A Simple Way to Pray
Prayer is our privilege, and that privilege is provided by God through his word. I want to encourage you in a simple way to pray. There are those in the church who have their way of prayer each day. But most of us struggle to have ‘a way of prayer’. We try different forms at different times. We try something for a while then our way slips away under the pressures of time and distractions. Sometimes we need help to ‘begin again’.
I have read and re-read Tim Keller’s book, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. It is a very helpful modern read on prayer. It reaches back into the biblical, theological, and ecclesiastical history of prayer, but it also makes prayer accessible for us as Christians today. Keller says that he learned to pray in the second half of his life. It is never too late to learn to pray, or to begin again to pray. In this book there are many helps in learning how to pray, or for rejuvenating a prayer life.
One that Keller offers toward the end of the book he entitles, “A Starter Plan for Daily Prayer”. If you are struggling in your life of prayer I want to encourage you to begin here. It is a 15 minute plan. Let me outline for you. This way of prayer requires the use of God’s word.
APPROACHING: Think of the privilege of prayer. Realize God is present.
- Ask him to help you pray.
MEDITATION: Read a Scripture passage and do the following with pen and paper:
- Discern one or two truths you learn there.
- Choose the one that most impresses you and write it in a sentence.
- Ask: How does this truth help me praise God? How does it show me a sin to confess? How does it show me something to ask God for?
WORD PRAYER: Now turn the answers to the three questions into a prayer
- Adoration (praise & thanksgiving)
- Petition (confession & asking in assurance of his grace in Jesus Christ)
- Supplication (asking him for what he wills)
FREE PRAYER: Pray from your heart.
- Pray about whatever needs are on your heart.
- Spend time thanking God for the ways you see him working in your life and caring for you.
CONTEMPLATION: Take a moment to thank and admire God for what he has showed you today. End with a word or thought of praise.
I encourage you to use some kind of plan for reading God’s word as a part of your time in prayer. There are a number of plans out there to assist you here. If you are beginning again or just getting started using this 15 minute plan let me encourage you to read a Psalm each day or a chapter or passage from one of the Gospels. You might also use the passages of Scripture that we as a church are hearing read and preached each Sunday. Those passages are in the order of worship each week or in the weekly email that arrives in your inbox on Tuesdays. Start with something you can accomplish. If you miss a time begin again where you left off.
God uses his word and prayer as a means of his grace in our lives. We have the privilege of participating in that corporately with his body each Sunday. But we can also be afforded that privilege each day in private prayer. I encourage you to start to pray or begin again.