By Adam Pursel
So many of us want a more consistent and life-giving prayer life, but we’re not sure how. Here is a simple format to follow to help you grow in prayer: Reflect, Respond, Request.
Reflect and respond actually go together, and are the two parts of this format that people often skip. If you do that, you’re missing the best part! I’m not saying you can’t jump straight to requests in your prayers. I am saying that if you NEVER spend time reflecting and responding to God in your prayers, your prayer life will be lesser for it.
Reflect is simple. Just take some time to think about God. Reflect on:
- Who He is (holy, righteous, powerful, merciful, loving…) and
- What He has done (given His Son to secure our salvation, provided us with food and clothing and shelter…)
If you need help with this part, Psalm 103 and Psalm 145 are great places to start.
As you reflect on who God is and what He has done, take some time to respond to Him with repentance and rejoicing. Repentance is the act of turning our lives back towards God in faith. Often, as we reflect on Him, the Holy Spirit will bring to mind areas of our lives that are currently out of alignment with His perfect Word. As that happens, we confess those sins to God and ask for His help in obeying Him more fully. This leads directly to rejoicing. Not only can we rejoice in God’s greatness and goodness, but we also can rejoice in the forgiveness and grace that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ! Don’t be afraid to confess your sins to Him. He already knows, and His Word has promised that He is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…which is worth rejoicing in!
Asking God for stuff is the part of prayer that most of us are familiar with. As you do this, please remember two things.
- Remember that God actually commands us to bring our requests to Him with boldness and persistence. You’re not bothering Him, you’re delighting Him!
- Remember to ask God about more than just me and mine. God loves you, and He loves the people you care about. But we need to remember to pray for more than me and mine. We also should pray for mission. Pray for missionaries around the world. Pray for your one. Pray for more churches to be planted, more missionaries to be sent, more people to hear the Gospel, more food for the hungry, more kids learning to read, more care for the widow and the orphan and the sojourner…in short, pray “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
That’s it! Reflect, respond, request. May the Lord bless you as you go to Him in prayer.