Lord, Teach Us How to Pray

September 23, 2018 by Carrell Jamilano (California)
Carrell enjoys praying in nature. She took
this photo in Ireland.

If you desire to have a more intimate relationship with God, here are my three suggestions to get you started:  

Ask God, the Holy Spirit, to be with you and guide you  

The Holy Spirit is truly a Friend and Advocate who dwells within us to help us in our spiritual journey towards God. As we read in Romans 5:5, "The love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit" (CEB). And this very same Spirit is what prompts us to respond to God's love through prayer.  

Be honest  

God wants to be part of every area of your life, but can only do so if you let God in. God does not need us to be polite and on our "best behavior" when we are with Him. God does, however, need us to be honest. God desires to be with you when you are angry, sad, hurt, frustrated, bored, happy, or any other emotion. God is patient and understanding when you are upset after the death of your mother. God is merciful when you have made a grave mistake. God is compassionate when your heart has been broken and joyful when you receive a promotion at work or deliver your first-born child!  

What do you share with your best friend? Your confidant? Your spouse? This is what God yearns to hear from you today! God loves all of you, and there is nothing you could share that would ever make God love you any less.  


Prayer is a conversation not a monologue. Throughout my time as a young adult minister and spiritual director, the most common question I am asked regarding the spiritual life is, "How do you hear God? How am I suppose to listen to Him when God can't talk back?"  

God, however, can and does talk back! God could be speaking to you right now, but if you do not know what God's voice sounds like or if you are constantly surrounded by noise, it is very easy to miss God entirely. The best way to know what God sounds like is to read God's Word through scripture, especially the Gospels. Understanding the life, teachings, and passion of Christ will help you discriminate between the voice of God and the voice of the Enemy.  

Then, take some time in silence to hear what God is trying to tell you. God is limitless and can speak to you through a myriad of ways — the scripture passage you just read, a song on the radio, advice from a wise friend, a character in a novel, a line from a movie, the homily at mass, a piece of artwork, and other ways. Ask God to help you listen more effectively to God's voice, and you will not be disappointed.  

May you draw closer to our good, good Father who loves you completely and desires to be with you through prayer!  

You can find more of Carrell's writing on her blog, here.    

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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