How do I pray?

Nathan Clark

“How do I pray?”
Nearly every week I get questions about prayer, often about how to pray. It’s a natural question to ask, especially when you consider that prayer is the act of talking with God.
So how should we pray? How ought we converse with the creator of the universe? Fortunately there are many ways you can approach prayer. Below are four different starting places to help you pray.

Practical prayer guides:

1. Use an acrostic to help guide your prayer:

  • A —Acknowledge who God is. “God, I love You for Your (mercy, faithfulness, goodness, etc.).”
  • C —Confess your sin. “Father, forgive me for (my selfishness, my disobedience, my pride, etc.).”
  • T —Thank God for His blessings. “Thank You for (my family, my home, my church, this day, etc.).”
  • S —Submit your requests to God. “Father, (use my life, heal me, help me to find a job, etc.).”

2. Use Jesus’ prayer as your example (Matthew 6:9-13, NIV):

  • Acknowledge God’s holiness: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
  • Acknowledge God’s purposes: your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
  • Ask for God’s provision: Give us today our daily bread. 
  • Ask for God’s forgiveness: Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 
  • Ask for God’s spiritual protection: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

3. Use a psalm as your prayer.

4. Write your own prayer in the style of psalms.