to be concerned with.
Jesus found time for prayer even though He was part of the triune God. On several occasions, as reported in the Bible, He retreated away from others to spend time in prayer, communing with God. In our loud and busy world, it is necessary to be intentional with taking a retreat – putting aside the list of duties and responsibilities and even catching up on the news or social media posts- in order to focus on our relationship with God. This time for “retreat” can be any amount of time, any time of day and any place. Writers have suggested having a regular time of day, however there are many people who are unable to follow through with the same time; the most important part is to make the time. Your personal relationship with God is of the utmost importance and permeates every part of your life.
Encouraging others to pray – the Teen Girls we know, live with or work with, need to know this is a beneficial and foundational part of their Christian life. Pray with them and for them. Prompt them to share their needs and concerns, deepening your relationships as you hear what is on their minds. Let them know your prayers and when the answers come. All prayers are answered by Yes, No, or Wait. When others share their prayers it is encouraging as we honestly share the concerns we have. We pray for small things because God cares about every aspect of our life including the numbers of hair on our head. We pray for large things because we know God owns all and is over all.
“A Girls Guide to Prayer” is a devotional/educational book written for Girls to learn more about Prayer, including places to interact by writing and filling in the blanks. The author, Elizabeth George, states: “As you read, you’ll discover this book is packed with information that will show you how to know more about God and how to talk to Him about all the good and not-so-good things that are going on in your life.” There are 10 chapters in this 121 page paperback book and it is available at christianbook.com for $2.99 I will be going through this book with the Straight Street girls this summer and am looking forward to us all increasing our prayer life!
Personal note re: making the most of your time through praying. When I was working overnights on weekends, I would pray for God to double my naptime on Sundays so that I wouldn’t have to miss church. He answered my prayers and did give me the feeling of enough rest for the day so that I could stay awake all of Sunday night while working! Give God your time and He will increase your time!!