What if you don't know how to pray?

United States
September 17, 2008 3:38am CST
This is not a religious discussion. I don't care what your religious beliefs are and don't want to spark any arguments on the subject. This is what troubles me. I don't know what I believe in or what religious denomination I follow, but when I'm in trouble I want to pray and don't know whether I should or even how to. It just seems like its wrong for me to pray only in times of need. I feel like I only show faith in anything, whatever that anything might be, when I need help. Do you think its wrong to say a prayer when you desperately need guidance, help or support when you don't make it something you do all the time and when you don't follow any certain religion or beliefs?
8 people like this
37 responses
• United States
18 Sep 08
Many people do not know how to pray because they cannot pray, or they have never been taught how to. My family taught me how to pray, but I cannot pray. I am not religious, and thus, I do not pray. I meditate, but that is it, and there are many ways to meditate.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Sep 08
Meditation helps you clear your mind. It can lead you anywhere that your mind wants to go.
@nlcapricorn (1115)
• Philippines
17 Sep 08
I dont believe that there is someone who doesnt know how to pray..It is maybe that he or she does not have the guts to pray, because he or she is shy..and then they will just say they dont know how to pray. Praying is just like talking. The different is we are talking to God.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Sep 08
Its not that I don't have the guts. Its just simply that I almost feel like I'm taking advantage if the only time I do it is when I need help.
• Philippines
17 Sep 08
Its not wrong to pray even if you are just praying because you need help. Much better you do it because you did remember that you need to pray. We pray because we thank God of everything, we need his guidance, even ask to have peace in mind and whatever. SO what you are thinking is wrong. In fact its great because you did able to remember HIM.
@kharen (1488)
• Philippines
18 Sep 08
I feel guilty about this too. I want to ask the same question. Well, it's not that we don't know how to pray... it's just that for sometimes we feel guilty when we just utterly pray wholeheartedly when we need God's help. But hey, talking to him everyday.. well, just by saying thank you God for today and giving me a chance to still live in your wonderful world and I'm most grateful that you are great is already a prayer. I know you want to thank Him wholeheartedly even with just a few words. God understands, listens and forgives always. He is kind and understanding but of course as one of His children, we must also learn to live by His words.
• United States
18 Sep 08
You are right, its not so much that I don't know how, but I don't talk to him everyday, just when I need something and then I feel guilty for only thinking to do it when I need something.
• Philippines
17 Sep 08
Do not worry!There are no rules and regulations when it comes to praying. You do not have to utter standard written prayers. Just relax and clear your mind then whisper whatever is in your heart.It is as normal as conversing with a friend. You are not bound by rules.A spontaneous prayer is the best.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Sep 08
Without knowing your religion I don't know how to help you really. For me personally, I know in Christianity, all you have to do is talk to God. There is no special words you have to say or any kind of song or dance.
1 person likes this
• Nigeria
17 Sep 08
It is not wrong for one to pray even of you don't you do not know how to pray.Infact noody knows how to pray,because jesus christ taught his deciples how to pray.Life is all about God and God is all about life.It is not wrong for one to pray when there is danger ahead or it is not wrong to pray for guidiance ,because you are not praying to anybody but to God.Even if one does not know how to pray just say o lord have mercy on me,that prayer is simple but powerful. But my advice is seek God when you have the opportunity now before it's too late
@worldwise1 (14887)
• United States
17 Sep 08
There is no secret as to how one should pray, kbourgerie. I suppose it comes naturally to those like myself who were brought up in a religious household, yet I don't consider myself religious. I do, however, feel a connection to God and have acquired the habit of talking to Him on a daily basis -no matter if things are good or bad. If you seek Him you will find Him. Talk to Him as though you were talking to your friend and confidant. He will hear you, but you must first develop the habit.
1 person likes this
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
17 Sep 08
I believe, when you call upon the Lord in desperate need, He hears your cry. But I also believe there has to be some faith on your part. And, you seem to say you do have faith when you really need help. So, apparently, that faith is there, just that you don't show it unless you are in dire need. When you get in those situations, why not talk to God and ask Him what you need to do to help yourself. I believe he is there to help you in time of need and will show you things you can do to change a situation.
1 person likes this
@villageanne (8554)
• United States
18 Sep 08
IN the book of Matthew in the New Testament. Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane praying to his father. Just use that prayer as a pattern to pray and you cannot go wrong. Also if you ask Heavenly Father to help you learn to pray - He will. I promise
• United States
18 Sep 08
I honestly think or no - I Know the Lord wants to hear from us anythimg we want to talk to him. He loves us no matter what
@suruchi86 (1873)
• India
15 Feb 09
I'm so sorry for coming in so late. I think any one can pray. Only thing is, it should be sincere and straight from the heart. You can believe god in any form as you like, but yes, your prayer should not contain harmful thought towards anybody, because everybody is same for the god.
@msedge (4012)
• United States
14 Oct 08
I believe in the power of prayer.But i have nothing against for those who don't pray.My hubby is one and he doesn't even have a religion.But he do believe in God.I think thats the most important.If you just pray for the sake of praying i think it doesn't work.God is watching us and He knows everything.Some people just remember to pray when in need just like what you said.I was once like that.But i realized that i should pray either i needed help or not.Just to thank Him for our everyday health and blessings.I've been through alot of very hard times but my strenght is my faith.I know God will be there to help me.
@meticulo (1286)
• United States
28 Sep 08
It is not wrong to say a prayer only when you desperately need it. Actually, it is often one of the reactions a man does when face in times of trouble. While some others, don't pray even if they know how, you are much better than them. Being religious doesn't mean you have to follow some religion. It is doing what you really want and believing that someone like God would rescue you from whatever burdens you have. Continue praying. Good job!
@jdyrj777 (6556)
• United States
20 Sep 08
Your just opening this question shows that you have an interest to start and to know how, am i right? Its just like talking. Everyday i thank Jah for evrything and everybody in my life. I always pray that his kingdom will come upon the earth as it is in heaven. A lot of people do forget to thank Jah once their prayer have been answered. Ya just got to remember to thank him like you would anyone else. Just like talking on the phone only with Jah you dont need the phone. You can kneel or not. You can be standing or even sitting. The holy scriptures do say that His name is important and that His name is a stronghold. Pray to Him , "Jahovah in the name of you son Jesus."
• Kuwait
19 Sep 08
Yeah, its not that you dont know how to pray, but praying sometimes need fucos and concentrations and deep faith. Sometimes many things bothers me i only pray, its like im talking to God directly and tell him everything that is in my mind and heart and believe that he is listening to me and considering my feelings and troubles and after that i feel relax and got my confidence once again.
@suruchi86 (1873)
• India
19 Sep 08
But this is normal human tendency that we turn to God only when we are in trouble. I don't think anybody prays when he is happy. When we are happy, we get drowned in the enjoyments of the life and prayer is the last thing in the back of our mind and let me tell you frankly, I'm not an exception.
@Opal26 (17690)
• United States
18 Sep 08
Hi kbourgerie, If it's wrong for you, then it's wrong for me too. I don't particualarly have any faith any longer that I believe in either. I also only pray when I need to which means when something is terribly wrong and I need help. I also know that this isn't right or the way your supposed pray. I am quite mixed up about my religious beliefs and have been for years now. I was one religion and then changed to another and now I really don't practice any. I don't know why, but I feel that which ever one I pick is wrong because I turned my back on the religion that I was born into. So now if I continued to practice the religion I changed to then I'm afraid that I might be doing something bad. So now that I'm so confused I have been practicing no religion lately.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
18 Sep 08
First of all, I don't personally believe in prayers that others have made up. I use my own words, when I feel I need them. I believe in God, not religion, even though I was raised in a strong religion. So, I talk to God like I would talk to a parent. I just talk and when I need something I say things like, "God, I need help with this. I don't know how to fix it. I leave it in your hands." I will ask for help for others in this similar way, "God, my friend Sam needs your help. I don't know if he needs to suffer this way, but if not, please heal him and if yes, give him the tools to deal with it." There is no right or wrong, in my humble opinion. If you pray or not, my belief is He will still love you but will listen, even if He cannot change it for His own reasons.
@Ohara_1983 (4120)
• Kuwait
18 Sep 08
It happen to me that time that i dont even know how to start with/ or to end my prayer,specially in thim of circumtances that you can us why there really god can help us.but i start to teach my self without any help of anybody till that time i know how to pray everytime.
@iyah10 (4116)
• Kuwait
18 Sep 08
Do u know that you have the same encounter of feeling regarding about prayers if it includes on how do I have to pray I will tell you one story when my wife before she marry me she is a Roman Catholic and I do understand that she cannot follow on how do I pray with my God because she is a converted into Muslim in which I am so I never forced her until she could fine herself unto how to pray my way and I guess the only way you have to do if you do not know how is to pray in your heart....
@Erssyl (617)
• Philippines
18 Sep 08
Even you are not in any religion is it not wrong to pray only when you need help?We also pray when we thank Him for every moment that we live.Everything that happen to us be it sorrowful, joyful awful whatever.We should not miss Him everyday not only when we are desperate that we seek for Him.In sad times and in good times He is in our side.