Sometimes people ask me what they can do to have a more fulfilling prayer life. As a practitioner of prayer and a student of how it all works, I realize it’s a question that has multiple answers. It’s personal on one hand, and yet there are things we can do to experience more from the gift of prayer. Are there any formulas, you might wonder? Well, no, but you can always look at the structure of the Lord’s Prayer and use that as a model. Rather than focus on the how or what of prayer though, I’d like to focus on the Who.

I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes, I dive right into prayer with only a passing nod at God because I’m in a hurry to get to my request, to get an answer to something that isn’t going quite right in my life. More recently, I’ve felt like God is nudging me to slow down, to stop and try a quieter approach. He wants me to pause and ponder who He is! He wants me to recognize the privilege I have in being able to come to the King of the universe any time at all and speak with Him. I have never done this so intentionally as I do now. I realize that I need to dig deeper, try harder, spend more time in Scripture, so that I can know the One on the other side of my prayer. Since we’re in a conversation for two, I realize He already knows everything about me, but I can’t claim the same thing. I don’t know everything about God. I don’t know those things that He most longs for me to know because if I did, I’d be more focused, more consistent, more intentional in prayer. 

The psalmist said that we should praise God. What do we praise Him for? For everything! For creating the ground we walk on, for saving our souls, for freeing our hearts and minds to be all that He designed us to be. In fact, our praise list could take us from now to eternity to complete. Imagine for a moment that you are Moses at the burning bush, or Jacob as he envisioned the ladder with angels going up and down at heaven’s door. Wouldn’t you be in awe? Wouldn’t you fall on your face in total surrender because God opened your eyes to see Him? As you read through scripture, you become aware that every big event, every conversation with God happened because someone stopped long enough to tune in, and to listen for God’s voice. 

We may be missing out on knowing God, the One we go to in prayer. He is the One who makes all things possible, who provides for your welfare, and who plans your steps. Meet Him someplace that is comfortable for you, then take off your shoes, because you will be on hallowed ground. Pause to know God, then get ready to pray!