By Youth Contributor: Andy Wesche

For many people today, prayer is becoming more rare than ever before. For some, the reason for this lack of conversation with God is a result of not knowing how to pray or what to pray for. But the truth is, you can pray for anything. God will hear you and He will respond, whether it is today or three months from now. God wants you to talk to him; he is always listening. So whether you are getting ready in the morning, walking through the halls of your workplace, or getting ready to go to bed, God is waiting to hear from you.

So get ready for a crash course in praying to your heavenly Father.

How should I pray?

1) Pray all the time. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says, “Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” No matter where you are, you can pray. Prayer is a personal conversation with God. It is great to pray at Bible studies and youth groups, but don’t stop there. Pray to God whenever you get the opportunity. But remember, praying is not a performance of Macbeth. Do not make a big show of prayer by falling on your knees in the middle of a bunch of people. The benefits of prayer are between you and God.

2) Trust in these words of Romans 8:26: “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us.” Trust the Spirit, and trust God. You do not have to worry or be nervous when you talk to God. He is the creator of the universe, but he is also your Father who cares greatly for His creation. Tell him about your life, your worries, hopes, fears, and joys. He knows you and can strengthen your relationship with Him through prayer. You will find the words you need, don’t worry.

What do I pray for?

God knows what you need, but he wants to hear it from you. Many times we have a tendency to pray for material things or for our favorite sports team to win, but God has other plans for you. When you are praying, try to focus on God’s will for you (and for others) in social and spiritual situations:

  • Solomon had the opportunity to ask for anything he wanted in 1 Kings 3. God was so excited when Solomon asked for wisdom because He knew wisdom would enable Solomon to do God’s will for His people.
  • Think about the characteristics found in Jesus, like the fruits of the Spirit. Being very busy people, we sometimes need extra patience with those around us, or sometimes we need some self-control with people and situations around us. When needs like this come up, PRAY.
  • When people around you are in need, sick, troubled, or stressed, pray not only for but also with them. Even saying a little prayer in your head is just as powerful as a three-hour revival. It pleases God so much when you pray for others. God loves you, and he wants to hear from you, so never hesitate to pray about anything.

God is definitely and infinitely amazing. It is a paradox to think that He still loves us and wants to talk to us considering how disobedient we are. Take advantage of that gift. Pray!

Remember a couple of things: pray to know God’s will for yourself and for others, pray daily, and trust the Holy Spirit to provide the words. Praying strengthens your relationship with God beyond your wildest imagination. Whether you are in your lowest depth or on your highest peak, He is always there, ready to listen. So now that you know this, go and pray!

Andy Wesche is a student at Lutheran High School North in St. Louis, MO.  He is active in his church youth group, and competes avidly in cross country and track.