Have you ever felt like you didn't quite know how to pray? Praying is as simple as talking with God but sometimes it doesn't seem easy to know where to start! These practices will help give you different ways to pray and different topics to pray about.

Confession and Forgiveness

Challenge: Take a moment to pray and ask for forgiveness for your sins and to forgive others who may have sinned against you.

“And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Matthew 6:12 NLT

It’s not easy to admit when we’ve messed up. The good news is that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross covers our sin. If we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us! (1 John 1:9). What things do you need to take to God and ask for forgiveness for? 

On the other hand it’s just as hard sometimes to forgive others when they mess up. God calls us to forgive others just as God has forgiven us! In fact Jesus says we should forgive our brothers and sisters not just seven times (which sometimes that even feels a lot) but seven times seventy times! (Matthew 18:21-22). Who owes you something? Can you extend mercy and forgiveness to them?

Walking (or driving) with God

Challenge: Take a prayer walk or drive and pray for those around you.

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” 1 Timothy 2:1 NLT

Praying for all people feels like a daunting task! Where do you even begin? One way to practice praying for others is to use the things around you to remind you of others. As you walk and drive around you can pray for those in your neighborhood, your co-workers, your local schools and more! What do you pray for? If you know things about their life pray for those things. If not, give thanks to God for them and pray that they might receive God’s grace in a fresh way today.

Places you could walk/drive by:

  • Your neighborhood: pray for your neighbors

  • Schools: pray for teachers and students' classmates

  • Work: pray for your co-workers

  • Hospital: pray for those who are ill and for medical professionals taking care of them

  • Nursing homes: pray for those who have been isolated for so long

  • City buildings: pray for our leaders

Praying through the news

Challenge: Read/Watch/Listen to the news and pray for one situation you hear about.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 NIV

When we watch the news it’s easy to feel helpless when we hear about some stories. While we might not be able to help tangibly, we can pray! As you read or watch the news or even see stories on Facebook or Instagram, pause what you’re doing and pray for those involved in the situation.

What's Worrying you?

Challenge: Pray for those things worrying you or weighing on your heart and mind today.

“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.” Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

These days there seems to be plenty to worry about. It’s easy to get caught up in worry about the big things like the pandemic, the injustices happening in the world, financial crises and more. And there’s also plenty of small things to worry about. How will that project go at work? Who is picking up the kids? What should we eat for dinner? Will my school presentation go ok? Who will I sit with at lunch? Whatever you’re worried about today, take some time to pray for those things. Ask God for what you need and seek God’s peace.

Take 5

Challenge: Set a timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes and sit in the silence and meditate on the Lord.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Sometimes prayer is less about us having all the right words and more about giving God room to speak to us. Today set a timer and close your eyes and sit in the silence. Don’t worry if you find yourself thinking about your to-do list or an encounter you had that day with a coworker. Acknowledge that thought, pray for it, and recenter yourself by saying “Jesus” or “Lord hear our prayer” or by reciting “Be still and know that I am God.” At the end of five minutes thank God for your time together and continue with your day!

A Grateful heart

Challenge: Journal a prayer of thanksgiving to God.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalms 100:4-5 NIV

One way of praying is by writing our prayers. Today grab a sheet of paper or a journal and write a prayer of thanksgiving. Don’t worry about having the right format or even having good handwriting. Just let your words flow from your heart as you think of things you are thankful for and tell God about them.