Prayer has unlocked new dimensions of joy in my relationship with God over the last few years.
To be honest, praying to God has not always come naturally to me. Praying silently in my head often ended with my distracted thoughts and worries. I knew this was something I wanted to change but didn’t know how. I decided to intentionally pursue prayer to improve my communication with God.
Prayer is vital to a living relationship with God. When we talk to God, it doesn’t have to be mysterious, lengthy, or perfectly composed. Rather, it is a genuine expression of your heart to your loving God who knows and accepts you completely. It can be short, it can be long, it can be quiet, it can be loud, there is grace in our prayer life!
My prayer life grew rapidly when I was in a very rough season of life. I’ve learned that holding in our emotions is not only unhealthy, it’s not realistic long-term. Who better to bring our tired, weary, hurting hearts to than our loving God who knows us inside and out? I used to be the queen to holding in true emotions and pain. I found myself in a broken and exhausted place trying to carry the burdens of the world.
A wise counselor told me to authentically bring my hurt to God and share with Him everything that was weighing me down. This included unresolved pain and anger with things God had allowed in my life. Once I learned how to bring those things to God, I experienced peace as I have never felt before.
1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast your cares on the Lord, for He cares for you.”
God commands us to let Him carry the weights we were never meant to shoulder on our own. When we do this, God lifts those burdens and reveals more of who He is to us. This just might be the best thing you could possibly do in your relationship with God – to cry out to Him with all of your anger and pain and ask Him to take it.
Ask Him to reveal who He is.
Ask Him to help you learn how to pray and trust Him. It’s healing, friends.
Have you ever wondered what God’s will is for you? There are only a few places in the Bible where God explicitly says “This is my will for you”. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we find one of the instances where God’s will is made clear for us:
“Always be joyful. Always keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus!”
God’s will for us looks unique based on the circumstances and environment He has placed us in, but it is no mystery that as a follower of God we are to live with great joy, gratitude and to be constantly praying to God. He will reveal the details along the way when we make prayer, gratitude, and joy a priority.
The book of Psalms written by David is essentially the most raw journal entries of his prayer life. David was a king, a leader of faith and was even called “a man after God’s own heart”. In the Psalms, we see every spectrum of emotions with everything from joy and peace to dark depression and despair. David’s life was filled with highs and lows, as is yours and mine. I find comfort in reading His raw prayers to God and knowing he too faced trials and brought those to God. When you don’t know what to pray, finding a Bible verse and lifting it up to God is always a powerful way to meditate on His word and to demonstrate your faith in His promises.
Even David needed the guidance of His heavenly father to make decisions. Just as David needed to be led to God’s will for His life, we too, need God’s guidance. God will lead us and teach us as we trust Him with our salvation.
I would encourage you to read through a few Psalms to see the vast array of emotions David processes with the Lord in Prayer:
- Psalm 23 – Declaring God’s faithfulness, responding in joy, and stating faith in God’s care and provision for His life.
- Psalm 37 – Trusting in the Lord, waiting on the Lord, and declaring salvation in the Lord.
- Psalm 51 – Asking for forgiveness and mercy from sin.
- Psalm 100 – Joy! Giving thanks!
- Psalm 139 – Awe and wonder of God’s all-knowing and loving character.
There is a Psalm for any emotion under the sun. I challenge you to “write your own psalm” for where you are at right now. Lift up your real emotions to Him and ask Him to help you and guide your life.
Hannah currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida, and is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She loves helping others learn about God’s love for them, outdoor exercise adventures, and words of encouragement. Follow along with her on Instagram @hannahkwebster