Teach Me How To Pray

Teach Me How To Pray

This the front of Trinity Baptist Church in Manhattan. Isn't it beautiful?
The building was built in 1929 and was my church home for the 4 plus years I lived in the city. There is so much I could say about this precious church family - another time.

A few weeks after I began attending, the then pastor, Keith Boyd, asked us to prayerfully consider ways we could serve - an assessment of giftings/interests. Seems like the sermon was on the Body of Christ.

Anyway, one of the items on the list was “prayer team/intercession.”
I remember this like it was yesterday – holding the paper and thinking, “Oh. A prayer team-that’s cool. But that is not something I can really do – that is not my part to play.”

This is one of those pivotal moments in my relationship with Jesus. The thought really disturbed me. This started a chain reaction of jarring questions: “What do I even believe about prayer? Why do we do it? God already knows our thoughts…so… Isn’t it so one-sided anyway… won’t He just do what He is going to do? Who am I to ask God for x, y, or z?”

This shook me.

I called Keith and asked if we could talk. I tearfully confessed that I didn’t believe prayer was useful – that it was a chore. I knew it was a command, but I did not understand why. I asked all the questions. I told him I was struggling. He compassionately and empathetically listened. He sympathized and told me he, too, had asked these questions. And then he said something I will never forget – “Alexis, prayer is about relationship.”


This changed everything for me. I started praying to God as if He cared to hear from me. Philippians 4:6-7 became real to me: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”

God was no longer this distant figure who entertained my daily, legalistic prayers – but Abba Father who heard my cries and answered me when I called.
I began to feel His affection and His love as I went to Him with all my fears, my excitement, my worries, my anger, the desires of my heart. Prayer became my lifeline. And through this, praise became my posture. I do not walk in this perfectly, though I will tell you, He has changed my heart given me a desire to seek Him. I KNOW He will do the same for you.

My heart HURTS at the knowledge that there are those who do not know the freedom and joy of a prayerful heart and mind. If this is you, or someone you know – I am standing in the gap for you. Asking for God to speak in new ways – to show His love and affection and desire for relationship. I am doing this in the same way people prayed this for me. The Lord goes before, and it is His heart to be in relationship with you. I am standing in the gap for those who do not know Jesus as their friend.

A friend on Facebook messenger recently asked me, “Can I just talk to Him (God)?”
My eyes filled with tears, as I frantically typed “YES!”

So many of us don’t know where to begin – where do you start? I encourage us all to take a note from the disciples in Luke 11:1:
 “Lord, teach us to pray…”

Just ask Him. That is the best place to start.
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