how to pray when you don't know how

How to pray when you don’t know how

Haven’t you all been there?

You don’t know how to pray.

There is so much going on, where do you begin?

If ever there was a week like that, it’s this one.

When I woke up to the news Monday morning about the mass shooting in Las Vegas, I was momentarily shocked. How could someone do this? What in the world possesses someone to literally “mow down” innocent people? People he’d never met. People he had no grudge with.

I seldom agree with our President, but this time I did. It is true evil. There is no other explanation. Even if you count mental illness, it’s still evil.

So how do you pray about evil, other than pleading for its eradication?

The short answer is, you don’t.

You pray for the victims and you pray for yourself.

I prayed especially for the spouses, parents, and grandparents of the deceased and wounded. I prayed for some sort of comfort for them. I prayed that even if they didn’t believe in God, they would have awareness of his presence.

And I prayed for myself. That I would always demonstrate prove love and kindness to whoever crosses my path. That I would represent hope to those who have none.

I prayed nothing profound but I prayed from my heart. The simplest prayers are often the best. We can’t control situations with our prayers any more than we can control people. But I believe that when we pray from the right motives, our prayers can have a powerful impact on behalf of others.  I even believe that the prayers I’m praying for these victims and their families are making a difference.

Can I prove it?


But no one else can prove that they aren’t making a difference, either. Plus, I have the creator of this world behind my prayers. I like what Andrew Murray said: (Andrew Murray, pastor and author, has written many books on prayer during his lifetime. I highly recommend his works. )

“....prayer is so simple that even the feeblest child can pray, yet is at the same time the highest and holiest work to which man can rise. It is fellowship with the Unseen and Most Holy ONe. The powers of the eternal world have been placed at its disposal.”

Prayer is simple and profound at the same time.

Yesterday I mentioned our prayers needn’t be long to be effective.  That doesn’t mean that extended seasons of prayer aren’t also necessary. Let’s face it, life has its ebbs and flows. Sometimes, everything is going along smoothly and our prayers can then focus outside of our immediate network of family and friends. Then there are other times, like this week, when our prayers are focused way beyond ourselves and our personal lives.

These are challenging times. They are particularly challenging times for followers of Christ. But God is waiting to hear our pleas. Remember, many of those affected by this tragedy probably have no prayer warriors in their corner. You can be the one. There are all kinds of interviews being conducted on TV, and all kinds of “stories” across social media. Pick one of these people and keep them in your prayers for the days and weeks ahead.

Each of us can play a “healing” part of this tragedy.

God bless.