Today we are talking about a topic I’m very passionate about: “How To Pray To God.” To post your comment or questions, go to annaszabo.com/how-to-pray
I remember it was a cold Winter of 2011, when I walked into Buckhead Church for the first time and was shocked: a mega church, with about 3K people lifting their hands to the sky and crying out to God. I was incredible. I didn’t know how to pray to God but things changed for me since then.
A truly life-changing moment for me was when I fell on my knees in my apartment, in the middle of the living room, it was a dark night, Winter of 2014, and I wept and wept, asking Jesus to come into my heart and take my life over. And He did.
Since then, I have been growing in my relationship with Christ and getting more skilled in the area of praying.
Recently, during our 40th anniversary celebration at Perimeter Church, where I am a member, I heard how our pastor at Perimeter Church, Randy Pope, spends hours in prayer. I am not at that level yet, but I do spend quality time with God daily, talk to Him, pray about my needs, direction, guidance, healing, and other aspects of life.
So, I thought: Why don’t I share with you how to pray to God based on my experience? Perhaps you will find it helpful. If you do, let me know at annaszabo.com/how-to-pray
What To Pray For
I personally believe that God is sovereign. What that means to me is that He is everywhere at all times and He knows everything and cares deeply about my every hurt, every need, every thought, and He wants me to reach out for His help. So, I do. About everything and anything.
I pray for:
- Direction and purpose in life
- The people I love and care about
- Anyone who shares their hurst with me
- Healing on my own wounds
- My emotions and feelings
- My character and actions
- My habits and lifestyle
- Sleep and peace of mind
- Daily decisions in life
I literally pray about anything you can think of. Why?
1 John 5:14 says: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
Jeremiah 29:12 says: “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
I want God to listen to me. I want Him to hear me. I want to ask Him questions and get my answers. I want Him to show me the way.
1 Peter 5:7 says: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
James 5:13 says: “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”
I cast my anxieties on God because He asked me to and also because He cares. And I also declare His goodness in my prayers and I write Him intimate notes which I will share with you. But as you know from this podcast, especially if you listened to the episode called “Tell Me How You Really Feel” you know that I wrote God angry letters, too. He cares about you and whatever’s on your heart, so take it all to him.
David was called “A man after God’s own heart” and here is one of his prayers to God casting his anxieties on the one who cares for him.
Psalm 86 “A prayer of David.”
1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
for I put my trust in you.
5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, Lord;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
because you answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
I am in a very similar stage of life right now. I am very needy, brokenhearted, I got married last year, my husband abandoned the marriage right away. He cheated on me and called his bicycle “My Other Wife I Cheat On You With”. He filed for a divorce 4 months after we got married and said all he wants is to be an IronMan and compete in Kona. After months of divorce trial, I lost my job, all while I had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees. I moved twice in one year. I endured severe mental cruelty I shared in a podcast a few weeks ago.
I was struggling with depression and was under the care of a trauma counselor. Having been traded in for a bicycle, I felt worthless.
I wrote this prayer to God.
“God, what do you think about me?”
God, I’m thinking negative thoughts again
That I’m unworthy, unloved, unwanted, and unimportant.
They paralyze me, depress me, and really drain
All my energy out of me, even being inadvertent.
God, what do you think about me?
What words do you use to describe me?
What future for my life can you see?
And after you created me, do you actually like me?
I had never shared this poem with anyone because it was really the most vulnerable cry to God asking him who I was and if He actually even liked me. That caused me to get on a quest of finding out everything God said about me and how He felt about me, which resulted in #52DEVOTIONALS being born.
They are Biblical affirmations based on scriptures: I am loved, I am worthy, I am valuable, I am a child of God. To check them out, go to annaszabo.com/how-to-pray and you’ll see them on the bottom of the page if you’d like to use them to empower and encourage yourself.
Overall, I am very brokenhearted and need God’s direction and help now. I am in pain and also my life is difficult trying to figure things out.
So, I wrote this prayer while crying out to God for direction and purpose.
“Crying Out To God”
God, lead my walk,
Show me the way.
I’m at a crosswalk
And your will I want to obey.
A desire to fulfill your purpose
Is burning hot in my heart.
Being where I am in life, I feel nervous.
Facing so much adversity has been so hard.
I do trust that your plan is good.
I’m surrendered completely. Do as you wish.
I left behind my childish ways and entered into a Spiritual Adulthood.
I’m ready to serve you and no longer be selfish.
God, Abba, Daddy, Father!
I know you can hear me.
Take charge of my life and lead me further.
Don’t let go of me and please always be near me.
I also shared last week for the first time the prayer called “The Truth” where I was desperately desiring to forgive Michel for all the divorces and cruelty and taking advantage of me but I felt that was still hurt.
I am trying to hold it together
And persuade myself that I’m ok.
But the truth is I am not sure whether
Or not I can live with this pain another day.
“I accept this divorce and I forgive Michel” –
That’s what I say to myself daily when I wake up.
But the truth is I’m going around in a vicious cycle
With sadness and grief about this eternal breakup.
I’m in pain. I am sad. I am grieving and I am angry.
I’m condemning myself and Michel for our mistakes.
My emotions from grace and love to hopelessness vary.
And I can’t believe how much time and effort my healing takes.
Please help me move on from here, Father.
Please lead my walk and protect my mind and heart.
I don’t know if my emotional ups and downs you bother,
But I am bothered by them and need my “moving on” to start.
God, I trust in your goodness and your perfect plan for me.
I trust that you will deliver me from this pain.
Humble, kind, and God-glorifying I want to be.
Please make my life productive and joyful once again.
I shared with you in previous episodes my prayers for Michel and our marriage, and many other prayers, and I will also release in the next few days some of those prayers individually so you can save or download them on iTunes if you need to.
Here’s a prayer I prayed for Michel. I created it based on what God called a husband to be in a Christian marriage. It’s Scripture-based.
“Praying for My Husband”
God, I’m praying for my husband,
Thanking you for him at first
And confessing him I love, and
Asking you to fill his thirst…
To be Christ-like and a leader,
Sober-minded and steadfast,
Sacrificial and truth-seeker,
Dignified, with sound faith…
Self-controlling be and loving,
Peaceful and understanding,
To be honoring, churchgoing,
And provider outstanding.
Thank you, God, again for him,
Thank you for his precious life,
Bless him, Father, and redeem,
In Jesus’ name – his loving wife.
Remember earlier in this episode we talked about the Bible verses asking us to praise God when we feel peace, joy, and happiness?
I wrote this prayer that is a declaration of faith and hope to God.
“Looking Back… Into The Future”
I look back and all I’m thinking is “Wow!”
How so much goodness from pain do you even allow?
How are you actually making beauty out of dust, God?
By your mercy, grace & faithfulness I am truly awed.
You delivered me from so much adversity in life.
You restored me and healed me after removing me from a dangerous strife.
Looking back, I feel only excited about what’s coming,
As the person you created me to be I’m becoming.
And here’s a very intimate love note I wrote as a prayer to God.
“God, I praise you!”
God, I praise you with my words & thoughts.
Glory to you for all your goodness!
I’m in awe to see blessings lots!
I reach out to you for life’s fullness.
Satisfaction comes from finding grace.
You reveal the path in the Bible.
For your truth & wisdom I shout praise!
I worship you, experiencing clarity revival.
God, I praise you for the good & the bad.
For all my trials and tribulations.
I praise you when happy and when I’m sad,
For both my accomplishments and frustrations.
I praise you at night and when I’m eating,
When driving, and walking, and going to bed,
When cleaning, cooking and when I’m reading,
And in the morning – for the day ahead.
I praise you, God, it’s my act of worship.
I feel your love and I’m soaking in it.
Getting to know you is like courtship.
The closer you draw me, the more I commit.
Where Can You Pray?
In bed lying down, on your knees next to bed, in your prayer closet, in your car talking to God as a friend, walking your dog, showering at night or in the morning, while working out, before your meal, during a meditation, while kayaking on the river… Anywhere.
By the way, while depressed, preparing for our divorce trial, I was kayaking on the Chattahoochee River here in Atlanta and this poem prayer came to me, so I pulled my iPhone and typed it up to share here.
“Lord, I Need You”
Lord, I need you every moment, every hour of every day.
I need your guidance, your mercy, hold onto me tight.
I need you to never let go of me as I pray.
I need you to lead me and help me stay humble and kind.
Every morning I start with my list of gratitude, God.
Every day I realize my weakness and your strength in it.
Every moment I reach out for you because I never forgot
That I need you… without you I’ve already reached my limit.
I hope this episode was helpful. Now, I will share with you a prayer poem that is a declaration of God’s goodness. After that, I am going to pray for you personally and then the music will play for you to just think and be 1:1 with God.
I want to hear your your prayer requests. Go to annaszabo.com/prayers and share with me how I can lift you up.
“God, I admire you”
God, I admire you for who you are:
A good good father & a sovereign king.
From your perfection I’m in genuine awe –
Beauty out of ashes you always bring.
I admire your wisdom & infinite intelligence.
I admire your kindness & amazing grace.
My everyday life is of your mercy evidence:
From every suffering you propel me to a better place.
>>> Let me pray for you right now.
Heavenly Father, Abba, Daddy…
You are almighty, sovereign, and your love is unconditional and everlasting.
I am lifting up to you right now the woman who is listening. I bring to your attention her struggle and pain. I ask that you comfort her and provide a clear direction. I ask that you reveal yourself to her in the way that can’t be missed. Show up for her, God.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Dear #TruePrincesses! I’m Anna Szabo, the founder of Online Discipleship For Women. This Christian ministry was founded in 2017 when I was struggling with severely suicidal depression. God grew my faith and hope and asked me to share the Gospel with you.
My mission is to alleviate suicide among women by encouraging YOU to grow in faith and hope.
My vision is to help YOU live a joyful life by embracing God’s word.
My goal is to make the Gospel practical and applicable to YOUR daily experiences.
Share this message with a woman who needs it now.