Articles and resources to help Christians learn to pray
Over the past several years, God has been stretching my creativity and my imagination in prayer. It has been such a refreshing season of growth for me, as I am one who, in the past, tended to get stuck in comfortable ruts
As I studied the Bible, I discovered multiple examples for utilizing our bodies and our voices in prayer. This started a rich practice of utilizing the numerous ways God’s people in Scripture and throughout the ages sought and responded to Him in prayer and intercession.
I highly recommend letting the Holy Spirit speak to your heart and guide you (and/or your family, small group, etc.) into what may seem unusual or strange to you at first, but which may give your prayer lives fresh life! Following each, I will give you one or two suggestions for utilizing the practice.
Bowing heads or bodies shows reverence and submission to God as an act of worship– Genesis 24:26-27 (Abraham’s servant bowed low in worship to God when his very specific prayer had been answered); Exodus 34:8-9 (Moses bowed his body toward the earth and made his request before God).
Have each family member give one or two prayer requests. Bow your heads or bow to the ground and pray over those requests together.
Kneeling has always been a universal sign of submission and obedience – Daniel 6:10 (Daniel knelt three times a day, praying and giving thanks); Luke 22:39-44; Matthew 15:25; 2 Chronicles 6:12-14.
Pray for your unsaved family and friends as you kneel together before the Lord. If you feel led to, spread your hands toward heaven, as King Solomon did.
Raising or spreading out our hands as a sign of both praise and petition – (The Hebrews used their hands to show their dependence upon God and their respect for Him. Lifting up holy hands was the common prayer posture among the Jews and the early Christians. Lifting their hands symbolized an expectant attitude and trust in God–that He would fill their empty hands with His blessings) Exodus 9:29; Exodus 17:10-13; 1 Kings 8:54-55; Psalm 63:4; Psalm 141:2; 1 Timothy 2:8.
Pray for the leaders of your nation, your state, and your community. Lift up holy hands together as you do. Pray that God will give them wisdom and discernment. Pray for their health and protection. Pray for their families.
Standing is a sign of reverence and respect – 1
Lying prostrate before the Lord – This is a position taken in times of deep, intense, emotional prayer. There is no more humble position than this one. Deuteronomy 9:18-20, 25-27 (Moses lay prostrate before God for 40 days and nights); 1 Chronicles 21:16-17; Matthew 26:39.
Think of some deeply important needs–your own or someone else’s. Perhaps someone is struggling with a life-threatening disease or some kind of life crisis. Perhaps sin has been weighing you down–this would be an appropriate position in which to confess and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Or maybe you need to ask God something very important. Come before the Lord on behalf of these requests, and lie face down before the Lord. You can pray quietly by yourself or pray out loud with others.
Looking up – (Jesus looked up when He gave thanks for the loaves and fish) Mark 6:39-44.
As you give thanks for a meal, look up to heaven as you do. Spend time thanking the Lord for the way He has provided everything you need–your food, your clothing, your housing. Look toward heaven when you pray.
Spend some time praying quietly. – 1 Samuel 1:9-18 (Hannah prayed quietly before the Lord).
God is perfectly capable of hearing our thoughts when we pray silently. There are times when praying in this way is very appropriate. We need to learn as an individual or a family to be comfortable with
Spend some time together in silent prayer. Ask the Father to speak to your heart. If you have trouble concentrating, picture Jesus in your mind and concentrate on Him.
Shout your praise to the Lord – Psalm 66:1-4 (The director of music was directed to shout for joy before the Lord in this psalm.) Psalms 71:23; 95:1; 98:4-6. It is certainly appropriate to cry out to the Lord in times of desperate prayer. It is also appropriate to raise our voices in praise!
Try praising God in a loud voice, saying Acts 4:24: “Sovereign Lord . . . You made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.”
It is important to learn that if we seek the Lord, He will be found by us (1 Chronicles 28:9). It is also important to know that our Heavenly Father rewards those who seek Him in faith: “And without
Kim serves as the Executive Director of Harvest Prayer Ministries which she co-founded in 1993 with her late husband, Dave (1953-2022). Her ministry involves teaching/training and consulting as well as writing and developing resources. She is content coordinator for HPM's teaching platform, PrayerU.com and also compiles and edits HPM’s free daily devotional, Connection! as well as Prayer Tip Tuesday.
Kim has written multiple books and has published articles in a variety of magazines and publications. She is a member of America's National Prayer Committee and serves as President of Gospel Revivals, Inc. (Herald of His Coming).
Kim has a BA in Psychology and a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership.