For prayers to be inspiring, it’s important to use guidelines, especially for any recent converts. Oh sure, it may SEEM like prayer is a simple thing between you and God, but honestly, it’s quite complicated to perform it correctly.

And I do mean perform.

Wish you could? Here’s how.

1. Stretch thy vocabulary

I mean, come on: the Lord is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Shakespeare. Throw in some thees and thous in when you can – it really adds to the reverence factor and gets you closer to the whole poetical side of praying.

No one wants to embroider “Hey, thanks, God,” on a hand towel, when they could say “Humble appreciation to Thine awesome face, O Jehovah!” Thee, thy, thou, whenst, couldst, etc. Learn ‘em.

2. Remember: strength in numbers

You want Him to pay attention, so you need to be organized. This is a group effort. Sure, it could just be you and Him, but it’s also good to encourage your brothers and sisters with your prayers. For extra accountability, you should time everyone. Can’t pray for 30 minutes straight? You need to work on your heart, sister!

3. Take a stroll, or pick a public place

It’s important to show your spirituality. What, are people just going to assume you’re a Christian? Of course not! You have to be obvious. Making them uncomfortable by the level of your voice, or your hands thrown up to Heaven? Well, that’s because they aren’t as Vertically Focused as you are. (Use this time to pray for them).

4. Use all the names you can think of for God

Toss them in generously whenever you can (this also really works well if you’re having trouble stretching your thirty minutes). Father, Daddy, Abba, Jehovah, Adonai, Ancient of Days, Bridegroom, Counselor, Deliverer, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, Good Shepherd, High Priest, Holy Ghost, King, Messiah, Rabboni, Rose of Sharon … or if you want to go all Old School Old Testament and really inspire your listeners, try Author of Eternal Salvation, or another favorite (and excellent for your embroidered hand towels), Bright Morning Star.

5. Tweet your best prayers

Of course, 140 characters isn’t a lot when you’ve been practicing the lengthiness, so go with your best material. Hashtag, hashtag, hashtag! #soblessed #IamHisdaughter #feelingthespirittoday #Sundayisthebestday #Jesusisthereasonfortheseason #justcan’tstoppouringmyheartout #havingaheartforthelordtoday #prayingformybrothersandsisterstodayAMEN!Canyoufeelit?WellcanU?

6. Make cryptic social media comments

Cryptic Facebook status updates are totally the way to go when you’re feeling a little stumped about what to pray for, or just need some social media loving (for the Lord, naturally). “Unspoken prayer requests, my prayer warriors!” will work wonders. People will flock to you like sheep to their shepherd. Don’t worry: this is sanctified sharing. Totally righteous and SO effective.

7. Go minimalist

For an extra one/two punch of impacting prayers, you can do a few different things: large pieces of paper with one word at a time written on them, shown on a video, can be super inspirational. This works so well it doesn’t even matter that what the words say. Just show the papers very slowly, one at a time, and look as solemn (but beautiful) as you can. Or you can always dump liquid on your head. That, too, can be very effective.

8. Have a cause!

Don’t be selfish. Pick an illness or a social problem or a people group, and really dissect them. Again, in large groups. Because awareness is super important. So if your best friend is struggling with something, it’s for her own good that you bring it to light and out in the open. She’ll thank you later. Possibly. But if she doesn’t, pray for her hard heart.

9. Pause. A lot.

People will assume your heart is very laden with your spiritual burdens, or better yet, that you are feeling emotional. Occasionally someone will use this pause as a segue into their own prayers, so make sure to put the brakes on that immediately. They can get their own God-time, this is about you!

10. You have the floor, use it!

Once your super important causes have been mentioned appropriately, it’s You Time. This is a great way to get your own feelings and problems and such out in the open. Being vulnerable and open with your brother and sisters is so vital! This is why you need to mention everything you possibly can about your frustration with so-and-so, your lack of attention from your parents, your crush on that boy in Youth Group, how you feel about your appearance, a need to go to Mexico on a church trip, your grades, your sleep schedule, your sibling’s secrets, and the need for a new car.

Try one or two of these today! And don’t feel bad if you’ve been doing it wrong all these years. Prayer is an art form.