For many new Christians, it can be difficult to know how to pray. It may be overwhelming as you try to figure out when, where, and how you should pray. Let’s start off by saying this: there is no formula for praying. There is no exact science behind crafting the perfect prayer.
So, how do you pray? Prayer is all about your heart. Simply put, it is how you communicate with God. By learning about how to pray, what to pray about, Biblical examples of prayers, and seeing resources for praying, you will have a stronger grasp of what your prayer time could look like and how to pray Biblically.
To start your guide to Christian prayer, how to pray and what to pray about.
How to Pray
How to pray: talk to God and listen to what he says back to you. Prayer is simply communicating with Him. Prayer is not a task or duty for Christians. It comes from our hearts and our longing to give God glory and ask for His guidance in times of hardship.
What to Pray about
What to pray about is limitless. Pray about what God has put on your heart! Maybe a sick friend has been on your heart, pray for them. Declare healing over them and tell Him what’s on your heart.
More ideas of what you can pray about are:
- People who are unsaved
- Sick relatives or people in your life
- Unreached people groups in the world
- Thank God
- Wisdom and discernment in your life
- That God would use you and you would hear His voice
These are just a few examples to help you get started with your prayer time. Remember you do not have to pray at a certain time or in a certain place, you can pray throughout your day, whenever and wherever you are.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The Lord’s Prayer: How We Should Pray
The Bible gives us examples of how to pray. The prayer that is the most used from the Bible is called, “The Lord’s Prayer.” The disciples asked Jesus how they were to pray and this is what he said,
“This, then, is how you should pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one” – Matthew 6:9-13
Jesus shows us how we are to pray in this passage. This prayer is one you memorize. Memorizing Scripture is another way we can honor God. Then, if you are unsure of what you should pray, you can pray the Lord’s prayer.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
12 Scriptures You Should Pray
Praying the Scripture is a beautiful way to pray. You are speaking God’s Word back to Him in an act of worship. These 12 Scriptures about love and against fear can give you a place to start when you are praying.
6 Scriptures about Love to Pray
Lord, I believe that these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
Lord, I know that if I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2
Lord, I believe that whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor. Proverbs 21:22
Lord, please let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Lord, help me to do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
Lord, I thank you that love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
6 Scriptures about Fear
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:1-4
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
1 John 4:18
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
6 Resources For Prayer
Here are six different resources to help you learn more about prayer.
- Praying God’s Word – Beth Moore
This book is a Scriptual based book on how to overcome strongholds through prayer in your life.
- Experiencing God Day-By-Day – Richard Blackaby
This devotional will help you learn more about the Scriptures while journaling.
- The Circle Maker – Mark Batterson
This book is about praying out your dreams and against your fears.
- The Daniel Prayer – Anne Graham Lotz
This book is focused on learning from how Daniel prayed and praying out for the nations.
- The Battle Plan for Prayer – Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick
This focus of this book is on how you can create a battle plan through your prayers.
- The Armor of God – Priscilla Shirer
This is a Bible study guide focused on the Armor of God and how to bring it into your life.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.1 John 5:14-15
Prayer is one of the most important parts of having a strong relationship with God. Remember: there is no “perfect” prayer. Share your heart with God while taking the time to listen to what he is speaking back to you. Glorify Him with your prayers.
One last tip for your prayer time: put distractions away. If you are setting aside thirty minutes to pray, put your phone away. Take the time you already set aside and enter into God’s presence with your whole heart.
You can read more about the history of prayer in the Bible and how to pray in-depth here.