Prayer is one of those things I don’t think I’ll ever fully grasp this side of heaven. In one sense it seems so simple – talking to God right? Yet, when I realize I have the chance to make changes for eternity by a simple conversation, I am sort of blown away!
Prayer is a privilege and a command. We are told to pray in any and every situation. Pray without ceasing. Prayer is our life line. It is our connection to our Father in Heaven. I can’t explain exactly how it works, but that I know that it does.
I’ve seen God move in people and change them by a simple prayer. This topic is so broad to fit in a succinct lesson, so I’m going to get to the basics. I’m going to share a few brief stories and then share a method of praying.
When I was in high school I played basketball. A teammate and I went on to play college ball together. I’ve always been pretty quiet, laid back and a follow-the-rules kind of gal. Pretty much the opposite was true with this gal our freshman year.
She liked to live on the wild side and push the limits. She had a challenging attitude on the team. We sort of clashed at this point. I was going to be an RA the next year and found out she was going to be on my floor. I was worried and fearful that I would not be able to keep control of that floor with her on it!
I don’t remember what prompted me to this, but I put a little dot sticker on my watch. I made a commitment to pray for her each time I looked at the dot. I prayed for God to move in her life. For God to draw her to Himself. I did’t always know exactly how to pray, so sometimes I would just say her name.
God knew. She came back that fall a changed woman, on fire for the Lord! She had gotten to a low point and met a woman that helped her gain an understanding of who God is and she gave her life over to Him. She became one of my best friends. She married a pastor and has served beside him, impacting the lives of many for Christ in so many countless ways.
This is not a story of my little dot prayer, but about a God who changes lives and allows His people to be conduits of His grace for eternity.
My distracted brain needs a pen to think. I spend a bit of time each morning writing down my prayers to God. This started back in high school. I’m not sure how I began this habit – but it’s been one of the best parts of my day! I now love going back to see how God has worked in my life.
As a Junior in high school, I began praying for the man I would marry one day. I wrote a pretty extensive list, but things that were very important to me. So when I met, Brad, who is now my husband, it didn’t take long to know this was the man.
God went above and beyond in providing me a husband that had the many qualities God had prompted me to pray for back in high school.
God doesn’t always give us what we ask for, but as we grow in Him – we begin to ask for things that are more in line with His will. Our perspective changes and our prayers grow and mature just like everything else in our life. It’s a lifelong process.
Prayer is not just presenting our requests to God, but also a way to praise and worship Him. It is also in prayer that we confess our sins and seek His forgiveness. Prayer doesn’t need to be rigid. Prayer doesn’t require fancy words.
Prayer does take humility. It also takes faith. I realize when I don’t pray, it’s because I don’t believe He can move in that situation. When my faith is strong, so are my prayers.
Our prayers should be balanced. We don’t appreciate visiting with a friend and only listening to all of their requests or complaints. That would be exhausting!
We talk, we listen, we share our heart, we thank them for how they have been there for us and we ask how we can help them. Here is a balanced approach to prayer using a simple outline, A – C – T – S.
Give God praise for who He is. Worship Him for His many attributes that you learn about Him when you study His Word. When we recognize who He is, our problems often seem much smaller in comparison.
Get honest about your sin. Confess it and and accept His forgiveness.
Thank God for how He has been at work, how He has answered your prayers and what He has done for you.
This is when we humbly bring our requests before God. We might have situations in our own life, family members and friends that we need to be praying for. We can pray for healing, wisdom, peace, comfort, provisions, guidance, etc.
A balanced approach to prayer allows us to grow in our relationship with our Father in Heaven. It allows us to keep a high view of God and view our problems in light of His power and the eternal purpose He may have for them.
Prayer will often do more in changing us than our situations. Prayer is powerful, effective and essential for every Christian! As we look back at how He has answered our prayers it increases our trust in Him and reminds us of His faithfulness.
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”James 5:16b
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”Philippians 4:7
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Purchase a prayer journal or notebook.
Find a time each day you can briefly write down your prayers. Maybe it’s a gratitude journal and you write your what you are thankful for. Maybe you jot down your adoration and every time you learn a new attribute of God you write it in this notebook.
Perhaps you write down each family member’s name and you write a prayer for each of them knowing the personal struggles they have.
Prayer doesn’t have to be written to be effective. However, it is an amazing, powerful discipline that will bless you richly!
Don’t get caught up in the method or the specifics, but humbly come before God each day and seek Him and pray to Him.
Looking for a Journal?
If you are looking for a way to study and apply the Bible as well as have some promptings to apply God’s Word to your prayers, would you consider purchasing this Bible Study and Prayer Journal?
This is a project my daughter and I did together. I have loved it so far. I am a part of a Bible Study with specific questions. But I love using the simple prompts in this journal to summarize and drive home the main points of the passage so I begin to actually make life changes with what I am learning.
It then gives prompts for turning that passage into prayers.
Here’s what one customer had to say,
“This is a wonderful technique for the beginner Bible reader for understanding God’s Truth and how it applies to your life, but also for the seasoned Bible reader for digging deeper into God’s Word. The format is inviting and draws you in to discover God’s Word and how to apply it to your daily life through study and prayer. Really applicable for young to old. A wonderful discovery!”JB
If you need to check out the any of the previous steps in becoming a Balanced Beauty, click below.