In this post today, I am looking at how we can use Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages to help our prayer lives. Also, I will wrap up this post by looking at the types of prayers found in the Bible. “Prayer,” St. John Damascene wrote, “is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” In fact, prayer offers us a direct line of communication that helps us build a deeper relationship with our Lord. So, it is an essential element of our faith.
In 1992, Gary Chapman wrote a book about how we experience and express love in different ways. He broke these experiences down into what he called love languages. The title of the book is “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.” For many people, it helped them better understand how to communicate more lovingly with their significant other. The book made the Best Sellers list in August 2009, and sales continue to grow. Additionally, Chapman used his many years of counseling couples to come up with his concepts. Below are the five unique types of love languages he came up with:
- Words of affirmation – using compliments or words to display your love.
- Quality time – spending uninterrupted, planned time together.
- Giving gifts – offering thoughtful gifts that are not necessarily materialistic. It is the thought behind the item.
- Acts of service – doing something you know your spouse would love wether a chore or planning a special evening.
- Physical touch – holding hands or walking arm in arm.
So, can we use these love languages to influence our prayers to our Heavenly Father? I do not think God has a specific love language that He hears us in. However, I think they might help us pray in a way that feels more comfortable. To illustrate, let looks at prayer in light of Dr. Chapman’s list:
- Affirmation – this type of praying will offer praises to the Lord. So, use your words to thank God and to express how much you love Him.
- Quality time – finding and dedicating a specific time daily to talk with God. Also, this type of prayer makes time even with an overwhelmed schedule.
- Giving gifts – everything we have comes from God. A prayer that acknowledges God is our provider pleases Him. Additionally, we can offer our hearts, minds, and souls back to the Lord for His use.
- Acts of Service – God wants us to be His hands and feet to a hurting world. Therefore, these supplications ask God to show us who to help in His name.
- Physical touch – since we cannot physically touch God, we can use our bodies to accomplish this love language. For example, we can pray on our knees or raise our hands to the Lord. As well, we can use our voices to sing to the Lord.
Also, we can divide our prayers into five types. These types of petitions come from examples found in the Bible and can be combined into one devotion time. Additionally, we will look at these elements, as seen in the Lord’s Prayer, which can be found in Matthew 6:9-13.
- Worship – our prayers should contain an element of adoration of our Lord. In the Lord’s prayer, we see this in the line “Hallowed be Your Name.” Or in other words, Your name is Holy, or You are the Holy One.
- Petition – these represent the times we make requests from the Lord for our needs. But it also shows we are willing to accept God’s will for everything that happens. For example, in the Lord’s Prayer, we see the line “They Will be done,” and “Give us this day, our daily bread.” Finally, we ask God to “forgive us our trespasses.”
- Intercession – here, we offer another type of petition to the Lord. These get offered as we pray for our family and friends. The Lord’s pray line, “Give us this day, our daily bread,” includes providing for those around us. Also, the line “as we forgive those who trespass against us,” expresses a desire to live in unity with others.
- Thanksgiving – a part of every prayer should include thanking God for everything He does for us. I think we often overlook this aspect of our petitions. Although thanksgiving does not appear in the Lord’s prayer, it remains implied throughout the prayer. We offer Him prayer with a thankful heart.
- Praise – we acknowledge God as our Almighty Lord. This is displayed in the Lord’s prayer line, “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory.” Indeed, we recognize His glory and His power over all creation forever and ever.
In conclusion, prayer must be an active part of our faith. Using the five love languages, we can find the best way for us to pray. Also, we need to remember to model the Lord’s prayer each time we pray. And, include the various elements it demonstrates. Let God’s example soak into our hearts each time we reach out to communicate with Him.
Almighty, Heavenly Father. Thank you for the ability to communicate with You through prayer. Also, I ask you to teach me Your will and Your ways to pray. As well, help me demonstrate a faithful prayer life for others so they might seek You. Finally, all honor and glory are Yours. In Jesus’ Holy Name, I pray. Amen
Yvonne M. Morgan, author, blogger, and speaker.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
In addition, 100% of the proceeds from sales of my book, Turning Mountains Into Molehills, help the orphans at Orphan Relief Effort, Inc.