Find this book and others by the author at Amazon by clicking HERE.
I just want to take a few minutes and share with you a method that I have used to really help my prayer life – to have more effective prayers and to have more focus in prayer. Some of you may already have something or may have been taught this before, but I know many, many people who haven't. So I felt led to share this today.
What I am recommending for anyone who is struggling with consistent prayer, or focused prayer – wondering why their prayers aren't effective, feeling like they are “hitting the ceiling,” feeling maybe like God doesn't hear them or God doesn't care – this is something that will help. It has helped me so much, and if it helps someone else, or if it even helps many people – please share this video! The only way your friends and other people will know, is if you help me share. Could you imagine if all around our country and on facebook, if people started learning to pray effectively and started applying this – how it could change their lives?! How many lives could be changed?! For someone, a Christian who has de-churched themselves and doesn't go to church anymore – and it could be for valid reasons. Or maybe someone who hasn't “plugged in” anywhere with a faith group and they haven't learned these things. Oh, it could be such a change in their lives, because we know prayer changes things in a big way.
This does line up with the teachings of Jesus. I'm not going to go into all the background here because I want to get right to the recommendation.
Basically, it is a four step prayer. The first step has two parts, we will say part 1a and part 1b. When you start praying, the first thing that you do is you thank God and praise God for who He is. You actually begin your prayer with praise to Him, in recognition of who He is and His characteristics. And that sets your heart in the right place. So you start your prayer with “Thank you, Lord, for ____(whatever comes to your mind – for being so powerful, for being so great. Thank you Lord for all your love and that you are in control. Thank you for hearing me).____ Then you start transitioning from thanking God for who He is – for His characteristics – to thanking Him for things He has done, for you and for us and for the world. Thank you. So you start off with a time of just thankfulness and praise, thanking Him for what He has done, and that sets your heart and releases anxiety that you may be carrying over the response, or the answer to your prayer. So it is a great way to start a prayer, and as you know, Jesus recommended, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” He started with recognition of God in an honorable, praiseworthy, thankful way.
Then step two is confessing your sins. Of course I always have some sins that come right to mind, and then I ask God to bring anything to mind that I need to confess. This is also when I – in my prior videos I share that every day I ask God to reveal grudges and any bitterness in me – I ask Him to bring those to my mind, so that I can confess them and ask Him to take those out of me, and to give that load to Him. Now, this is the best thing – after you pray and confess your sin, let it go by telling God, “I confess this, and I accept your forgiveness. That is a big difference than just confessing. Because the Bible tells us that if we confess our sins, He will forgive them. It's spiritual law. If you confess, with an authentic and contrite heart, if you confess and wish to repent – He will forgive it! It is done! Because what some people do, and maybe they feel as if their prayers are less effective, is they keep confessing the same thing over and over again to God in their individual prayers. So after entering [prayer] with praise and thanksgiving to God for who He is and what He has done, then you confess your sins. [As an example], “Dear Lord, I got really angry, and I was rude. I'm sorry. I confess my wrong attitude. I want you to help me change, and I accept your forgiveness.” And I have found that adding that phrase after you confess each sin, just saying, “and I accept your forgiveness,” it just releases that burden and the angst even further because you can take that promise. He's forgiven me! He's forgiven me.
So there is step 1a and 1b, and then step 2, and then step 3 is when you move from confession to the third part of the prayer, which is the requests. This is the part I don't have to instruct anyone how to do. Everyone seems to know how to make prayer requests to God and to ask Him for things. You make requests for yourself, and requests for others in that time.
Finally, the last part (step 4) is closing it [the prayer] with letting Him know, “This is what I want; I really hope that this is within your will; but Lord if it is not I know that somehow - what your plan is, is what is best for me.” And when you pray like that, it kind of releases the control of the situation – that continuing anxiety. “I am giving it to You.” And this can be tough.
And another thing that I do – I will admit that I have been incredibly scattered in prayer. So one thing that I have started doing (I do this when I am feeling tired or having trouble keeping my mind focused) is I set a timer, so when I start my prayer I set the time for one minute. And I go through that first phase of praise and thanksgiving. Knowing that the timer (and I use a silent buzzer [on my phone]), knowing that the timer is going to go off keeps me focused. So I am not wondering like, ok have I prayed enough yet? It keeps me focused on the Lord, because I know that timer is going to go off. Now sometimes the timer goes off, and I need more time in that particular segment of the prayer that I am in. So then I will just hit reset – not reset, but re-start – and take another minute. For me, this has helped me so much. I know it sounds silly, and of course this is not the only way to pray. God hears all our prayers, but this has helped me so much, and I just want to share it with any of you. Then the timer goes off, and I am finished with that section [of the prayer], so then I go to the next part – the confession. Usually I do have to increase the minutes on the confession! "I confess....and I accept your forgiveness." And usually by doing this [with the timer], my prayers have extended. That wasn't even the original goal. The goal at first was just to see if I could pray for four or five straight minutes. But I find myself needing more time, because I am more focused.
So it has helped me, and it may help many of you if it is something that you want to try. Ok, so here's to effective prayer lives for millions of people.
Find this book and others by the author at Amazon by clicking HERE.
For a list of all free video teachings and transcripts in this series, go HERE.