One of my first blog posts of the new year was on prayer. I want to end this first month of the year re-visiting prayer.
Jesus tells us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
We break down prayer into various descriptions: petition, intercession, thanksgiving…ect. Yet prayer is not fundamentally about these. It is not fundamentally about waiting around to hear God speak to us. Fundamentally prayer is the breath of Christian life. And the funny thing about breathing is if you do not breathe, you die. Breathe or die. Pray or die. Abide or perish. And this pertains to your personal Christian life, that of your church, and the church universal. The whole point of entering into prayer is it allows us to enter into God’s and embrace and fills us with his breath of abundant life and joy. Jesus said he came to bring us life and life abundantly. (John 10:10) We breath in that life through prayer.
Something miraculous and powerful happens through Gods grace in us when we set aside a large block of time of an hour or more to pray. The enemy knows this and he will use anything from a dripping faucet to social media to interrupt it. In my posts back in the first week of January I detailed our covenant to IRCO 111.1 and I asked us all to commit each week to setting aside at least one, one solid hour block of time to commit to prayer. I want to remind you of this and encourage you begin and continue is this weekly commitment.
Some of us just have a hard time focusing on prayer for an hour and our minds drift and wonder. Don't get discouraged, keep at it! As a prayer aid I am giving you a great tool for prayer I received from Curtis Seargent, it is the Prayer Wheel. The Prayer Wheel divides on hour of prayer into twelve, 5 minute long each sections. The prayer Wheel is a wheel or pie that has 12 slices. Each “slice” is 5 minutes long. It aides you remaining focused in praying for n hour by breaking the hour down into 5 minutes sections. I have listed the 12 sections of the Prayer Wheel. Before you begin set the timer on your phone for 5 minutes or look at you clock. Then begin and spend 5 minutes in #1. Praise. After 5 minutes move to #2 Waiting. Continue praying this way through #12 and your hour of prayer will be complete. You can modify the time per section to 2 minutes each if you are at lunch or only have 30 minutes to pray, or add minutes to each section if you have more time to pray.
I pray you will commit to spending at least one solid hour a week in prayer.
Please share your comments on prayer. I would also love to hear reflections from those who since my first post have spent an hour of time using the Prayer Wheel.
Start your prayer hour by praising the Lord. Praise Him for things that are on your mind right now. Praise Him for one special thing He has done in your life in the past week. Praise Him for His goodness to your family. (Psalm 34:1)
Spend this time waiting on the Lord. Let Him pull together reflections for you. Think about the hour before you and the things you want the Lord to do in your life. (Psalm 27:14)
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you anything in your life which might be displeasing to Him. Ask Him to point out attitudes that are wrong, as well as specific acts for which you have not yet made a prayer of confession. Now confess that to the Lord and claim 1 John 1:9 so that you might be cleansed for the remainder of the hour before you, and then pick up and read the Word. (Psalm 51:1-19)
4. READ THE WORD
Spend time reading promises of God in the Psalms, in the prophets, and passages on prayer located in the New Testament. Check your concordance. (Psalm 119:97)
This is general request for others, praying through the prayer list, the prayer cards, or personal prayer interest on behalf of yourself and others. (Hebrews 4:16)
Specific prayer on the behalf of others. Pray specifically for those requests of which you are aware. (Romans 15:30-33)
7. PRAY THE WORD
Now take the Scriptures and start praying the Scriptures as certain sections of Psalm 119 lend themselves beautifully to prayer expression. (Psalm 119:38-46)
Spend these minutes giving thanks to the Lord for things in your life, things on behalf of the church, things on behalf of your family. (Philippians 4:6)
Take your hymnal and sing a prayer song, sing a praise song, sing a song regarding soul winning or witnessing. Let it be a time of praise. (Psalm 59:17)
Ask the Lord to speak back to you and keep a paper and pen handy, ready to relate the impressions that He makes upon your life. (Psalm 63)
Spend time merging the things you have read from the Word, the things you have prayed, the things you have thanked the Lord for, the things that you have been singing, and see how the Lord brings them all together to speak to you. (I Samuel 3:9-10)
12. END WITH PRAISE
Praise the Lord for the time you have had to spend with Him. Praise Him for the impressions that He has given you. Praise Him for the prayer requests He raised up in your mind. (Psalm 145:1-13)