In my first post, a few weeks ago, I wrote about how I’ve been reading through the Bible with the One Year Bible.
In addition to reading through the entire Bible, I am devoting myself this year to learning to pray more effectively.
James 5:16 says “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” (The Living Bible)
As long as I can remember, I have been afraid and embarrassed to pray out loud in front of other people, so I’ve been studying prayer and practicing so that I can pray with and for others freely. I have found that it helps to view prayer more as a conversation with my Father and less like a flowery speech that has to sound perfect. Praying scripture has truly helped me with this endeavor.
When I pray directly from the Word of God, the words flow more easily and I don’t feel so much like I have to “come up with something” profound. As I read the daily passages in the One Year Bible, I often underline scriptures that speak directly to me and write them in a notebook, which I use as a springboard for my prayer time. (More on that in a future post!)
I’ve been praying for my kids for using Stormie Omartian’s The Power of a Praying Parent for almost a year now, and it has helped immensely. Before, my prayers were “generic” and not very directed. I knew I should be praying for my kids, but didn’t really know how to pray or what to pray about. By reading her book and praying scriptures over my kids to address specific issues, I feel that my prayers have become much more powerful and effective. God has shown me specific things, through His Spirit, that I would never have known to pray about.
I have also been praying specific scriptural payers over my husband using a book by Sharon Jaynes, Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe. That book has helped me in a similar way – I’m able to pray specifically for each part of my husband’s body and being, allowing me to become more aware of being submissive to my husband and being the wife he needs.
Through reading those books and praying scripture, God is teaching me to communicate with Him more effectively and I’ve seen many answers to prayer in these past months. I know I have a long way to go, but I am believing in faith for even more answers to prayer in the future!
If you feel put on the spot when you’re asked to pray out loud in front of others, I encourage you to start branching out with your own prayer time. When you’re alone, try praying aloud directly from the Bible. The Psalms are a great place to begin – they are poems and songs written to praise God and to request His leading and protection. Just start praying them in your own words. Even if you only whisper, or speak very quietly, you’ll start to grow accustomed to hearing your voice in prayer.
As you become more confident, you’ll be able to pray more loudly and eventually you’ll find yourself praying in front of others with the same confidence that you have when you’re alone with the Lord. I think you will find, as I did, that hearing yourself pray audibly is different than praying in your head.
I would love to hear about books on prayer that you’ve found helpful, as well as your testimony of how God is working in your prayer life!
God loves us and He loves to converse with us in prayer. As you study and practice, He will honor your intention to become a more powerful and effective prayer warrior!
Lord, thank you for your Word. Thank you for speaking to me through it. Thank you that the earnest prayers of a righteous person have great power and wonderful results. Please help me to become more effective in my prayers as I converse with you. Show me how to pray in ways that are powerful so that I can bless others by praying with them and for them. Thank you that your love for me never ends and that your mercies are new every morning!