For the record, I am probably ten years old deep down inside. I never learned how to pray from someone. I always did the poem prayers but never learned how to make my own. So, when I talk about a relationship with God. This is new for me. Here’s what I learned so far about prayer.
The first prayer I learned as a kid was how to say grace.
Amen. This was easy, quick to say, and apparently extremely popular. Almost every little kid I have met, can say this prayer. I wonder where it came from but this was my first lesson. We learned to say thank you for every meal we received because we were blessed to have it. Plus my grandmother could really cook! This taught me to always praise and say thank you.
This is one that my African Methodist Episcopal Church taught me. Church of God in Christ also says it before every meal. It’s a classic. It’s easy to remember and most congregations don’t stumble over the words. If you look at the structure, you see praise, confession, forgiveness (of self and others), and requests all neatly covered. This is a safe one but I was never really taught anything more. I had to see the next sign at a visiting church to learn how to pray myself.
I still use this one today. However, the original version I saw of this had the fingers swapped. I know it’s childish but I always remembered the thumb as saying good job God (Praise). The index finger-pointing to all the things I should be thankful for (Thank). The middle finger because I shouldn’t use it and when I do, I need to apologize for it (Confess). Ring finger to ask, like asking for marriage (Ask). Pinky for others, like making a pinky promise with a friend (Others).
There are other five-finger prayers and many other ways that talk about what you should and should not do, who to pray for, and how you should do it best. But, I want to stress that this was just how I started. You don’t need to do any of these things. It just makes it easy for me to remember and you see even the poster was different. I honestly have days where I just talk to Him for hours about my fears, worries, and thoughts. Then, once I finish, I either fall asleep or stay up and feel peace. Either way, keep in mind, this is just a guideline. Guidelines are meant to be personalized and molded for who you are.
It’s amazing seeing children ask questions about God. These are six questions that some adults are even afraid to ask. In short, you can pray however and whenever you like. Loud or quiet, alone or together, in any format you like. It’s not about anything specific but connecting with God. This is how I learned and I still look at my fingers sometimes when I pray. Nobody is judging you. It’s perfectly fine to try.
Turn your Brightness Up!
Have any other personal prayer stories? Do you have methods that you particularly like? Have any prayer requests? (You can send them to me in the Reader’s Choice until I put up a Prayer Submission. I’ll pray for you.) Leave any questions or comments in the section below.
7 thoughts on “How I Learned How to Pray”
I love this piece! I just shared it with my mom who works at a Catholic elementary school! Thank you for posting! 🙂
Anytime, if I think of any other related posts, I’ll share them with you.