This article was originally published in Edition (2) of Prayer Magazine, Spring 2005.

Stop and Pray

‘Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God.’

Psalm 46 v 10 Message

Many young people want to pray to God but aren’t too sure how to do so or what to pray. So our suggestion is to STOP and pray. Find some time and space in your busy life but make us of the word STOP too. Take each letter of STOP to guide you in your prayer.

S – for Sorry. – It is always good to say sorry to God for the bad stuff you might have done, or for not doing the good stuff you could have done. You might simply want to say sorry for not chatting to Him for a while.

“If we admit our sins…. He won’t let us down. He’ll be true to Himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all our wrongdoing.” – 1 John 1:9 Message

T – for Thanks. – Even when life is really tough you can find things to thank God for, like being there to listen to you for a start. God delights when we really take time to thank Him for being such a great and fantastic God!

‘And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father…’ Ephesians 5:20 NLT

O – for Others. – Prayers weren’t meant to be selfish and you can do incredible things for other people just by praying for them. God wants to hear from you about your friends, your family, people you see around the world on the TV news that are having a really hard time. You can even pray for people you don’t get on with. Most of all, pray for other people who really need your prayers.

‘Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.’ James 5:16 NLT

P – for Please. – This your opportunity to ask God for stuff. That doesn’t mean giving Him a list of all the latest CDs you want! It does mean asking His help with problems, worries, difficult decisions, and things that deep deep down you have set your heart on.

‘Keep asking and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking and you will find. Keep knocking and the door will be opened.’ Matthew 7:7 NLT



Hudson Taylor was a very famous missionary and on his first visit to China, he was travelling on a large sail ship. The ship got stuck in calm water near an island that was inhabited by cannibals. As the ship drifted closer and closer, the cannibals were getting ready for a juicy meal! The captain of the ship came to Hudson Taylor and asked him to pray for God’s help. Hudson Taylor said he would only do so if the captain put up the sails of the ship as if they were ready to sail. The captain thought he would look stupid if he did that in dead calm waters, but Taylor insisted. The captain went off to sort the sails out and Hudson Taylor went to his room to pray. In a little while the captain knocked at the door to tell Taylor that he could stop praying because they had more wind than they could manage. The ship sailed away safely and Hudson Taylor carried out great missionary exploits in China.


Can you remember those TV adverts for One2One mobile phones? They asked some famous people whom they would most like to have a one to one conversation with. I can remember the footballer and TV presenter Ian Wright saying he would have loved to have had a one to one with Martin Luther King, the great civil rights preacher from the USA.

Who would you like to have a one to one with? Avril Lavigne? Tony Blair? David Beckham? Jennifer Lopez? Ant and Dec? Or would that be a one to two?

Do you realise that if you are a Christian, you have a fantastic opportunity to have a one to one with the creator of the universe. The famous American evangelist Billy Graham was once asked by a journalist how he knew Jesus existed. He replied, “I know Jesus is alive because I spoke to Him this morning.” Could you have given the same reply?

In the bible, we read that Moses spoke to God face to face like friends, and that knowing Jesus and praying in His name are our invitations to that type of one to one conversation with God.

Here’s a challenge for you – every time you use your mobile phone to call or text, why not have a short conversation with God your creator. He’s ready and waiting to listen to you, and you never know – He may have something to say back to you!


Imagine being in a soccer match where you are the only player. You have to play defence, be out on the wing, be up front as the striker, and be in goal, all at the same time. Do you think you would ever win a match if the other side played with its full team?

Prayer is a little bit like that sometimes, the feeling of the inability to go on, being overwhelmed by the task ahead and even a sense of giving up when things are getting too difficult. In our football match of prayer, you are completely exhausted at half time, you’ve run 10 times as far as the opposition trying to cover all the positions and you’ve only touched the ball once.

You were so glad when the ref blew the whistle, as you didn’t know if you could go on. Then, while drinking water to try and refresh yourself, one by one, friends and faith filled prayer warriors join you on the pitch. They’re in brand new kit, well rested and ready to join in. There is just not a full team, there are hundreds of them and they have played this game before; the whistle goes and they are kicking the ball around the pitch at such speed, that the opposition is completely out-numbered, out-ranked and out-gunned. The first half score of 18- nil to the other team soon falls into the shadows as your friends are taking most of the burden for the time remaining. Within 10 minutes of starting the second half, you have your breath back, you are playing with a fresh confidence and zeal and the score is steadily climbing as your side is scoring at a rate of two a minute. By the close of play, your team has won by a score of 101 to 18. This is fantastic! You went onto the pitch feeling like you were going to get slaughtered, and came off the pitch feeling like it was the best game of your life. Sometimes that’s like the difference between praying alone or with others.

The prayer of agreement does more than just provide an echo of what you prayed to God, the volume and weight of those prayers, increases the measure of your faith. God thinks it’s awesome that a group of people is so united around prayer that they meet to pray and intercede together for a specific thing.

Prayer that is shared is prayer that is powerful with the presence of Jesus.

‘Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them’.  Matt 18:19-20

Extract taken from Carl Brettle’s book : Seven Ways to Ignite Outrageous Prayer.

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