I pray every day.
I found myself wondering;
“Is there a certain way to pray?”
“Am I doing this right?”
“Should I say ‘Thou’ or ‘Thine’?”
“How should I start?”
“Do I always have to end with ‘Amen’?”
Well in wondering these things I bought a book that I wanted to use for a lesson plan with the youth at my church called, G5: Growing in the Five Commandments of a Campus Missionary. I am so glad I bought this! This first chapter was all about prayer and it really laid it out for me. I have read the Bible front to back and back to front, I have researched root words, found the Greek meanings, read many books and listened to countless sermons. This book was able to break everything down in a what that makes you just go “Ahhhh I see! Why did I make this so hard?!”
I figured I would share with you what I learned and hopefully answer any questions you might have concerning prayer and how it’s done!
PRAISE : “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name….” Matthew 6 : 9
When we begin with praise it takes our minds off of our problems and puts it on God and His goodness. We have to remember that prayer is about more that just getting from God it’s about getting to know God and praise is a GREAT way to get to know Him.
Praising is the easiest in this process to me. I love to worship God and thank Him for what I have. I know a lot of people who just aren’t comfortable with praising because they feel as if they are boasting or bragging but I want to tell you that God desires to hear how happy we are with what He has blessed us with! He yearns to hear how much we love and need Him! Our God gave us the free will to choose to love or leave Him and when His children come to Him and cover Him in love and praise He rejoices!
REPENT : “Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6 : 12
We all need to confess our errors [sins, mistakes, things we know are wrong in the eyes of God] and repent so that God can start to move in whatever situation we are in.
It’s like this, I don’t bathe my child until the end of the day. When she’s done playing and ready to calm down. I don’t wait until bedtime to bathe because I like my kid running around looking like a vagabond all day, I do this because I know that all the work and care that I put into bathing her wont be in vain.
It’s the same concept, except God is cleaning our inner filth up. He wants us to be done playing games and ready to settle down with Him before He goes in and cleans up our mess and God isn’t going to just clean us up without us asking! We have to go to Him and confess, “God I’m ready for you to take this situation/sin/issue and have YOUR way with it. I’m done doing it my way because it’s not working. Cleanse me and make me whole.” It’s not enough for us to know that we have sinned, we have to commit to go in a new direction with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Confess : Agree with the truth
REPENT : to turn around and go in a new direction
Repenting is not fun, well I have never had fun doing it at least! It is the hardest part for me! I find it so hard to go and admit to God all my issues and bring my junk to Him! Yes, I understand that He already knows what my problems are but I just hate the whole process of admitting and the shame I feel while I’m facing Him. I feel SO good afterwords though! Complete freedom, but actually saying my issues out loud can sometimes be hard for me.
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the LORD.” Acts 3 : 19
ASK : “Give us today our daily bread.” Matthew 6 : 11
One thing we all must remember is that we should NEVER be ashamed to ask! God wants us to ask and is delighted that we do! Just don’t get discouraged if His answer is “No” or “Not right now.” We have to remember that He knows best and we need to trust Him wholeheartedly.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” Philippians 4 :6
YIELD: “Listen to my voice; pay attention and hear what I say.” Isaiah 28 : 23
Relationships are built by and maintained with the art of communication. Communication is made up of two parts; TALKING and LISTENING. God is not different from you and me when it comes to this. He needs us to BE QUIET long enough so that He can respond. If we are truly looking for guidance we need to give God the reins to guide and listen to where He wants us to go.
If you are anything like me, hearing the voice of God is intimidating and confusing all wrapped up in some out of this world wrapping paper. Here’s what I do; invite the Holy Spirit in to speak to me and I STOP talking long enough to let Him! The Spirit is not always loud or found in the “signs” a lot of us look for. He is quiet often found in a “still, small voice.”
“Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.’ And behold the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks into pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it that he wrapped his face in his mantel and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him and said, ‘Ware are you doing here, Elijah?'”
“Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…” Hebrews 3 : 15
By actually listening to the voice of God we are giving ourselves a chance to get blessed, be guided and comforted by God. We are giving ourselves the opportunity to be obedient and through obedience to God we become stronger in our faith and spirits.
ENGAGE IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE : “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.” 2 Corinthians 10 : 4
Our job is to exercise the authority Christ has given us and to pull down the strongholds of the enemy in the name of Jesus Christ. We are to intercede [step in for] our unsaved friends and family members.
“For though we live in the world, we DO NOT wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world , on the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10 : 3 – 5
RECEIVE FROM THE LORD : “If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21 : 22
Simply receive-by faith-answers to prayers, direction for the day, wisdom from God, and anything else with which the LORD desires to bless you with. We also need not to take this verse out of context, we will receive whatever we ask for that is under the will of God.
Have faith in God. Jesus had faith in God because He knew His character. We learn about God’s character by praying and listening to Him, reading His word, and by being in His presence through worship.
“The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying.
He fears nothing from prayer less studies,
prayer less work,
and prayer less religion.
He laughs at our toil,
mocks our wisdom,
but trembles when we pray.”
So remember when you prayer to use the P.R.A.Y.E.R. pattern.
Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield, Engage In Spiritual Warfare, Receive