The Right Way to Pray?

This might be a controversial question, but is there a right way to pray? I heard a sermon a few weeks ago that inspired me on a "way to pray" based on Scripture. I was super pumped about it and posted that I wanted to write a blog that week about it. Then life continued on and I procrastinated on writing this post. So here I am, weeks later, questioning my original idea of what I wanted to write.

With the new year, there has been several new songs playing on my favorite radio channel, Air1 radio. One new song is by Riley Clemons called "Broken Prayers" (see the video below). I heard it yesterday and today twice already and its just after lunch. Now I'm writing (and being obedient).

I'm conflicted about the format of prayer and the desperation of prayer. 

I've gone through many seasons where I had to force myself to let go of the "right way" to do things, the "religious" way. That is part of what I love about the song Real Love by Blanca that I wrote a post about. She had a line in the song about not needing the religion but real love of Jesus. I get that!

Growing up in the church, with my personal unique circumstances, I got lost in rules and religion and misplaced my connection with Jesus. The Holy Spirit never left me but I was fighting the enemy and my old self tirelessly. It was aggravating and exhausting, not to mention a waste of time. But God doesn't waste anything. I am who I am now because of each experience and I'm still allowing God to mold me into the precious jar of clay He has in mind. 

God is an artist. Think about it - visualize the way a waterfall flows, the Grand Canyon, a snowflake, the lilacs when they bloom, the way a caterpillar becomes a butterfly and the magnificence of their unique designs. God's artistry is visible everywhere I look. Open your mind's eyes next time you are outside. Take it in. God is designing you and me with the same level of passion He had when He created the heavens and the earth. How can I question the method of refinement He chooses to use? 

During the times of utter loneliness and bitter darkness in my soul, I couldn't figure out how to face the conflict between my past, present, and future. I wanted to be what God expected and deserved but I was facing a deficit of love that the enemy leeched onto. My life was a circular pattern of guilt, shame, depression, and acceptance. Finally, I decided to just write out my prayers to God. No format, just raw honesty, anger, sadness, fear, and sincere hope. No matter how low I was, I could know that God could handle what was on that paper. He would know what to do with it, even if I didn't. 

After awhile in those seasons of depression, I got a little sick and tired of being depressed. There was not fast enough relief in the counseling and the affirmations though I still am a supporter of professional counseling. But at that time, I needed to get out of the muck so I started to focus on anything but my problems. Enter serving and the gratitude journal. Being aware of my many graces was a discipline I attempted for a few years and now its evolved to where I start every prayer with a praise. That works better for me than writing them down. 

There is a song, "Seek you First" by Lauren Daigle that is a reminder for me of this effort of bringing my praise and my heart to God first. That my motive would be to be in His presence, get to know Him, and let Him do what only He can do. I surely can't fix me (step 1) but God Can (step 2) and I'm finally going to let Him (step 3).  

That brings me to another thought about this subject of which way is the best way or the right way to pray, our motives? Maybe what matters most is not the format of the prayer but the place our heart is when we reach out to God. If we are new to Christ then how would we even know the best way to pray. I mean the sermon on prayer pointed right to the Bible, and yet I still didn't get it until now, when it was broken down in church. I'm going to provide the audio of this sermon for you to listen for yourself. I'll also provide some of my notes too, in case you don't get to listen.

Taking Jesus at His Word - Sermon from Daniel Henderson, Jan 2018

My notes from the day I heard Daniel Henderson speak:

4/4 Pattern of Prayer
Upward = Reverence
Downward = Response
Inward = Requests
Outward = Readiness

Scripture Fed. Spirit Led. Worship Based Prayer.
Acts 4:23-31

If all you do is see God's hand, you may miss His face. Seek His face. Seek relationship first.

Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

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Thank you! God Bless!


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