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You will learn to pray by praying, as you learned to speak

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Tifawin letter of CHRIST! Góðan daginn image of GOD! May the LORD lift up your head. Let his hand sustain you and his arm strengthen you (Psalms 89:22). Let your house proclaim his goodness in the morning and his faithfulness by night (Psalms 92:3). May your life be the answer to a prayer and your coming the announcement of a salvation.

"The LORD is near to all who call on Him,To all who call on Him in truth (without guile)."

___ (Psalm 145:18, AMP)

Whenever I am asked how I learned to pray, my answer is "I learned to pray by praying." I didn't ask myself if I know how to pray. I simply started talking to GOD. The Bible, songs, hymns, books, preaching, testimonies, corporate prayer time and the guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT gave me examples of "what and how" to say to GOD. I started with simple words and simple phrases. I started by saying "Good morning". In fact my first words when I get up are "Good morning FATHER, Good morning big brother (JESUS), Good morning HOLY SPIRIT". I learned to pray by praying.

We commonly say that " Praying is talking to GOD ". This is not wrong, I sometimes say it too. But from one language to another, from one culture to another, from one social context to another, "Talking to someone" does not systematically translate into "conversing or dialoguing with someone". This is why I prefer to say "Praying is conversing with GOD". Also, by saying it this way, I want to make sure that deaf and dumb people do not feel excluded. Prayer (in the biblical sense) is not supposed to be a monologue, but a dialogue, a conversation with GOD. If I believe that GOD is omnipresent, almighty, hears, loves, never lies, forgives, wants the good of me and all people, I can address Him without pretending, talk to Him about my needs, ask Him questions, share my joys, frustrations and sorrows. I will never stop saying (especially to new converts) that there are no "little prayers".➡➡ There are only sincere prayers, in accordance with His will and made with faith.

How did you learn to speak? How did you learn a second language? How does a child learn to speak? 🙂 There are no traps in these questions. Those who want to learn a new language are advised to be motivated, determined, constant in their learning, to talk with other people, to listen to songs, to watch films, TV, to read books in the language they want to learn. They are also encouraged to speak without fear of making mistakes, to start with simple words and phrases. For a child to learn to speak, parents are advised to talk to him/her as often as possible, to repeat what he/she says, to speak softly, slowly, to articulate words correctly, to rephrase his/her sentences if necessary, to name the objects he/she points to, to sing with him/her, etc. To sum up, a child learns to speak by listening and repeating. An adult learns to speak by reading, listening, understanding and repeating. So in a sense, we can say that we learn to speak by speaking. For repeating means saying again, what has already been said.

We learn to pray as we learn to speak, communicate, dialogue. We learn to pray by praying. We draw inspiration from the Bible, songs, hymns, books, preaching, testimonies, corporate prayer time and the guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT. But it is up to us to pray. The Bible will not pray for us. GOD has given us free will, He will not force us to pray. You can pretend to pray, but for GOD, if your will is not there, if your faith is not there, if your sincerity is not there, if you do not mean what you say, it is not a prayer. GOD is near to those who call upon Him in truth (Psalms 145:18) and He lets Himself be found by those who seek Him (Jeremiah 29:13).

Unlike articles in the Truth category, those in the Love meets Faith category are written to encourage and challenge. However, I feel it is important to digress for a moment to list the different types of prayer. I have identified 14 types. Grouping them together gives a smaller number, but I prefer to name them distinctly :

  • The prayer of praise and thanksgiving.

  • The Worship prayer

  • The prayer of faith

  • The prayer of agreement

  • The prayer of petition

  • The prayer of consecration

  • The prayer of intercession

  • The prayer of blessing, declaration and proclamation,

  • The prayer of imprecation, of authority, more often called the warfare prayer or deliverance prayer

  • The prayer of supplication and childbirth (birth the will of GOD)

  • Prayer in tongues

  • The prayer for repentance

  • The prayer for advisory

  • The prayer of the SPIRIT (when the HOLY SPIRIT prays within us). Not to be confused with the expression prayer by the SPIRIT or prayer led by the SPIRIT (the manner and the subjects).

There are good, less good, and bad ways to pray. Just as there are good, less good, and bad ways to communicate. For each context, a type and form of communication are more or less appropriate. The way we speak is strongly influenced by our family circle, our circle of friends, our culture, our temperament, our age, our interests, the quality and duration of our education (school and university), our state of health (physical and emotional), the presence or absence of a disability, etc. You don't talk to your brothers like you would to strangers. You don't talk to your parents like you talk to your manager or employees. There are people we avoid and people we seek out. The way we talk to some people reflects either the feelings we have or the feelings we think they have for us (prejudices or experiences).

If I believe that GOD is deaf (or hard of hearing), I will believe that I need to shout every time I pray. On the other side, GOD hears silent prayers, but He has never said to be silent when you can speak. If I do not believe I have received authority from JESUS CHRIST over the power of the enemy, I will not dare to condemn the works of the devil. If I am selfish, it will be difficult for me to pray for my neighbour. If I am ungrateful by nature, not surprisingly, I will tend not to thank GOD. If I am proud, not surprisingly, I will find it difficult to pray for repentance. The awareness, the revelation, that I have of GOD and His Word, the attention that I give Him determines how I pray: what I say and how I say it.

None of us is perfect. We are all buildings under construction (1 Corinthians 3:9). Some buildings are more advanced than others, but we all still have things to correct and learn. We all have a starting point. That starting point is at a crossroads between the way we communicate, the state of our soul, the way those around us pray, those we listen to, the revelation we have of GOD, His Word and His will. "The end of a thing is better than its beginning." (Ecclesiastes 7:8). GOD does not despise small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10). How you continue to pray matters more than how you started. Even with good manuals, good teachers, mistakes can be made, updates can be forgotten. Mistakes can be corrected, and small things grow when well nurtured. As long as you remain committed to the LORD, somehow the HOLY SPIRIT will always find a way to guide, correct, and teach you.

I prayed while writing this article, that GOD would use it to encourage those who do not dare or are taking their first steps in prayer. He has answered my prayer 🙂 So I invite you to start now : pray. Why do you love GOD? Why did you choose JESUS? What are you grateful for? How are you doing? What do you need? What do you want? What are you afraid of? How are your family and friends doing? What do they need? If you are mute or in prison because of your faith, turn to GOD in your thoughts. If not, open your mouth and speak.

**Tifawin = Good morning in Berber (Tamazight)

**Góðan daginn = Good morning in Icelandic

To go further (non-exhaustive list)

- Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship, by Derek Prince

- Praying The Bible in Your Life, by Stormie Omartian

- Laissez la Parole de DIEU inspirer vos prières, de Stormie Omartian

- The Prism of Prayer, Dr Cindy Trim

- Parying the LORD's Prayer for Spiritual Breakthough, by Dr Elmer L. Towns

- Bible Prayer Study Course, by Keneth E. Hagin

- Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer, by Dr Myles Munroe

- La prière qui produit la surabondance, de Mohammed Y. Sanogo


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