How I Pray

6:00:00 PM

When I was younger, I used to say the same prayer every night before bed. I don't remember learning it, but I do remember how fast I had learned to say it. This is the prayer that I used to say every night, well every night until life took over.

"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the lord my soul to take. God bless everybody, Amen."

I'm sure you've heard or seen a prayer similar to this. There are so many variations of it, but my prayer never changed. I remember I added that last line when my grandfather passed away. I wanted to make a point, even at a young age, that I wanted to make sure everyone in heaven and on Earth was taken care of.

It wasn't until I was older, and began going to church that I realized prayers should mean something. It shouldn't just be the words repeated at the end of the night. And it definitely shouldn't have been a race to see who could say the prayer fastest. I now realize that taking the time to speak to God openly and honestly, is very important. Although I may not do it as often as I should, I believe that He knows what is in my heart.

This is how I pray:

I Give God My Undivided Attention
Each time I do this in a different way. When I'm able to, I like to close my eyes, and close my hands together. Of course, that's not always possible. If I'm driving, I'll turn the radio off. If I'm in the shower, I'll just close my eyes. I just try to do whatever I can at that moment to relax, connect, and pray.

I Request Guidance
Life is full of difficult decisions, so I pray to God to give me guidance. I pray that he guides me to making the right decisions and I pray that the decisions I do make, line up with his plan for me. I also pray that God closes the doors on the things that do not fit into his plan. I pray that he guides me into the open doors. Someone once told me not to pray for one specific outcome, but to pray that God will guide me in making the decisions that will lead to the best outcome for me. I am a child of God, and I know that he knows what's best for me, even when I really want something that might not be.

I Ask for Strength
Strength is something that I lack, both physically and emotionally. I pray that He gives me the strength to get through each day and each hardship. I pray that he gives me the strength to continue on, even when my body tells me no. As someone that deals with both depression and anxiety, I know how easy it can be to give up. So each day I ask for the strength to continue, because I was put on this Earth for a reason; and I know for a fact that reason isn't to quit.

I Surrender
I have a hard time doing this, which is exactly why I started a monthly verse of encouragement. You can check out February's here. I cast all of my anxieties onto Him. I almost always say something along the lines of, "Dear God I know that you have a plan for me, and I know that I need not worry, and that I am supposed to trust you, but I really hope that ________ is in that plan. I know that if this is your will, then it will happen; and if it doesn't, then I will accept that." I know that He ultimately knows what is in my heart, but I still say something like that each time. I don't necessarily say it to remind him of what I'd like to happen. I instead do it to verbally cast away my anxieties, and to remind myself that he has a plan for me, and that everything is going to work out.

I Pray for Others
Every time I pray, I make sure to pray for others. If I'm praying in the morning, I might ask that everyone smiles at least once today. I pray that something good happens in each and everybody's life, no matter how small or insignificant. I make sure to pray for those around me, and those that I know are hurting. I always make sure to pray for my brother and my cousins. I especially pray for my husband. I pray that God gives him strength and takes away his worries, because I know how hard it must be for him to watch me deal with my chronic illnesses.

I Praise Him
I end each prayer with my praises. I thank God for everything he has given me, he will give me, and what he is currently giving me. It can be so easy to only go to God when you need Him for something. But we need to remember to praise him as well. Like anyone of us, he does not need nor ask for recognition for the things that he does, but he deserves it.

There is no right or wrong way to pray, I just wanted to share with you how I choose to pray.

How do you pray?

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