How to Pray the UNcomplicated Way

God can’t wait to have a relationship with us…prayer is the starting point for that relationship. Connecting with our Creator through prayer doesn't have to be complicated. Here's a simple guide for anyone who's struggled with knowing how to pray. | Prayer Guide | Inspiration and Faith | Christian Living | Spiritual Growth

Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries

Why do humans complicate things so?

Take babies, for example. They truly are the simplest of creatures.

Eat. Sleep. Poop. REPEAT.

That’s all they do!

Yet I’ll never forget all the “must-have” gadgets cluttering my exceedingly small nursery when my first child arrived.

Boppies, Diaper Pails, Bouncers, 1,286 Onesies, Baby Shoes (why?), a Bumbo Seat…

Not to mention the 15 how-to books lining the shelf right next to the glider. You know, so I could get some light reading in during my middle of the night feedings?

Haha…

Yes, we humans like to complicate things.

I think we do it because we’re scared.

We don’t want to fail.

So we surround ourselves with lots of things that make us feel prepared.

But a decade of parenting has taught me that there’s simply no way to prepare for it.

Parenting is a lot like swimming.

You can read lots of books about swimming. Buy all the best swimming gear. Watch every how-to video you can get your hands on.

But you’re never going to learn how to swim until you jump in the water.

The same could be said about prayer.

The only way to learn how to pray is to jump in and practice until you discover what it takes to keep you head above water.

Are you ready to learn how to pray? Here's a great place to start.Click to Tweet

God can’t wait to have a relationship with us…prayer is the starting point for that relationship. Connecting with our Creator through prayer doesn't have to be complicated. Here's a simple guide for anyone who's struggled with knowing how to pray. | Prayer Guide | Inspiration and Faith | Christian Living | Spiritual Growth

Why do we complicate prayer?

I can’t answer for anyone else, but I often complicate things when I am scared or insecure.

Another example.

I am terrified of my children’s teachers. I cannot explain it, really. They truly are the sweetest people. But it’s always been this way.

It’s almost as if I’m waiting for them to tell me how big of a failure I am as a mom.

Or maybe it’s because I am terrified they are going to pull me aside and tell me that my kid said the f-word at recess.

Can we pause for a moment here? Because I’ve got a confession to make.

My kid totally said the f-word at recess a few weeks ago.

{{I’ve never even said that word before!}}

Low and behold, her teacher pulls me aside after school and informs me of the “incident.”

I’m mortified.

All my worst nightmares collide and it’s confirmed—Sarah Koontz is the worst parent ever.

Do you want to know how I responded?

I laughed. Out loud. This nervous, awkward, squeaky laugh.

I mean, how would you react if you found out your 8-year-old girl just tainted the entire 2nd grade class (at her Christian school) with her fowl language?

After a little investigating, I discovered she was tricked into saying it by one of her classmates (who spelled it backwards then told her not to say it out-loud).

She fell for it, hook, line, and sinker!

Baby girl was devastated.

And I was just so happy that it wasn’t my fault. Does that make me a bad mom too?

Anyway, back to our topic of prayer.

If I get nervous about talking to my kid’s teacher—how do you think I’m going to feel about talking to the Creator of the universe?

I’m going to over-complicate it, stress out about it, and then do everything in my power to AVOID it.

Because I hate feeling exposed, unprepared, vulnerable.

I may not have it all together, but I sure like pretending I have it all together!

In the same way that I fear the worst with my kid’s teachers, I’m scared to open up lines of communication with God because I’m just sure it will expose all my shortcomings.

Has fear of failure, or the urge to over-prepare, hindered your prayer life as it has mine?

Has fear of failure, or the urge to over-prepare, hindered your prayer life? Click to Tweet
God can’t wait to have a relationship with us…prayer is the starting point for that relationship. Connecting with our Creator through prayer doesn't have to be complicated. Here's a simple guide for anyone who's struggled with knowing how to pray. | Prayer Guide | Inspiration and Faith | Christian Living | Spiritual Growth
I received an advanced copy of “Talking With God” in exchange for my honest review.

How to pray—the UNcomplicated way.

I recently got my hands on a copy of a new book by Adam Weber called, “Talking With God: What to say when you don’t know how to pray.

I know Adam is a pastor, so I prepared myself for a book full of Scripture references, diagrams, and theology.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This book is unlike any book on prayer I’ve ever read.

It’s humble. Authentic. Appealing. Funny.

And above all, it’s UNcomplicated.

#TalkingWithGod by @adamweber is unlike any book on prayer I’ve ever read.Click to Tweet

His conversational tone pulled me in and his stories kept me turning the pages.

Adam breaks the book into four sections and fills the pages with real stories and examples from his own life.

By the time I was done reading, I felt so at ease (comfortable even) with the idea of talking with God.

Here are some of my favorite take-aways from each section of the book:

God can’t wait to have a relationship with us…prayer is the starting point for that relationship. Connecting with our Creator through prayer doesn't have to be complicated. Here's a simple guide for anyone who's struggled with knowing how to pray. | Prayer Guide | Inspiration and Faith | Christian Living | Spiritual Growth

The God We Talk With

In this section, Adam shares his personal testimony of how God went from being “the man upstairs” to being something much more tender and approachable—a friend.

The first step in establishing an UNcomplicated prayer life is truly understand who we are talking with!

In Adam’s words, “Not only are we able to talk with God, but he wants to talk with us. Not only are we able to be his friend, but he wants to be ours.”

He goes on to say, “God can’t wait to have a relationship with us…prayer is the starting point for that relationship.”

This fresh perspective totally transformed Adam’s prayer life, and gave him the confidence to pray the prayer of salvation in his teens.

God wants a relationship with us and prayer is the starting point. @adamweber #talkingwithgodClick to Tweet

The Way We Pray

I love how Adam starts this section of the book by sharing examples of the way his 4 kids under the age of 10 pray.

They are funny prayers. Endearing.

Help my butt to feel better.
Thank you for mac-n-cheese
Help me not dream about monsters.

“They say what they feel, and they feel what they say. Short. Simple. Honest.”

And that is the way we should pray too!

Prayer is not complicated. It’s simple. It’s just talking with a friend. Sharing your heart with God in the midst of your crazytown life.

If little kids can do it, so can we.

Prayer is not complicated. It’s simple. It’s just talking with a friend. #talkingwithgodClick to Tweet

God can’t wait to have a relationship with us…prayer is the starting point for that relationship. Connecting with our Creator through prayer doesn't have to be complicated. Here's a simple guide for anyone who's struggled with knowing how to pray. | Prayer Guide | Inspiration and Faith | Christian Living | Spiritual Growth


How To Pray When…

The purpose of this section is to help us understand that it’s OK to be honest in our prayers. No matter what we are going through, God wants to talk with us.

Adam sums it up so well when he says, “If you struggle to pray, do you know how to yell? Can you scream? Have you ever cried out to God? Shouted at the sky? Shaken your fist in the air? Maybe you’ve been praying for years and didn’t know it.”

He bravely tackles a multitude of real-life situations and shows us how we can pray through them all.

How to pray when we are in the storm.
How to pray when we are stuck in the mud.
How to pray when we need an anchor.

I don’t know about you, but I find such comfort knowing that God hears me when I pray.

Even when I’m mad. Even when I don’t know what to say.

I find such comfort knowing that God hears me when I pray. #talkingwithgodClick to Tweet

God can’t wait to have a relationship with us…prayer is the starting point for that relationship. Connecting with our Creator through prayer doesn't have to be complicated. Here's a simple guide for anyone who's struggled with knowing how to pray. | Prayer Guide | Inspiration and Faith | Christian Living | Spiritual Growth

A Few Final Words

In the closing chapters, Adam reminds us connecting with our Creator through prayer isn’t complicated.

Moments with God are possible, even in the midst of our hectic lives.

Moments with God are possible, even in the midst of our hectic lives. #talkingwithgodClick to Tweet

Talking with God shouldn’t be scary, or intimidating, or complicated.

All it takes are a few simple words…

Jesus, I want to know you
Jesus, I want to be with you.
Jesus, I want to talk with you for the rest of my life.
Jesus, I love you.

I highly recommend Adam’s book, “Talking With God.” It’s such an easy and enlightening read.

Bible Study with Sarah Koontz

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About the Author: Sarah Koontz

About the Author: Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is the founder of Living by Design Ministries, a non-profit organization that exists to deliver free Bible Studies to inboxes around the world. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah and her husband Ryan live on thirteen acres in the heart of the Black Hills, SD. They have two beautiful daughters, a rowdy flock of chickens, and a house full of foster kittens. Sarah is an avid gardener, a faithful coffee drinker, lover of one-pot-dinners, an unexpected homeschooler, and a Dallas Seminary student.

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