Our First Attempts at Prayer are often all about us.

As a child, we prayed before we fell asleep. When we gazed at the night sky, we felt close to God. We knew 'Somebody much bigger than me' had to be out there. We breathed a quick, trusting prayer to God whenever we were afraid.

Later in Life we Might Bargain with God
We find ourselves thinking and saying to God, "If You'll do that, I'll do this...."  Or, "If You'll get me out of this mess, I'll...."  Or, "If You'll help me buy that perfect house in that neighborhood, I'll...."

We begin to think of God as a vending machine. He becomes someone to call out to when we need or want something. However, we don't keep our end of the bargain and this makes us feel guilty, cheap. Finally, we get tired of our game and start to avoid Him. We put God out of our thoughts. Eventually we tell ourselves He doesn't exist, and if He does, He only makes us feel guilty. We decide to live our lives without Him--to do as we please. We decide if we ever have to stand before Him someday, we'll take our chances. Somehow it will all work out.

We Need More Meaning in Life
Then, a day comes when we know our life has to have more meaning. "Why am I here?" At times we step closer to God, and sincerely wonder, or ask Him, "Are You out there?" If You are, "Do You care about me?"

FINALLY, we surrender to God. Instead of treating Him like a vending machine, out tumbles honest, transparent words from our hearts, "I need You...."

We realize we don't have any hope without God. Although our life is full of activity, it has no meaning. We are sorry for the way we have treated God--the One Who made everything and even gives us each breath. We call out to Him and receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord. We experience more peace than we ever thought possible. We experience a miracle deep inside! We are born again. We had no idea that receiving Him would pour such wonderful Light into our lives. We are sure of this: something happened to us. Something inside us changed.

When we believe in Jesus (we believe He is who He said He is) ...and we receive Him, we are receiving the only One who can forgive our sins. Only God can do that. At that moment, our spirit is made alive.

The Prayer Gate Opens Up--We Talk to God
The Spirit who comes into our lives is the Spirit of Jesus--the Holy Spirit.

We respond to God in the same way Jesus responds to His Father. We call out, "Father."

The Spirit of Jesus who begins to live in us, flings open the prayer gate, and we begin to communicate with God on a level we never thought possible. We are speaking to God--and He is speaking to us. We are praying. We know He is listening. We are praying from a new heart and a new spirit.

God Had Been Wooing Me

It isn't long before we discover
that all along, God had been working in us and wooing us.

Through events in our lives, and throughout our lifetime, He was the One who was beckoning us, wanting us to come to Him, to believe in Him, to receive Him...nudging us to call out to Him. We are thankful--so grateful.

We now have living power in us--Power that is alive and supernatural, that enables us to talk to God on an intimate level. The capacity was there all along, because God made us this way. But our spirit had to be made alive by the power of His Holy Spirit in order to make this possible.  

This happened when we received Jesus as our Savior--the moment He forgave all our sins. We are at peace with Him. His Spirit abides, rests, lives in us.

We Want to Pray
Prayer is one of the first responses of our heart. We want to pray to God, talk to Him. This also is God's desire, that we talk to Him, that we grow in our relationship with Him, and enjoy Him.

PRAYER is the cry of our heart, reaching out to God
for hope, love, mercy, for understanding--and for joy that lasts.

PRAYER is our heart and our spirit speaking to God.

We grow in our relationship with Him as we talk to Him, love Him and obey Him.

GOD ALSO PUTS IN US A HUNGER to read His Word. As we read it, we discover more Who He is, more about His ways, and we learn more about His will and plan for our lives.

Praying Scripture-based Prayers
We also discover we can pray His Word back to Him. We pray prayers that are based on Scripture--His will and desire for our lives.

Scripture-based Prayers can put into words
the love we have for the Lord,
the desires we have for ourselves, and for others.

We embark on a life-long journey
of developing a close relationship with God.

We walk with Him, talk to Him, love Him, obey and enjoy Him.

Growing in Prayer
We grow in prayer as our relationship deepens with Him.  It is also true that our relationship with Him deepens as we grow in prayer.

All this began when we saw our great need; we needed God to forgive our sins. We believed Jesus died for us. At that moment, our spirit was made alive by His Spirit. The door of our prayer life was flung open--open to God. It began when we asked Jesus to come in!