Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My Personal Prayer Guide...

I thought I would post something that has been very helpful to me in the area of personal prayer. Many years ago as a college student, I read Dick Eastman's, The Hour That Changes the World. It's a small book that outlines a prayer strategy that will allow you to be in prayer for an hour. I have tinkered with Eastman's system over the years and my own prayer guide has evolved. This is a great system that incorporates 12 different focuses of prayer. By spending 5 minutes on each area of prayer, you will pray for a total of an hour. I would encourage you to begin with just a minute or so on each prayer aspect and work your way up. Eventually you will find yourself very easily spending hours in prayer when you are able. It's just a system and it may not work for you. I have found it to be extremely beneficial in my own personal journey of prayer. Feel the freedom to linger longer in a segment or to move quickly on to another based on the Spirit's leadership. The goal is to intimately interact with God. He is in charge! Follow His lead! In addition to Eastman's book, I have also been greatly influenced by Richard Foster's book on Prayer, Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home. I'm sure that you will find his thoughts included in the outline.

PRAISE--Begin your prayer by standing, lifting your hands and declaring all that God is. State outloud every name, description, and character trait that comes to mind. Personalize it! Get Excited! Shout and cheer!

WAITING--Get as comfortable as you can and bring your mind and spirit into a time of complete silence to the world. Think no thoughts but thoughts of love to God. Concentrate full attention on loving God with your whole being.

CONFESSION--Confess any specific sins you may be guilty of, either against God or your fellow man. Then invite the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal to you unconfessed sin. Listen carefully and then quickly repeat back to God everything that He brings to your mind.

SCRIPTURE PRAYING--Find a brief passage and begin to pray it back to God over and over again. You will probably memorize it. Personalize it for yourself. Apply the verse to situations in your life that God brings to mind.

DELIVERANCE--Become spiritually alert! Watch for the methods Satan may try to use to hinder your growth as a Christian. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal further spiritual facts about your needs. Ask for God's deliverance.

INTERCESSION--To intercede is to stand in someone's place. Get emotional about the people and things that you are concerned about. Feel their pain! Ask God for guidance as to how to pray for each specific need.

PETITION--Pray for your own needs.

THANKSGIVING--Thank God for everything that comes to mind. Move beyond words into an attitude of thanksgiving.

SINGING--Sing a hymn or a chorus outloud unto the Lord. Don't be shy! Sing loudly with a joyful heart.

MEDITATION--Consider in your mind what God is doing in your life. Ask God to show you the purpose of the events of your day. Ask God to accomplish His purposes.

LISTENING--Ask a question and then listen for an answer. What would you ask God if you knew that He was listening? He is listening--Ask! Be aware of scriptures that may come to mind in answer to your question. Write down any impressions that you may have so you don't forget them.

PRAISE--End your prayer as you began with joyful praise!


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Your blog sight is terrific! I have a blog too but it is on xanga so I'm not sure if I can comment on blogspot or whatever this is. I'll will email you my address later. You are such a good writer and your site is very professional looking. My blog is more crazy! I just started it to keep in touch with the kids. I had no idea how to blog so my example has been teenager's blogs. I think that's why it's so crazy. Mary P. in Texas

Dave Samples said...

Thanks, Mary. I'll look forward to visiting your sight.

sam said...

Saying a prayer can help us focus better.