Ways to Pray

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Here are three ways to pray that get you into a conversational relationship with God.  There are no human qualifications or prerequisites other than to be open to knowing Jesus; not just religiously but in a relationship (it’s called the Gospel).

If your prayer life is for the birds, try these out for 30 days and let us know at Mentoring Warriors how it goes. 

Real men pray.

1. Scripted Prayers.  Not rote repeat prayers, but praying scripture back to God. The Psalms are a great place to start!  We expound on the Word. We personalize it; bringing our lives into the Word.  Here’s an example.

Using Psalm 1:1-2 

Blessed is the man

    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

    and on his law he meditates day and night

Personalized, it could go like this,

Blessed is my friend, Sam.

He doesn’t walk in the counsel of wicked people,

Sam doesn’t stand with sinners as they go about their ways,

And he doesn’t scoff at others either;

What I see in my friend, Sam, is how he delights in your law, Lord.

He is building a habit of meditating on your Word day and night.

Thank you for Sam and continue to guide his life.  Amen

The Lord’s Prayer is also a good scripture to pray.

2. Honest Prayers. (Laments). We’re talking honest, real, raw prayers. No masks. No hype. David, who wrote many of the Psalms is known as a man after God’s own heart. Why? David didn’t hold back in his conversation with God. 

Looking at many of the Psalms, you see a pattern of how David prayed. We call it the Clock Prayer

12 O’Clock.  Start with the facts. Lay out what is going on to God. Just the facts. Don’t hold any facts back. God knows them, but the interplay here is you laying the need, as dire as it may be, before God. There is a transaction going on that does something to get this wrestling with God going.

Here’s an example of laying the facts out to God.

God, There is a boatload of problems all converging right now. Last week, I wrecked my truck. I found out my insurance had lapsed because I changed email addresses and never got the renewal notice. My girlfriend is upset with me because I forgot her birthday. My boss at work laid into me the other day because I lost an account. Plus, I’ve been sick. I can’t seem to get over this cough.

3 O’Clock.  This is when you pour your emotions out to God. Don’t hold back anything. 

I’m broken, worn out, and exhausted. My bed is filled with tears. I’m tempted to escape this pain through alcohol. I’ll be gut-level honest, God. I want to get drunk and just disappear.  I’m so hard on myself, I could beat my head against the wall. 

6 O’Clock.  Now that the facts and emotions are on the table, it’s time to shift focus to God and his character. 

God, you are faithful. You see my heart and yet you still love me. You are my rock. My fortress. You are my protector and great wisdom. Your unfailing love endures forever. There is no one like you. No one in the heavens or earth.

9 O’Clock.  This is where we align ourselves with who God is instead of our emotions. Emotions are the tail wagging the dog. Leaning into God puts emotions in their proper place. Not ignored, but not running the show either.

God, I choose you. I choose your unfailing love in this situation I’m facing. The facts look grim, but you are the steadfast one whom I can trust. You are the one to give me hope. I align my heart with yours. I will bring my emotions under your Lordship. Thank you for being at work amid the mess I’m in. You are my hope and the one who will see me through this.  Amen.

Pray honest. It’s the best way to get close to God.

3. Intercession Prayers.  This is all about praying from a place of power (God’s power) for others who are powerless. 

Not, “God give my friend a happy day.”  Rather, pray along the lines of the Psalms for others.  

Here is an example.  

This is what Psalm 3 says.

O Lord, how many are my foes!
    Many are rising against me;

many are saying of my soul,
    “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
    my glory, and the lifter of my head.

As you pray through this for others, here is an example. (using the first few verses).

Oh Lord, how many are Logan’s foes.

They seem to come from all sides to attack him.

They are telling him God is not there and will not save him.

But, you O God are a shield for Logan.

You are his glory and you are the lifter of his head.

I bring my friend Logan to you.


When you pray these three ways, it will allow the Spirit to light the fire in the belly of your soul for God!

As one guy said:

We pray

From the Word of God

In the Spirit of God

To the Throne of God

This leads to true joy in prayer!

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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