Monday we studied what is referred to as the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. You know the one… “give us this day our daily bread”. We took it apart & looked at what the different portions of the prayer talked about. So real quick, let’s review:
Verse 9: Worship/recognition/reverence/respect for God almighty.
Verse 10: Belief in His promises
Verse 11: Prayer requests/daily needs to be met
Verse 12: Asking for forgiveness/ confession of our sins
Verse 13: recognizing and requesting His presence in our lives
We filtered it out to be more of a formula than a specific blue print of out prayers. So what do we do with that? How do we work this in to our daily lives? Today let’s look at 4 ways we can incorporate prayer into our lives on a daily – or even minute-to-minute – basis.
1. Pray the formula.
Pray about what pops into your head as you read through the formula of the Lord’s prayer. 1.) Praise Him and thank Him for who He is and what He does in our lives and in the lives of others and in this world. Recognize how big He is. 2.) Move on to telling Him that you believe in what He has promised us and what He has promised you in your life. Reiterate that you believe His words are true. 3.) Ask for His intervention/healing/blessing/etc. on those requests in your life and in that of others. 4.) Ask for forgiveness in the areas your fall short in. Recognize that you aren’t perfect, that He is, and that He has the power and desire to grow you as a person and a believer. 5.) Ask Him to be part of your day. God isn’t going to shove himself into your life. He wants an invitation to be part of your day.
2. Pray constantly and look for answers.
Prayer isn’t a “once and done” kind of thing. Prayer is a huge part of our relationship with the Lord. Just like we can’t have a marriage or friendship without communication, a relationship with our Father is dependent on our communication with Him. But we have to stop the habit of praying and walking away. Prayer changes things when we come to the foot of the throne of grace and intercede on behalf of others and ourselves.
This is actually where the idea of the prayer journal came from. To get things off my chest or to “let go and let God,” as I have come to learn that, requires that I write it down. But by writing it down, I also realized I would go back and read my prayer requests and look for answers. Sometimes things would go unanswered. Other times prayers would be answered, but maybe not in the way I expected them to be. Then at times, prayers were answered in a big way. Praying and expecting and anticipating the answer really changed my prayer life.
3. Pray at the beginning and through out your day.
When I began to start my days in prayer, I began to notice a difference in my days. I wish I could tell you that beginning your day in prayer will fix all your problems and that everything will be hunky-dory every day…but that would be a lie. It didn’t fix all my problems, but what it did do was cause me to look up, more than I was looking into my problems. I noticed a heavier reliance on Him and more of a relationship with Him. I can’t tell you why that is. I wish I knew, but all I know for sure is that when I start my days oriented in His direction, I am more likely to go to Him throughout the day as things filter through my mind.
4. Pray scripture.
This is probably the area I struggle in the most. I can’t always think up scripture when I am praying. My brain just doesn’t work that fast, but what I have been learning to do is pray as I come across scripture. If I come across a verse that strikes me, I will stop and just pray things in that verse. And it doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out thing. It is usually as simple as, “Lord, I want to be more like that” or, “God, please give me faith to believe that.”
As I was designing the first HFL prayer journal, this was where my intention was with the verses on each page. To give readers a place to start that day if they weren’t praying about anything specific. We can do this alongside whatever we are studying, too. As you do your quiet time, pray about one verse. It may not even be praying something into your life, but praying for wisdom or understanding of what you are studying or about the heart behind what His commands in the verse are.
The ways to incorporate prayer into our lives really are endless. If you sat down and talked with me about this I could go on for a long time probably, but the main thing to remember, as Keisha said in our first study, is to start somewhere. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy or even well thought out. The Lord knows our heart. He knows our need. He simply just wants to hear them from us.