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How do you pray?

By Becky Herrington

Prayer is something we can often take it for granted. And for some, even if they grew up in the church, they often wonder, "how do you pray?"

When I first became a Christian, everyone was talking about their “prayer closet,” a small space they escaped to for prayer. I remember the first time I tried this idea. I lived in a tiny beach house in Oceanside, California and my closet could barely fit me in it. Once I got over the claustrophobia and stale shoe smell and started praying, it wasn’t long before I fell asleep.

Needless to say, I decided the prayer closet wasn’t for me.

The truth is that prayer is different for everyone; the trick is to try new things and see what happens.
Jesus modeled how he wants us to pray in Matthew 6:5-8, also known as the Lord’s Prayer. With this example, he taught us the spirit of prayer, but the method is up to us.

Here are some prayer ideas to get you thinking about what you can try:

Prayer Journal. This simple idea starts with getting a journal and then writing to Jesus about your day, including questions, lists of what you need, and gratitude for what’s going good in your life.

Go walking. If you're kinetic and need to get your energy out, walking is a great way to focus on prayer while moving.

Use your body. Related to walking, many people use running, yoga, or dance as a way to connect with Jesus. For example, check out Holy Yoga which is a guided yoga hour for prayer, worship, and reflection.

Go for a drive with Jesus. Picture him in the passenger seat of your car and take some time to talk to him. What does he say back?

Texting or Tweeting God. If you tend to communicate using your thumbs, what would happen if you created tweets or texts to Jesus and then opened up your heart and mind to what he might text back? Also, don't forget to consider ways he might be "texting" to you through others during your day.

Get out in nature. There’s something about being in nature that draws us into God's creation and gives us an appreciation for what he's done.

Ask God how to pray. If none of these ideas sparks you, or you aren’t sure where to begin or what to do next with prayer, ask God. He wants to help out in all things and will definitely show you how he wants you to pray and what he wants you to pray for.

>> Related: how to hear God's voice

Overall, be playful. It doesn’t have to be boring or serious. You may do one of these things for a season or forever. Eventually talking to God will be like breathing--a part of every moment in your day.

What ways do you pray? I'd love to hear your story.

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