Ways to Pray: Alphabet Prayer
by Emily Vanden Heuvel
How do I praise God and when should I do it?
Our prayers can often become merely a list of our wants and needs: “heal my knee,” or “help me financially.” While it is important to pray for our needs, we must not forget to ground our prayers in worship and praise for God. It is easy to ask God for blessings, but it can be harder to create a thoughtful prayer of praise and adoration. In his book, The Air I Breathe, Louie Giglio writes:
What a miraculous thing that we’re invited to respond to this incredible God… How can it be that God is infinite in being and power, yet you and I can touch him? We can touch his heart. We can cause joy to come to him. Cause him to smile. We can bring pleasure to God. Make him happy. Your worship matters to God (p. 69).
Simple as A, B, C...
Giglio reminds us how important our worship is to God. But have you ever prayed an entire prayer and not asked for anything? Praying prayers of worship, or adoration, can be incredibly affirming and help us trust in God’s love and promises. An easy way to begin a prayer of praise is to create a list of God’s attributes using each letter of the alphabet. For example, “God, you are Awesome. Lord, you are a Beautiful Creator. Father, you are Caring. God, you are Divine.” You get the idea.
Try to finish the list in one sitting, and pray over the entire list. Or pray one letter’s praise a day for 26 days. What attribute can you come up with that starts with the letter Q? How about X? The Alphabet Prayer method seems simple, yet it really makes you think deeply about God’s character as you search for just the right words to praise and adore him. As we list God’s attributes, our praise not only affirms God's majesty and power, but it also calms our anxious hearts, motivating us to keep praying, knowing that God rejoices in our praises.
The Alphabet Prayer method can also be helpful if you’re struggling with other aspects of prayer, like praying for others or creating a prayer of thankfulness. While praying for ourselves may come naturally, investing time and intention into praising and thanking God—and lifting up the prayers for others—will not only deepen your prayer life but also draw you closer to God and his heart for our world, majesty and power, but also calms our anxious hearts, motivating us to keep praying, knowing that God hears each request we pray.
Did you find this article helpful? We’ve put together a short ebook called “How Do I Pray?”, which introduces six ways to reinvigorate your prayer life. Download it free right here.