A Note on How to Pray

Paul tells Christ-followers to be watchful and thankful in prayer. First, while praying, we should remember our own weakness. We are sinners, weak and in need of God’s help to live this life. (Plus, the Evil One is out there setting traps that we’ll need wisdom and discernment to avoid.) So we need to pray for wisdom, pray for discernment, pray for caution, and pray for guidance. We must watch our step on this journey and rely upon the Lord.

Second, while praying, we should remember our God’s goodness. Last week, I was writing in my journal some of the things that were weighing on me most heavily. In the midst of that, my mind turned to reflect on the ways that God has been good to me. It was a good moment. Let us never, ever, even in the difficult times, forget to give thanks for God’s goodness.

Zlata Filipović elegantly demonstrates the power of praise in hard times in Zlata’s Diary, a record of her life in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. She was just 11.


Thursday, July 2, 1992

We gave ourselves a treat today. We picked cherries off the tree in the yard and ate them all up. We had watched it blossom and its small green fruits slowly turn red, and now here we were eating them. Oh, you’re a wonderful cherry tree!


Even in the difficult times of life, you can stop and enjoy something good to eat and give God praise for his goodness.  Pray because you need God’s help, and pray with gratitude for his goodness (even when life is difficult). 


“Here is a great discovery. We do not glorify God by providing his needs, but by praying that he would provide ours—and trusting him to answer.”

- John Piper, Desiring God