“Everyone else” doesn’t know how to pray

April 3, 2017 | 65 comments

He’s funny. He’s humble. He’s wise. And he once made worldwide news when a turkey vulture fell out of the sky and onto his back porch during an ice storm. (Google it.) Meet Adam Weber. He’s a pastor of one of the fastest-growing churches in North America

He’s also my friend.

This month, Adam released a book on prayer, called Talking With God. It’s fantastic. Welcome Adam Weber to the blog. (Be sure to enter for a chance to win a copy of his book!)

“Everyone else” doesn’t know how to pray

By Adam Weber

A few weeks back, I received an email from a friend asking if we could get together. I could tell by his words that there was something specific he wanted to talk about.

We checked our schedules and through nothing short of a miracle, we both somehow found forty-five minutes to connect over coffee the next day. We made plans to meet up at one of my favorite coffee shops in downtown Sioux Falls.

coffee shop

I arrived a few minutes early, ordered the usual—dark coffee with one Splenda—and found a table near the front that was perfect for people watching. Twenty minutes later, my friend arrived. He apologized for not being on time. His life is busy as he tries to be seventeen different places at once. He’s getting his career off the ground. He’s a dad to two young kids. And then there’s his marriage.

“I never thought it would all be so much work,” he shared with me. He wore a smile, but you could tell his life was crazy. He was overwhelmed.

Now, as a pastor, I’ve heard it all. Nothing really surprises me anymore. As he updated me on the status of his life, I wondered if he was struggling with something more. Had he made a mistake? Was he having an affair? I wasn’t sure where our conversation was going or what he wanted to say or ask.

We small-talked for ten minutes or so, and then he finally said it: “Well, I’ll just get to why I wanted to get together. I feel foolish for asking this, since I’m a grown adult. I grew up going to church, and this is something everyone else probably knows but me. It just looks so easy for others. But I just want to ask: How does a person pray?”

He paused, took a breath, then quickly continued: “I should probably know this, right? But I don’t. I feel stupid, and I wasn’t sure who to ask. And again, this probably comes easy for everyone else. But again, how do you pray? Like, what do you say? Do you start with, ‘Hey, God, it’s me’? Is there a right or wrong way to pray? Can I screw this up?”

As my friend talked a million miles an hour, I was hoping he’d take another breath so he didn’t pass out. I could tell he was embarrassed and felt foolish, yet he was curious and wanted to know how to pray. So curious, in fact, that he found time in his crazy schedule to ask about it.

I was grateful my friend was so candid and real, and honored that he trusted me enough to ask his question. But, honestly, this wasn’t the first time I’ve been asked this question. Far from it.

Talking With God


“Everyone else”… they probably have prayer figured out. At least the faithful churchgoer does.

And if no one else, the pastor does, right? I can’t speak for others, but I know I don’t.

And I’m paid to know this kind of thing.

When you open the Bible, it’s clear that Jesus’ followers didn’t know how to pray either. In one of his first sermons, Jesus talks about and tries to explain prayer.

“When you pray,” Jesus said, “don’t do it to be seen. Don’t do it to impress others, like hypocrites often do. They might sound impressive, but they actually have it all wrong. Yup, they’ve missed the boat. Prayers do not need to be long, and there’s no need to use big words. God isn’t impressed with how we pray or the things we say. In fact, he already knows what we need, even before we start.”

Instead, when you pray, just pray like this: “Our Father…”

Again, even followers of Jesus—the people who hung out with Jesus himself—didn’t have prayer figured out. Jesus wouldn’t have talked about it with them if they did. I’ll go out on a limb and say that the majority of “everyone else” doesn’t have prayer figured out either. They have questions. They feel unqualified or inadequate. They avoid prayer altogether. After all, how do you talk with the Creator of the entire universe without feeling a little intimidated?

The truth is, prayer is simple. Kids are great at it. It’s like talking with a good friend. It’s like breathing. And what we may not know about prayer is the best part. Whether we’re in the middle of a storm, living in Crazytown, or stuck in the mud, God can’t wait to talk with me. With you.

Talking With God, Adam Weber

Adam Weber
About Adam

Adam lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He likes typewriters, drives a Rambler, cheers for the Cincinnati Bengals, has 4 chickens, and a dog named Daisy. He’s the Lead Pastor of Embrace, a 10-year-old church that has grown to 6 campuses in two states. He and his beautiful wife, Becky, have four kids.

I highly recommend his new book Talking With God. It’s a five-star read, an approachable book on prayer that will make you feel less alone and equip you to have the kind of conversations with God that you didn’t think possible.

Talking With God, Adam Weber

Adam is giving away THREE copies of Talking With God. For a chance to win, simply let us know in the comments that you’d like this book. As always, every social-media share earns you more entries. Just let me know in the comments where you shared. We work on the honor system. I’ll draw a winner Friday.


Hey Tell His Story crew! It is a joy to gather here every week with you. The linkup goes live each Tuesday at 4 p.m. (CT). If you would use the badge on your blog, found here, that would be great! And if you would visit at least one other blogger in the link-up and encourage them with a comment, that would be beautiful! Be sure to check the sidebar later. I’ll be featuring one of you over there! Our featured writer this week is Lisa Tindal. “Contentment” can be a tricky word. I appreciated Lisa’s thoughts on finding contentment in the everyday-ness of life. Find Lisa here. To be considered as our featured writer, be sure to use our badge or a link to my blog from your post. xo Jennifer

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by | April 3, 2017 | 65 comments


  1. Marina Bromley

    Wow! I’d love a copy (or more to share!). Sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing his story and introducing us to the book!

    • dukeslee

      Marina! You’re a winner. Send me your mailing address on FB or email. jdukeslee @ gmail {dot} com

      • Marina Bromley

        Yay!! I’m so excited to get this book! LOVE prayer, and always seeking encouraging resources to share with others! Thank you!!

        (I replied via email too.)

  2. Sandra

    I would love this book,

  3. Dawn Grace

    I would love to have this book! 😊

  4. Dana Brenneman

    I would enjoy this book, thank you!

  5. Lisanne

    Oh wow! Having recently been chosen to contribute to a book on motherhood, I’d been a little proud I suppose and people began to make me question, people who were tools of Satan and people who were wise. I was having a hard time accepting this accomplishment but being so excited I was beginning to make people sick of me.

    Yesterday, I prayed with my pastor. I told him as he put his strong arm on my shoulder. “I need to surrender my writing to God.” Because I’d been saying I had in all the pretty and predictable ways…but, I had not and thank you, God, the Spirit convicted me so very strongly to be real at last about it all.

    And now, this morning, this grace from you to be featured. Overwhelmed.

    I’d love this book for my son, a sophomore in college who told me last year in an especially desperate time, “I can’t even find God anymore, how can I pray?”

    Thank you, Jennifer, for your powerful ministry.

    • Barb Gabert Sayers

      Love this. And yeah… Going through a period of grief and life storms I’ve often found myself feeling awkward and lost about prayer.
      Would love a chance at the book if Canada is included in the contest. Sharing on FB anyways because the message is that valid.

    • dukeslee

      This made me smile! Bless you, Lisanne. I love your encouraging heart!

  6. Sharon Dailey

    I would LOVE this book! Thanks for the information. Blessings, Sharon

  7. Lynn Morrissey

    Sounds perfect: Prayer is talking with God. It’s that simple. I’ve always thought of prayer as conversation, and write “love letters” to God, where I am writing to Him about all that concerns me–large and small occurrences–just as we talk to a best friend, and I daresay, to our lover. He is the lover of our soul, and He wants us to talk to Him!! When think of my prayers in terms of simply talking to God, conversing with God, and not pontificating in preachy, flowery “pulpit” speak, I’m on my way to meaningful encounters with the One who longs to hear from me. Sounds like a fabulous read!

  8. Angel1111

    “The truth is prayer is simple.” Yes, it is. I have learned to pray the simplest of prayers. Lately I have been asking total strangers to pray one simple prayer for me and in return I ask them….Can I pray for you?

  9. Laura

    I would love this book! Thank you for this post!

  10. nylse

    Prayer seems to be a common theme today.

  11. Kathleen Trask Johnson

    Always struggle with this. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. arl macdonald

    I would love to win this book! It looks like it would be so helpful! Thank you for the chance!

  13. Kim Knight

    Sounds like a great book – I’d love to read it! Thanks for the opportunity to win a free copy 🙂

  14. Tiffany

    I’d love to win a copy of this book … you know, for a friend. 😉

    • dukeslee

      Tiffany! You won a copy of the book. Can you email me your mailing address at:
      jdukeslee @ gmail {dot} com

  15. Peggy

    Thank you for an opportunity to get this book. I’m so excited, I pinned, tweeted and Facebooked! I think we all desire to have our best conversations with our Father.

  16. Gazella A Granger Summitt

    I love how Adam approached you, and it is a question I often hear, or in my Bible study group, “Please don’t call on me to pray; I can’t pray in a group. If I would I would love to share the booke with her.
    [email protected]

  17. LAH

    I’d love to win a copy of this. Thank you.

  18. Mary Hall

    I know this book is what I need to read right now, and I’m sure many of us do. Sometimes prayer seems the opposite of easy.

  19. tmcarns

    I would love to win a copy of his book. I will share on twitter “icwhimsy” thank you. t.carns

  20. abby

    I would LOVE a copy of his book!!

  21. Amy Dowty

    Would love to read, one of my favorite topics

  22. Shawn Keyser Quintana

    Looking forward to reading your book Adam. Sharing on my FB page.

  23. bethkh

    I would love to read this book. I still struggle with this even at the age of 57!

  24. Tina Dykstra

    Can’t wait to read Adam’s book. Would love to win a copy.

  25. Leah Adams

    Sounds like a wonderful book. Thoroughly enjoyed his post.

  26. Esther Brandt

    Would love to read this!!

  27. Sally Wiedefeld

    I would really like to read this book. Trite as it may sound I feel the same way about prayer. Like I’m not saying the right thing, asking the wrong way, it’s all confusing at times.mmthanks for a chance at winning this book. I commented on the blog only. Don’t have any other accounts, like Instagram or Facebook or whatever else is out there

  28. Pam

    I would love to win a copy of this book!

  29. Cecilia Bramhall

    I would love a copy of this book! I struggle with prayer and would love not to.

  30. Alyssa Freeman

    I am looking forward to reading this (hopefully reading it after winning!) I really need the guidance and wisdom in this area, always feel like it is a struggle.

  31. karen

    i’d love to share this with women I disciple!

  32. Lisa

    Would love to receive a copy. Thank you for the opportunity.

  33. Sheree

    Would love to read the book. Thank you!

  34. Bobbi

    I need to read this book. Shared on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

  35. Alisa

    Would love the chance to read this book and share with my prayer group at work!

  36. Kathy

    This is my struggle too. Would love a copy of this book.

  37. Leslie

    I’ve been asked to speak at several events about prayer. I’d love to read this book and recommend to others! Sharing a link to this article on Twitter today.

  38. Jamie D.

    I’ve always felt my prayers are too simple. I would love to read this book!

  39. Angel Ward

    I would love a copy of this book!!

  40. Claudia

    I’d love to read and share this book!

  41. Maree Dee

    I would love to read and share his book.

    We sure can make talking with God complicated. I have a system that works well for me but I change it up. Sometimes all I can muster up are the words “JESUS.”

  42. Barbara Willoughby

    Love this story…can so relate. Would appreciate this book.

  43. Anita

    It sounds like a great book 🙂 I’d love to have a copy. I shared on twitter and facebook :).

  44. Mary

    I love that we don’t have to have prayer figured out. God just wants to talk to us. I can do that! Thank you for sharing with us and for giving away a copy of your book.

    P.S. Very intrigued to hear you like the Cincinnati Bengals. Me too! I from Cincinnati.

  45. Sue Donaldson

    sounds refreshing and delightful! thanks, jennifer!

  46. Theresa Boedeker

    I love your description that prayer is like talking to a good friend. Once again I am reminded of Jesus saying become like little children. It even applies to prayer.

  47. Michele Morin

    I held my breath when I read your friend’s question — and when I read the words of Jesus (“Pray like this”) I exhaled. He doesn’t want to make it hard for us. And I’m so thankful that He is even more intensely interested in what I have to say than I am in saying it.
    Blessings to you, Adam.
    And thanks, Jennifer, for the heads up.

  48. Nancy Ruegg

    What caught my attention: prayer is like breathing. That alone is a statement worth further exploration. Adam’s book sounds sensible (“Prayer doesn’t have to be long, and there’s no need to use big words.”) and doable (“Prayer is simple–like talking to a good friend.”) I would be interested in a copy!

  49. Corena

    By now people who follow my people ( as in the many wonderful Christian writers) who amaze me with their words filling my heart. I love to read. It’s a want God has been fulfilling. I remember reading at an extremely young age. I also remember my mum and dad pray every night. I was orphaned at age 9 in a third world country. It was not easy being a girl for me but not for the Lord Jesus. Prayer is long and drawn out for me but it’s because I love talking to God. I love learning about that. Like reading learning is another thing I enjoy. I would love this book not just for myself but to pass on. It’s a subject we think we know till we hear another’s words of wisdom about it. Thank you for the opportunity.
    Jennifer I keep wondering about your parents. I pray for them. Please tell me how they are faring if you can. I am a nurse and the elderly I have cared for for over 30 years. Perhaps it’s my own parents I see in each of them. I was part of your launch team so I follow you on Twitter and FB so I am easy to get a hold of. Hugs to them and you sister in Christ

  50. Cyn Rogalski

    I would love a copy of this book. My son & his fiancé are reading it together, and they’ve chosen to remove themselves from social media(I’m blocked) for 21 days while they do so.
    It’s causing a division in our families, which is not from God.
    I’d love to read this book to get on the same page with them & try to start some dialog.
    Our beliefs used to be similar, but now appear worlds apart.
    Thank you for your consideration.

  51. Susan

    Sounds like a great book and if I win I will read and donate to our church library! Lisa’s post is next as discontentment is one of the enemies I wrote about today in my post, “Are You Sleeping With the Enemy?” I pinned and tweeted if that’s a requirement for the “win.”

  52. Sarah Geringer

    I liked this story, and the book sounds like a great read. Thank you for hosting the giveaway!

  53. Lyli Dunbar

    Adam: Congratulations on your new book! I agree, sometimes we make prayer seem more complicated than it is. All we have to do is just grunt, and God gets it. 🙂

  54. Nicci

    I would like to win this!!!!

  55. Sarah Koontz

    Would love a copy of this book. Thanks for sharing!

  56. JViola79

    I would love a copy of this book. Thanks for sharing about it!

  57. Julie Loos

    This book looks fantastic! Pick me pick me:)
    Thanks for sharing!

  58. Rebecca

    I’d love a copy of this book to read and share!

  59. Claytonia Samuel

    I want/need this book!! Thank you in advance

  60. Sherry Thecharmofhome

    In your private space, you pour out your heart. That is what he wants. Thanks for hosting!



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