This past Sunday at the Suncoast we started a new series on prayer simply called, "Prayer". So, today I thought I would share a little of my own prayer life with you guys. Again, my disclaimer on Sunday... I don't think I am that great at it and I have so much more to learn, but here is what I have found along the way:
Write them down...
For about the past 7 or 8 years I have been writing down my prayers. The first go around I created a Word document and just kept adding to it for an entire year, then I would print it out and start a new one for the new year. That was good because it kept me focused, but I got bored with it. I am, dare I say it... a bit "artsy" so I got a journal and started writing down my prayers for an entire month at a time and then some daily ones as well. I also write down thoughts and impressions I get, AND any ways God has answered those prayers. Yes, and I can doodle!!!
Pray the "P's"...
Somewhere along the line I was studying the, "Lord's Prayer" that Jesus taught His disciples to pray and I found a way to remember the basic ingredients of what Jesus teaches. This is not the "right" way to pray. This is just what works for me and keeps me from always praying about myself!!!
Praise - start out by praising God for who He is and what He has done. The longer you spend here the bigger God gets and the smaller your problems get.
Purpose - this is where you surrender your will to God's will. Before you even get to your laundry list of request, you submit to His will. If you cannot get past this point then don't! Wrestling through this part of prayer is more important than anything else!!!
Pardon - this is where you confess your sins and ask God to create in you a clean heart and you declare your dependency on Him and Him alone for your salvation.
People - who do you know that needs some prayer, needs God to move in their life, this is where you bring them before God and pray on their behalf.
Notice we have been praying for a while now and still no mention of all the things we want from God... exactly!!! The FINAL part of prayer for me is:
Petition - what are your concerns, what do you need, what are your wants... ask your Heavenly Father here. You don't have to hide them or not pray for them, most of us just need to pray for them less! Praying the "P's" helps you do that.
Pray for someone now...
The final thing I want to share from my personal prayer life is when someone asks you to pray for them, or you tell someone you will be praying for them, do it then! It might only be a one line, simple prayer, but do it then OR ELSE YOU WON'T. Trust me!
Hope that helps. Hope Sunday's message gave you some hope and freedom. Don't miss this Sunday as we talk about the mystery of unanswered prayer.
What can I pray for you? Let me know! Hit me up with a comment, facebook, twitter or e-mail.