Today, I want to introduce you to a simple but effective tool to help you engage in prayer and connect with God. It’s an acrostic that you can use to remember the different parts of prayer. While there’s no right or wrong way to pray, there are ways that are more effective. This tool, will help you get the most out of your prayers. What I love about it, is it helps me remember to include things in my prayers that I know are effective no matter when or who I’m praying for.
P – Posture & Praise
R – Receive (listen & connect with God)
A – Act
Y – Yield (surrender)
P – Posture and Prasie
I always begin my prayer times by taking a humble but confident posture with God and by praising him for something. I’ll often tie that praise to the situation I’m praying about. For example, if I’m praying for healing, I will praise God because he knows every cell and atom in our bodies and thank him for being the ultimate physician. It can also be very effective to bring truths from Scripture into the prayer at this point. For example, if I’m praying for an answer of some kind, I’ll thank him for being a good father, who has good things for his children and praise him because he knows all things and is the keeper of wisdom. I’ll then thank him for the promise that he gives wisdom to those who ask.
R – Receive
My second step in prayer is to receive from God. This might be receiving instruction about how or what to pray, it might be letting him renew me and restore me. If you don’t regularly hear from God, you might want to check out Intro to Listening Prayer and Listening Prayer pt. 2. This time of receiving can also include breathing prayer, Lectio Divina, or just sitting in silence as God does his work in the spiritual realm. When praying for someone, while I’m with them, I find it helpful to practice breathing prayers while quietly or silently asking God how to pray. Then, when I think I know how God wants me to pray, I’ll continue.
A – Act
This is the part of the prayer time when we take action. We could be asking God for forgiveness, protection or healing for ourselves or someone else. Or we might be engaging in spiritual warfare or intersession. Remember, to let God lead you to your action. This is another point at which it is helpful to bring the promises of Scripture into the prayer. For example, “Father, I ask your forgiveness for ______ and I thank you that you have forgiven every sin and made us righteous through Christ.
If you’re not sure what you should be praying about go back to receiving until God shows you. Also, in extended prayer times, I will often cycle through receiving and acting several times. For example, God might ask me to seek forgiveness about something during receiving so I’ll take that action then go back to receiving to get the next instruction. He might then have me pray for healing for someone so I’ll take that action and then go back to receiving. Depending on the situation, you may cycle through these two several times in one prayer session.
Y – Yield
Finally, we close out the prayer time by surrendering to God and accepting whatever he has for us. Remember it’s, “Thy kingdom come” not “my kingdom come.” It is often helpful, especially if you’ve made requests, to pray something like “God, we believe that you are going to do this and we are praising you in advance for it. But no matter what, we trust you, we love you and we worship you.”
Remember, there’s nothing magic about these steps. This is just a simple way to help stay connected with God and let him lead you as you pray. I encourage you to try it and see what happens. Let us know in the comments.