The WHAT of Prayer

It’s PRAYER-O-RAMA 2017 here on GUWG. Monday, we started with the WHY of prayer. Yesterday, we focused on the WHO. Today, we’ll discuss WHAT to pray.

So, what should we pray? Here are some suggestions straight outta the Bible.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Stuck on what to pray? The best place to start is Jesus.

When Jesus’ disciples asked him what to pray, here’s what he said. The words may be familiar but pray through each of them slowly with all of your heart, soul and mind.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today
our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
(Matthew 6:9-13)

PRAY THE PSALMS

John Calvin called the Psalms “an anatomy of all parts of the soul.” Pray through them and you’ll find honest depictions of every human emotion and experience: love, hate, joy, sorrow, peace, anger, gratitude and suffering.

There are 150 to choose from. Here are a few of my favorites: 1, 4, 5, 19, 23, 25, 30, 33, 40, 42, 51, 63, 100, 119, 136 and 139. You’ll find poetry, praise, passion, power … and prayer.

PRAYERS FOR THE SCATTERBRAINED

If you’re easily distracted like me, sometimes it’s helpful to have a memory device to keep you focused. Here’s one I use often:

A = Adoration
C = Confession
T = Thanksgiving
S = Supplication

PRAYER BYTES

All of the above are excellent, but my most frequent prayers throughout the day are much shorter. “HELP!” and “THANKS!” are my two favorites. Or I’ll pray through the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), asking God to give me love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Sometimes I’ll repeat a Bible verse as I go through the day, like: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

The possibilities are truly endless.

Tune in tomorrow when we’ll focus on the WHERE and WHEN of prayer. Until then, pray pray pray pray PRAY. And then pray some more.

(Image credit: Shutterstock.com)

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