16 Sep Prayer Made Easy
One of the best ways to develop a closer relationship with God is through prayer. Prayer is our way of speaking to God, but I’ve come to realize that quite a lot of people do not know how to pray. I can’t imagine going through life without speaking to God and Jesus every day. I need God’s help! There is a tremendous amount of power in prayer. God hears our prayers and He acts. He may not answer every prayer because He knows what’s best for you. Sometimes we pray from our limited vision, but if we pray for God’s will to be done, His vision and His plan for our lives jumps into action.
There’s an acronym that I love called PUSH. It stands for Pray Until Something Happens. How many of you know that so often in life you have to push through tough circumstances? If you stay in a constant state of prayer about any situation, something will most definitely happen. The apostle John confirms the importance of prayer when he says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
There are a lot of different types of prayers, but for people just trying to start praying daily, I’ve come up with a really simple way to guide us through our prayers with the acronym PRAY.
Praise. Repent. Acknowledge. Yearn.
First we Praise:
Human beings are obsessed with adoring things, but most often they are the wrong things. We give great honor, time and money to adoring celebrities and athletes, watching every move they make, what they wear, how they live. But when we praise and adore God, something happens in our lives. Our focus turns to Him and the details of our circumstances can no longer hold us prisoner. We become less. Our problems become less and God becomes more. When we pray prayers of adoration, we are adoring God and in awe of Him. We are praising God for His love, His goodness, His faithfulness and His majesty. First and foremost in our prayers, we lift our voice to praise, worship, and adore God, and give Him our undivided love.
Next we Repent:
This is where we cry out to God in our failures and our sin. As we recognize those places where we have fallen short of the glory of God and stepped out of obedience into sin, we must humble ourselves, confess our sins to God and ask Him for forgiveness. In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. We have assurance that sincere and honest repentance before God will be met with forgiveness. Repenting of our sins gives us a fresh start and new hope, knowing that we don’t have to carry around all that baggage. We are forgiven!
Then we Acknowledge:
What if you had a sick friend and you did everything for her. You babysat her kids, folded her laundry, cleaned the house up, and made dinner. What if you did all that for her and she never even said thank you or acknowledged it at all? How would that make you feel? When people help you and take care of you, how worthy are they of your thanks and gratitude? Well, it’s the same with God. He does so much for us and He is worthy of our thanks and gratitude.
When we acknowledge God, we recognize all the many wonderful things He does for us. We give Him thanks and honor and let Him know how grateful we are for His blessings and for answering the prayers we say for our family, health, work, marriage and Christian growth. Living with a deep sense of gratitude for all God has done for us helps us to grow into stronger believers with a more intimate relationship with Jesus.
Finally we Yearn:
Think of all the things you yearn for in your life. It’s important to lift up our requests to God and make known to Him the desires of our heart. For most people, this is daily because let’s face it . . . We need a lot! Prayers of yearning are divided into two groups. Petitions, or requests we make for ourselves, and intercessions, requests we make on behalf of others. Philippians 4:6 Paul says “Do not worry about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
God wants us to let the desires of hearts be known. We come to Him often with requests for ourselves, and others. But always we need to remember to pray for God’s will to be done in these requests. We don’t know what the future holds and we don’t always know what’s best for us. So if we pray a prayer that could actually be harmful to us or take us way off the path of where God wants us to be, that could be a set back in our journey. But if we let God know where we are and what we want, but still always pray that His will be done in our lives, we can be sure that God will always have the best outcome.
There are a few other types of prayer I’ll go over quickly.
Prayers of Lament – Prayer that comes from pain and suffering, from grief or distress. When your heart just cries out for God to help you through any difficult or unthinkable situation.
Prayers for Spiritual Warfare: As you grow as a Christian and become more aware of how the devil works, God can grow you into a very strong warrior for His Kingdom as you learn to pray against the powers of darkness and fight evil in the spiritual realm.
Prayers of Invocation: Where you call upon God to be present in a special circumstance, as in healing prayers, or immediate help for someone in danger.
One final prayer I want to share is called a Breath Prayer. This is a short simple prayer that you can say under your breath any where you are and just repeat it as often as you want. Depending on the circumstances, it can be anything you want. If you struggle with anger, which can happen to all of us at times, I say “God, reduce me to love.” With this prayer, God can strip away everything in me that isn’t from Him. It brings about more of God and less of me and helps me to see the situation through the eyes of Jesus and not my human eyes. Another Breath Prayer is just saying the name of Jesus over and over again. Or a scripture or saying that brings you comfort. The Lord is my strength and my shield. The idea is to have a prayer on your lips at all times.
The perfect scenario, and a life lived in deep faith, will have a well-rounded prayer life – praising and worshipping God, confessing and repenting of our sins, acknowledging and giving thanks to Him for all His blessings and favor, and sharing our yearnings with God for help in our lives, and the lives of others. Jesus prayed continuously throughout His life and He set a perfect example for us to follow. The more we pray, the closer we become to Jesus, the less our problems become our focus, and the greater our faith grows.
Make sure you talk to Jesus every day. You will see the difference in your life if you just remember P.R.A.Y.