CAST your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you
This is also a possible way of praying:
A good way to start prayer time is based on the Scripture that unconfessed sin hinders our prayers from being heard.
Psalm 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened
When we keep going on and on with requests but we have so many unconfessed sins, the hearing of our prayers is on bad signal. When we confess our sins, we will be cleansed (and forgiven) and our communication lines with God will be restored.
1 John 1:9 NIV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Therefore, to open up the floor, so to speak, for us to communicate with God, it is a good way to start with acknowledging our sins to Him. This is not for His sake so that He will be informed. He already knows our sins even when they are yet in our hearts or minds.
Hebrews 4:13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Confessing to Him is for our sake. It is acknowledging our need for forgiveness from a Savior. It is to open our eyes to what things we are doing that displease Him that serve to hinder our fellowship with Him so that we can ask Him to separate us from these sins.
Psalm 103:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
But sometimes our sins do not immediately come to mind. We can be blind to our sins. We can ask Him to reveal them to us so that nothing can hinder our prayers.
Psalm 139:23-24 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
When we praise God by telling Him what character He has that we adore Him for, this is both a weapon of warfare and a comfort for us. A weapon of warfare because God inhabits the praises of His people and where He is, the enemy can not penetrate.
Psalm 22: KJV 3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
In 2Chron 20, faced with a major crisis, King Jehoshaphat praised God by faith…while armies were on their way to destroy them. But his praise BEFORE the answer, paved the way for God’s rescue.
Psalm 50 tells us that when we give the “sacrifice of praise” even when things are not going well, God promises to show His salvation!
Psalm 50:23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.”
Praising God is also a comfort for us because it reminds us of His deity and our humanity, His being a dimension bigger than our limited selves, that where our strength and capabilities end, His only begin. For example when we are feeling weak and we praise Him for being strong, we are reminded that we are not limited to our measly little selves for our supply of strength. When we spend some time reflecting on His qualities as expressed in His word, it reminds us of how big a God He is. When we see Him for how big He is, our problems begin to shrink in perspective. What is impossible for us is possible for Him. Nothing is impossible for Him. He is worthy of worship because He is God.
An example of praising Him through Scripture would be:
Psalms 100:5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
We can say “Lord, I praise You because You are good. Your love endures forever. Your faithfulness continues through all generations”. This kind of praise would be very comforting when we have experienced betrayal, discouragement, a major mistake. A reminder of His past faithfulness also encourages us to know that since He is unchanging, as He was faithful in the past, so will He be in the future.
God also has emotion just as an earthly parent is delighted with a child who appreciates Him, so does God. When we praise Him, we delight Him. Here are some examples of how God shows emotion:
Here are some Scriptures that command us to present requests to God:
Philippians 4:6-7 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
John 16:24b Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
This part of prayer is the meat of what we usually consider as prayer. Our shopping list.
Thanking God even before we receive our answers is an expression of faith on our part that He is already at work in answering our prayers according to His holy nature, wanting to bless us. After we give Him our requests, we wait expectantly for His answer because we trust Him. Whether the answer is a Yes, No, or Wait, we know that He already has everything considered and that answer is the best.
Psalm 5:3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.