A Prayer for When You Don’t Know How to Pray


Do you ever feel like you don’t know how to pray? Or what to pray? If I was sitting in church or a classroom, I hope I wouldn’t be the only guy to raise my hand. I try to make it a regular practice to get up early in the morning, make my first cup of coffee and sit in the leather chair in my office to pray and read. It’s my first step into sanity for the day because I know how easy it is for me to get derailed throughout the day. But that’s just me…

Honestly, there are so many days when I’ve got so much on my mind that all that seems to pour out of my heart to God is, “Blaaa–eeech!”  I wonder if my prayers look like me swinging a thin little broomstick at all chest-beating gorillas in my mind? If there are days when you don’t know how or what to pray, I have a beautiful prayer I want to share with you. It comes from Brennan Manning, one of my favorite authors. Read on…

I take comfort that the scriptures are filled with people who wrestled in prayer because many of my prayers often don’t feel like intimate conversations, but brawling wrestling matches with God. That would be me doing all that brawling… I do believe that God is actually quite relaxed. If you ever feel like you don’t know what to pray or how to pray in any given situation, here’s a simple prayer that is soaked in a number of beautiful truths that you can relax in.

God, I surrender my will and my life to You today, this very moment, without reservation and with humble confidence, for You are my loving Father.

Set me free from self-consciousness, from anxiety about tomorrow, and from the tyranny of the approval and disapproval of others, that I may find joy and delight simply and solely in pleasing You.

May my inner freedom be a compelling sign of Your presence, Your peace, Your power, and Your love.

Let Your plan for my life and the lives of all Your children gracefully unfold one day at a time. I love You with all my heart, and I place all my confidence in You, for You are my Abba Father.

Don’t you love what Brennan says about living with humble confidence? When you don’t know what or how to pray, you can take confidence that God simply delights in you showing up to talk with Him. That’s what prayer is all about… a conversation based upon intimate relationship. A son or a daughter simply talking with their Father.

I pray that you may experience a deeper inner freedom today in the truest place of your heart that you are intimately loved by your Abba Father.

Questions: How does this prayer speak to your heart? What words resonate with you the most? What reminders might God be whispering to you in this prayer?

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If you’re looking for a great read, I highly recommend Brenna Manning’s Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God. Your purchase helps support the Art, Life & Faith blog.

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