Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Pattern for Prayer

As you can imagine, there were MANY references to prayer in the concordance of my Bible, but these were the three that spoke to me...

2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

James 5: 13-16: "Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

I have been thinking a lot lately about prayer. This is an area of my life I started struggling with in the last year. It is hard to run to God when you don't know what to say, or how to be angry at Him but still desire a relationship with Him. I must say, I have taken the easy way out many times in this area, and just haven't talked to Him at all, or at least minimally and those times were purely selfish for the most part.

In recent times, however, the closer I have drawn back to Him, the more I have been able to see what He has been showing me all of this time, but I have been unable, or unwilling, to see.

So, I have a quiet time every day, most of the times in the morning. Here is how I have laid it out: Prayer, Meditations (on the Indwelling Christ and how His presence manifests itself), Study (whatever Bible Study I am working on at the moment), Devotional (from Purpose Driven Life), Prayer (just a quick closing prayer of thanks). I was consulting the Emmaus handbook we received on my Walk about Patterns for Prayer. I have used this concept of prayer patterns before to help me focus my prayers so I don't get distracted (which happens VERY easily) and so that I am sure to focus on all I need to. I take very seriously a promise to pray for someone, and in order to keep that promise I MUST write it down. The last couple of weeks I have used the ACTS pattern...Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. It works alright for me, but I'm curious about what other patterns may exist.

During my time of research, the same idea has popped up time and time again and I know God is trying to tell me something. My sister-in-law's sister, my sister in Christ, fellow blogger and friend, Alicia and her husband, Chris, suggested I start a prayer/praise/blessings journal. I started one back in college, but it fizzled out. The thought had crept back into my mind merely days before she suggested it. I had accidentally caught glimpses of others' journals; God was really speaking to me about this. Then, in all of my researching on patterns for prayer, the journal idea has been mentioned MANY times as a source of reflection and growth. Okay, Father, you've got my attention!

So, I'm going to start journaling about my prayers, praise and blessings again. Please pray for this endeavor.

Also, I would love your input on the patterns you use for your prayers if you do so. Some don't need to use a pattern, or write it all out, but if you do, and would be willing to share, I would be grateful for the insight.


  1. In my prayer life I have to allow it to become my breath. I love praise and worship music. I have it going 24/7. That is prayer to God when I am singing it to Him,exhalting Him and get brought into His presence. I especially love, Glory Revealed a great CD that is all scripture put to music. You just sing His words back to Him. (our memory verse Jude 1:24-25) is one of the songs on the cd. God wants us to pray about everything. I just continueosly keep conversation going on all day and night with Him. I go to bed with a prayer of thanksgiving and my music playing. I wake to prayer of thanksgiving and music. Just in a spirit of worship.

    I do journal quite a bit. Especially if it is an area that I need to work through. I pray the word alot. (I need to do it more) God will sometimes give me scripture for different situations or people He wants me to pray. Sometimes I have one scripture He wants me to pray til I have got past that hurtle.
    I have also quit talking on the phone in the car when I am alone and just praise Him or pray. I have ask God to give me more alone time so I can communicate more.
    I also love having other women to pray with. Sometimes it takes two or three getting together and praying til a break through comes.
    I know God sees you are seeking Him.

  2. I love Melissa's advice - I think my problem is just sitting still long enough to hear him. I was reading Stormie's book on Prayer that changes everything and she says before you can full focus on prayer you have to be emmersed in the praise of God b/c that is how we get our focus off us and onto Him.

  3. I struggle with this, too. It would be safe to say I'm still "learning". So, I will be checking back often to see what kind of good comments you get on this post.

  4. Such great reminders and wonderful verses. I needed that today!

    I keep a prayer journal and love it; not only does it help me organize my thoughts, I also love going back and reading it--it is humbling to see how God answers my prayers over time, and how my prayers change.

    One method I will use sometimes is to list my praises, then my petitions, and then my promises...promises are mainly things I feel God is refining in me that I commit to Him and surrender to Him as well.

    I haven't journaled in a long time, and reading your post makes me want to get back in the swing of things. Thanks!

  5. I sometimes use the Lord's Prayer as a guide, Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:1-4. I don't think we need to say it word for word, but I use it as an example to guide me and then apply specific people's struggles or specific praises or issues in the world today. I know what you mean about the times when you just didn't pray at all. For a time I got to the point that I just knew God was sick of me praying the same thing over and over and over and I did the same stupid sins over and over so I just kind of quit praying for a long time. And Satan won win I did that. So no matter what you are praying, even if it seems short and simple, keep praying all the time. And I think the journal is a great idea because you will be amazed when you look back at it and see how your prayers were answered.


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