To start the New Year 2023, I have been spending one hour in prayer every evening before I go to sleep. One hour can go by slow if one is not prepared to structure the prayer time.
One of the things I learned during this time is to ask God to teach me to pray. Remember when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray? He gave them an outline to follow that covered all the necessary elements of a proper prayer. Most of us know the prayer that Jesus taught the apostles as the Lord’s Prayer.
God answers prayer and He answered my request for instructions on how to pray. The following is an outline He gave to help me structure my prayer time:
1. Adore–spend time in the presence of God, thank Him for who He is as God, and praise Him for all of His divine attributes.
2. Bless–name specific people that you want God to bless. They might be family, friends, co-workers, people who are struggling, or people who are in need of divine intervention.
3. Confess–admit your faults and failures to God. Ask forgiveness for transgressing His Holy law. You may have not done anything intentional, but we all have areas that need improvement. If you cant think of anything then ask God to show you what to confess.
4. Disrupt–pray against the devil and his angels. Ask God to shield you from their influence and to disrupt their evil strategies.
5. Empower–give God permission to guide your life and direct your paths. God respects our free will and He will not force Himself on those who resist His influence. Ask God to give us the spiritual power to fulfill the mission He has for our life.
This is the structure I am using to plan out my daily hour of prayer. I spend 10 minutes on each stage of the outline with the last 10 minutes spent in silence and meditation focusing on God and what it means to be part of His royal family.
Do you have time set aside everyday for prayer and devotion? How do you structure the time you spend in God’s presence?
We do not pray to inform God of our needs, wants, and desires. He already knows what we need. We are called to prayer as a means for us to spend time in His divine presence, to acknowledge our need of His guidance and protection, and to empower Him to do the work that needs to be done in our life.
Stephen Beagles (2023)
Gospel Adventist Ministries, Spiritual Director