By Aswad Walker


In these tumultuous times when the world, in general, and individuals, more specifically, are fixated on huge quality of life issues such as health care reform and the economic recession/recovery, many people are making their way back to the church, temple, mosque or other faith-specific places of worship. Newsweek, cited the percentage of self-identified Christians in the United States at 10 percent less today than it was in 1990 (from 86 to 76 percent), but pastors, imams and other religious leaders are reporting a resurgence of worshippers.

Even while more and more individuals are going back to school, reading self-help books, and doing other things to improve their spirit and life outlook, many are going back to church. And upon their return, people are turning to the power of prayer for answers to questions, solutions to problems, and strength to endure life’s challenges. There is even a larger percentage of those who claim neither a specific faith nor faith home who are turning to pray as a means of dealing with life’s ups and downs.

However, there are many who posit the notion of a proper way to pray in order to garner the divine answers sought.

One such person is Suzette Caldwell,Associate Pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church. She is also the wife of the church’s Senior Pastor, Kirbyjon Caldwell. Suzette has been studying and teaching about prayer for the last 17 years, and serving as Board Chair and President of Windsor Village’s Prayer Institute, a non-profit organization committed to praying for others and teaching people how to pray, since 1997.

Through the classes and workshops of the Prayer Institute as well as through her book, Praying to Change Your Life, Caldwell teaches that there is a specific way to pray that is more effective than others.

“What is the use in praying if your prayers are not going to produce results,” said Suzette, who recently hosted the Prayer Institute’s 13th Annual Prayer Explosion Conference. Through her book and her institute teaching, she uses the Lord’s Prayer as the model prayer after which, she explains, all other prayers should be fashioned.

“The Lord’s Prayer outlines a pattern for praying. It helps us to communicate a six paragraph prayer. Paragraph one, ‘Our Father which art in heaven,’ shows us that we start our prayer with intimate praise and worship. In paragraph two, ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,’ we declare His will. We then make our request to God, pray for forgiveness, and pray for protection, and end with praise and worship again,” said Caldwell.