Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (NLT) Prayer is the staple of the Christian life. However, our prayer life can always be improved and worked on, which is why I would like to present six helpful tips to help you in your prayer life:
1. Thank God for all He has done. As Paul wrote in Philippians 4, "Thank him for all he [God] has done." Faith in God for the future is developed by recognition of what God has done in the past. Before you ask God for anything, take time to thank God for all He has already provided you with. Taking time to do this will change your mindset significantly.
2. Be authentic with God. Sometimes we get so caught up in the way we pray that we miss out on the purpose of prayer itself. God doesn't require that you use eloquent speech or elaborate vocabulary when you pray. God wants you to talk to Him like you are talking to your father or best friend--with respect, but authentically. God doesn't want you to try to sugar coat your feelings in prayer either. If you don't understand why God let something happen, tell Him about your confusion. If you are having doubts, tell Him about your doubts. If you are frustrated with life, don't be afraid to scream out to God. It is when we are completely authentic with God that our relationship with Him grows and begins to flourish.
3. Be consistent in prayer. Prayer is vital for a relationship with God. The best way to have a good relationship with someone is effective and consistent communication. It is the same with a relationship with God. In order to know God better and grow closer in relationship to Him, you must make time to talk to Him every day. Don't let the commotion of the world consume your day as you try to take it on yourself. Let God enter your life by asking Him through prayer.
4. Pray for others. Praying for others changes the perspective you have on your own life. By praying for the struggles and successes of others, it allows you to be more selfless about your own situations in life.
5. Pray for those who hurt you. Matthew 5:44 says, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (ESV) This is probably the most difficult thing to do in prayer. Praying for people who hurt you is the best way to deal with that hurt. Praying for those who hurt you turns your perspective from hating someone to actually rooting for them to come to Christ. This may seem difficult at first, but forgiveness is the lace that binds the body of believers and the Christian faith itself.
6. Don't be afraid to pray about little things. Nothing is too small for God. He cares about your smallest worries and concerns just as much as you do. Keep this in mind as you pray.
God is waiting for you to talk to Him. What are you waiting for?
Hunter Kallay, author of "Plug in Your Life." He is a Christian leader and speaker.