Simple Yet Powerful Prayers – A Guide For Beginners

Do you ever feel a bit intimidated when you hear other people pray? Do they sound very “spiritual” to you? Do you ever wonder, how you could possibly come up with that many things to say?

Truthfully, I have been a Christian for years, and I sometimes have these feelings. So I can imagine how it must feel for someone new to the Christian faith.

I want to take some of the mystery out of prayers for beginners.  

photo of a woman praying and the caption, "Prayers for beginners."

The how-to of prayers for beginners?

If you are new to the Christian faith, you may be wondering about the mechanics of prayer. What should you “do”?

  • What types of prayers are there?
  • Is there a right way and a wrong way to pray? ‘
  • What determines God’s answers?’
  • Are there right words to say?
  • Should we use a prayer book?
  • Is there a particular place where we should pray?

There are several different ways to pray, depending on where you are and what you are doing. 

Short prayers are often uttered when a person is going about their daily routine. These include saying “good morning” to the God of the universe.

Daily prayer like this is a great way to “Pray without ceasing” as mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. 

Other times prayers are long and more formal, with a prayer journal in hand, and going to a secluded, quiet place that some people call their “prayer closet.” 

Some people close their eyes. Some lift their hands and others sing. There are probably many more ways to pray, but these are the ones that I use.

The most important thing to remember is that prayer is how we talk to God. And just like any parent, God our father just wants to hear from us. We talk to Him in distinct ways at different times. 

Closing your eyes in prayers for beginners

Some people have a difficult time praying unless they close their eyes. Nowhere in Scripture does it say you need to do this. I think it has come about to avoid distractions. 

When we pray with our eyes open, we tend to see all the things around us that need to be done.

If you are like me, I want to get up and put these things on my to-do list, or just “do this one thing before I pray”.

Closing our eyes helps many people stay on track.

But when you are driving, obviously you aren’t going to close your eyes.

The same is true if you are taking a walk. And sometimes the things we see along the way will inspire us to either thank God or ask Him for His intervention.

Lifting your hands in prayers for beginners

People lift their hands for several reasons.

  • Symbolically letting go of things and giving it to God.
  • To acknowledge their dependence on God.
  • To indicate they are willing to obey God.
  • As a sign of gratitude for all that God has done.

Singing in prayers for beginners

For people who love music, the words to some songs will elicit a sense of wonder and awe for our God.

I can be exercising to music when a song will draw me in. In those moments, I can’t help but sing along, sometimes in a quiet voice, and sometimes just belting it out at the top of my lungs.

What about pre-written prayer?

Sometimes it is helpful to write our prayers to God. There is nothing wrong with this. It helps focus our thoughts.

If these prayers are written in a journal it gives us a record that we can go back to at a later date.

For some people, writing their prayers feels like real communication with God. For a new believer, it helps eliminate the distractions that interrupt our thoughts.

At other times we simply don’t know what to pray. There is a book that I have come to appreciate written by Douglas McKelvey. “Every Moment Holy is so inspirational and includes prayers for almost every situation you might be experiencing.

This book takes all the positive things in life and weaves a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving around it. And for the frustrating moments in life, he turns them also into something beautiful in an unexpected way.

You will find your prayers an act of worship using these pre-written prayers. It has prayers for first thing in the morning, for the end of the day, and everything in between. 

What do you say when you pray?

Praying can be intimidating to many Christians. My best friend prays beautiful prayers from the heart and I often feel like my prayers are so simple. But simple does not eliminate the power of prayer. 

We need to remember that we are not in competition for God’s attention.  

God is not going to hand back our prayer with red marks all over it as an English teacher would do. There are no passing or failing scores.

Why? This Bible verse explains.

“The LORD does not hear as people do; people hear a person’s words, but the LORD hears our heart.” (adapted from 1 Samuel 16:7b)

The words to use in prayers for beginners

Many people have used the “Lord’s Prayer” to pray. But truthfully, when you use your own vocabulary, it takes a lot of the mystery out of prayers for beginners.

The Lord’s Prayer in the King James translation uses words that we no longer speak today. For instance,

  • art
  • hallowed
  • thy or thine
  • debt and debtors

The word “Art” is not something you hang on a wall but an old term for “is”.

“Hallowed” has nothing to do with Halloween. It means “holy or consecrated”.

“Thy” or “Thine”- Today we would say “your”.

“Debt” and “debtors” have to do with our faults and the faults of others.

God does not expect us to speak to him using the old King James’ English.

In fact, we don’t always need to use words, because God already knows our thoughts, feelings, intentions, and motives.

When we pray we need to use our own words that have meaning to us, words that communicate our heart. The exact words are not critical.

Different people express their needs uniquely. The power of prayer is not found in the words. It is found in the one who hears our prayers.

And when we can’t find words to express ourselves, God’s spirit steps in and prays on our behalf. (Romans 8:26)

The topics to cover in formal prayers for beginners

So what should we pray about? Literally everything. Prayer is not always asking for something. Prayer is simply a conversation with God.

Just like we would talk with our best friend, we do the same with God. We say some things and then we listen as He speaks to our minds and hearts.

This is where the Lord’s Prayer can be a good model.

  1. Stating who we are talking to (Our Father who art in heaven)
  2. Acknowledging God’s character (Hallowed be your name)
  3. Thinking about the great future we will have with Him (Thy Kingdom come)
  4. Asking for His will in our lives and our situations (Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven)
  5. Making requests for our physical needs or the needs of others (Give us this day our daily bread)
  6. Asking for forgiveness (Forgive us our debts)
  7. Desiring to grow spiritually (As we forgive our debtors)
  8. Asking for protection from the evil one (Lead us not into temptation)
  9. Acknowledging our need for God’s intervention (But deliver us from evil)
  10. Praising God for all He is and all He does (For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever)

Sample prayers for beginners

So then using the Lord’s prayer as our model, we could say something like this:

“Dear Lord,

I know that you are holy and I am not, and so I am grateful for your love and care in my life. I am so looking forward to the day when I will be with you forever. In the meantime, help me to be the person you created me to be.

Lord, I need your help with ____________ (our needs are more than daily bread so tell God about it, how you feel, what you long for, etc.)

Forgive me Lord for _____________ (what you did, said, or thought). Likewise, help me to forgive _______ (name of person) for doing _______ (what they did or said).

I ask you to guard my heart against the evil one. And when I am tempted to _______, help me to rely on you to overcome it.

Thank you that you are in control and have power over all things, even the things that seem so scary right now in my life.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

Prayers for beginners should be more than a list of things we want. You can download this prayer Here.

Photo of prayers for beginners using the Lord's Prayer as a model.
Prayers for beginners using the Lord’s Prayer as a model

When we focus less on ourselves, our prayer life becomes rich, beautiful, and powerful.

What are the most powerful prayers for beginners?

When we pray we always hope that God will see eye to eye with us regarding our requests. We ask for specific outcomes, but God doesn’t always operate that way.

So what are the most effective prayers for beginners?

First of all, God will answer “no” to prayers that are contrary to the word of God.

In contrast, God wants to answer “yes” when we pray according to His will. These are the kinds of prayers for beginners that God will answer affirmatively:

  • A request to be more like Jesus, which is growing in the fruit of the spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • To be more loving towards others as well as more forgiving. (Matthew 22:39)
  • For a greater understanding of who God is and how He wants us to live. (Psalm 46:10)
  • That our thoughts would become more and more like God’s thoughts. (Romans 12:1-2)
  • To understand better God’s love for us and to love Him more. (Matthew 22:37)
  • To have a deeper love for God’s Word and Bible reading. (Joshua 1:8)
  • For a chance to share God’s comfort with others. (2 Corinthians 1:4)
  • Any request prefaced with, “If it is your will“. Even Jesus in His human body didn’t want to endure suffering on the cross. Nonetheless, He prayed, “Not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

With just a little practice, prayers for beginners will be effective, confident, and powerful.

If you like to color, check out the “Prayer – Hotline To Heaven” coloring collection. It will give you hours of enjoyment as well as reminders of the importance of powerful prayers for beginners.

If you have never used Bible verse coloring pages before, you can sample the one below for free.

Photo of the free coloring page sampler

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