Devotions: Prayer

prayer

This is not me praying. Hinterglasbild Psalm 119, 22 (Wikipedia)

Prayer is at the heart of my daily devotions.

“Prayer does not prepare us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”

~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Prayer is conversation between man and God. Genesis 3 indicates God walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening after their work was done. He expected to see them and spend time with them. He wanted to hear about their day.

Jeremiah 33:3, NKJV. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

 The Jeremiah passage indicates God is calling us to talk with him so that he can show us things we don’t know or understand; he wants to be in communication with us and engaged in our lives.

Because I often talk to God about what I’m reading in the Bible (which is how I begin), segueing into prayer is easy.

There are hundreds of books on how to pray.

Jesus himself gave the best example in the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew 6: 9-13

How to Pray

I use an acronym, PRAY, as an outline for prayer, especially during my daily quiet time with God.

The Lord's Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer ( Wikipedia)

PRAY

P= praise

R= repent

A=ask

Y= yield.

I just work my way through those four areas.

Praise

I begin by praising God for what he has done in my life; answers to pray, his character.

That enables me to remember I am talking about my life and the situations of others with the Creator of the Universe.

I’m not talking to a friend so much as someone who really does control everything.

Blessed be His name!

Sometimes I just sing a song or a hymn, anything to focus my mind on the majesty, character, ability and creativity of God.

Repent

God cannot look upon sin.

I need to clear my heart before him—confessing not only sins I recognize, but I use this time to tell Him what’s really bothering me.

Maybe I’m irritated with a friend because she always complains.

Maybe someone has upset me in another area.

Often, when I complain to God about that individual or situation, He reveals where the sin is in my life.

I don’t like it.

I don’t like having to confess.

But if I don’t . . .

I’ll be locked up and unable to live in peace with one another, not to mention God.

I spend a lot of time repenting . . . . !

Praising hands prayer

Praising hands (Wikipedia)

Ask

Once I’ve got set in my mind who I’m talking to and my soul is clean before Him, then I can ask for things—both for myself and for others.

I feel like God can hear me better, and I’m more comfortable asking Him for things then—though this often doesn’t take very long.

I think about what I’m asking–because I cannot ask God to do anything that is not in line with His will as demonstrated in the Bible.

If my prayer request isn’t something God would honor, there’s no point in asking.

I like what Father Tim says in Jan Karon‘s Mitford book, Out of Canaan. He and his wife Cynthia liked to pray “The only prayer that never fails: Thy will be done.”

Yield

I give the day, the situations, and my life over to God to use to His glory every day.

The day usually goes better as a result!

“To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.”

~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Tweetables

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This part 3 of a series. Part 1 is Devotions or Quiet Times?

Part 2 is Devotions: Bible Reading.

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