When You Don’t Know How to Pray


Sometimes I forget one of the most powerful things I can do for my family is pray for them. I worry and I strive. I try to control situations that are far beyond my ability to control.

And then I wonder why everything seems to be falling apart when I neglect time spent before the throne of grace.

On a trip home a few months ago my mom put a book by author and speaker Stormie Omartian in my bag before I left. The Power of a Praying Parent. She has written an entire series of books on this topic. Prayer for your husband. Prayer for your marriage. Your family. Prayer for every aspect of your life and the lives of others.

This is a woman who has seen God move and act through this two-way communication with our Heavenly Father.

In her book, The Power of a Praying Parent, she states that one of the most effective weapons we can wield in our prayers is the Word of God. After all, isn’t this the same weapon Jesus used against Satan when He was tempted in the desert?

When we employ God’s word in prayer, we are laying hold of the promises He gives us and appropriating them into the lives of our children.” (page 22)

As I walked through my house praying this morning, here is what the Lord laid on my heart: teach me that I may teach them.

He led me to Psalm 86:11-12:

“Teach me your way, O Lord,

and I will walk in your truth;

give me an undivided heart,

that I may fear your name.

I will praise you, O Lord my God, with

all my heart.”

If I want to raise my children in the ways of Jesus, my heart must be fixed on Him, and Him alone. When the distractions of this world divert my attention from the One who gives life and peace, my greatest desire is for the Spirit to lead me back to my Maker.

As I lifted my words up toward Heaven, I stopped in the living room. The room where we gather around the wood stove in the colder months and read bedtimes stories. The room where our Christmas tree will go up next month.

living room

I realized that as a time of reflection on why Jesus came to earth approaches, I don’t want to be distracted from what really matters: Him. I don’t want to be running around in frenzy and stress, as it is so easy to do during that time of the year. I want my children to see the love of Jesus shining through my words and actions, not a mama who is stretched far past her limits.

With these thoughts running through my head, I saw that that verse I’d fallen upon today was perfect.

Teach me your way. Give me an undivided heart.

Sometimes, my words wear thin and I simply don’t know how to pray. Today God gave me a reminder that his Word is always the best place to start.


*Linking up with Suzie Eller today as we talk about prayer over your home. Visit her blog for encouragement and community.

8 thoughts on “When You Don’t Know How to Pray

  1. Amen!!!! I love Stormie’s book too on prayer. Thanks so much for your post. You know I been really neglecting to pray. I walk with God in my busy day to day stuff. But what I overlook is the idea, that maybe I need to come before Him in prayer with full attention. I think that I might be missing God, because I struggle with fears and anxiety. Its time for me to stop all and go into my quiet place with God. Its time for me to pick up Stormie’s book of prayers and get serious. Again thanks for sharing this post. I look forward to reading your blog posts.


    • I struggle with anxiety too, Lisa. And I often let worry take over. God is teaching me to put my trust in Him day by day. Thank you so much for sharing and for your encouraging words.


  2. Abby,
    Thanks for the reminder that praying God’s word is the very best place to start when we just don’t know how to pray! Often, too, when words just don’t seem to come, I simply pray, “Thy will be done.” I don’t mean it as a catch all prayer, but since I may not be able to see what’s best, I pray for God’s perfect will to be done. I always enjoy your posts Abby…keep writing 🙂


    • Yes, thy will be done is a great place to go when we’re not sure how to pray, for sure. Thank so much for your continual support, Bev! It means a lot, friend. Much love.


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