Jesus and Pray

Psalms 5:3 states, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”

When you attended Sunday School, the teacher would ask a multitude of questions about your faith, Jesus, Bible stories, and anything else pertaining to God. While sitting there, waiting for your parents to pick you up to go eat lunch after church--I guess we all lived the same church childhood--what were the two top answers that always were correct no matter the question? Jesus and prayer. What will save you? Jesus and prayer. What should be the most important thing in your life? Jesus and prayer. What should you do to be a better Christian? Pray to Jesus--I switched it up a bit there. It always seemed as if the teachers saw prayer as the most important part of your faith. And, truthfully, it is.

Prayer comes in every form possible. You have the blessing before you eat; the “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” bedtime prayer; singing songs in worship are considered prayer; the textbook “Jesus help me” prayers. Even reading your Bible is considered prayer. Your prayers can be long and emotional or a quick “thank you” when you receive a blessing. Your prayers can be in seclusion before bed, or with your friends at youth group. No matter what form your praying comes in, God calls us to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

What’s amazing about prayer is that it is your own. You pray as yourself for your own reasons. No need to sound like the eloquent pastor or youth group leader; that is their form of prayer. Your form of prayer can be whatever you may like. Your words. Your voice. Your feelings. On your time. It is your conversation with God, the being who loves you more than anyone you’ve ever met. There is no need to feel as if you need to pray with archaic language and challenging vocabulary. Who speaks like that on a normal basis anyway? All God wants is you.

Prayer creates such a relieving feeling. Personally, it slips my mind to pray before bed or when I wake up. I do not have a prayer schedule. That is something I need to work on. However, I pray whenever I feel anxious, which is a lot. Before college interviews, my SAT, and big tests, I pray to God to relieve my nerves and allow me to use the gifts he gave me to produce success. I also tend to pray when I’m scared. When I’m falling asleep, and I hear a noise, or when I am walking alone at night, I pray to God to protect me and my family. After these prayers, I’m not afraid anymore. I always visualize a large bubble around myself after I pray in fear, which always helps.

I encourage you to pray continually. Pray for your troubles. Pray for your neighbors. Pray in thanksgiving. Pray in grief. Pray before you take a huge test. Pray when you feel scared. Pray to show God how much you love and appreciate them.

Psalms 42:8 says, "By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life."

Written by Caroline G.