We find ourselves looking at the nuts and bolts of prayer today. When you admire a beautifully crafted piece of furniture or a candy apple red corvette, you are not looking at the nuts and bolts holding it together. Take them away and you will BE LEFT WITH a heap of wood or metal.
Just like furniture and cars, our prayers need something TO HOLD them together, it comes in the form of discipline. We have some nuts and bolts for prayer. They are the building blocks, the foundation of heavenly communication.
Let’s gather some of the tools we need for communing with our Father. Our toolbox for prayer includes:
- When? Scheduling a specific time for prayer is necessary. Put it on the calendar or set up a reminder on your phone. You may need a different time on weekends than on weekdays. I change my time during different seasons, since I need to work outside early in the summer, avoiding the afternoon heat.
- Where? A prayer closet is not a literal closet, although it can be. A great example is the war room depicted in the movie bearing the same name. Find a place where you are not likely to be interrupted. That holds true for time also. This may vary on weekends and at various times of the year. Avoid schedule changes catching you off-guard. Think ahead and plan ahead as much as possible. This includes vacations and holidays. Our prayers will slip through the cracks if we fail to make provision for change.
- Bible. Keep it handy. If you use an app, don’t allow yourself to be distracted by phone calls and notifications. Praying through Scripture ensures you won’t repeat yesterday’s prayer word-for-word. It will inspire worship and add new dimensions to your prayer life. You may find particular sections of the Bible are your favorite passages to pray through. The Psalms make a great selection. Genealogies, not so much.
- Prayer list, journal, app. A prayer list reminds you of each request. When we list our supplications, it gives us time to consider all the aspects of the request. Is it selfish? Is it God’s will? Is it contrary to God’s Word? I tend to spend more time praying for others than myself when I utilize a list. Some great apps for prayer lists exist such as “We Prayers” and “Echo”. they offer categories and even a schedule. Some folks like to journal their prayers keeping record of answered prayer and writing them out. This also allows for variety. There is no room for the same dull routine prayer with these tools available.
- Once we establish a time and place, and we have everything handy, we can get down to business. A review of the Lord’s prayer will help us know what to pray. This may work great incorporated into your prayer list.
- We are part of a family praying to our Daddy who has heavenly resources.
- Worship. Repeat His attributes: holiness, awesome, merciful…
- Pray for His kingdom, not ours, this includes salvation for the lost and spiritual growth for the saints.
- Pray for God’s will.
- Pray for provision and sustenance.
- Pray for Forgiveness.
- Pray for protection from temptation and the enemy.
- Praise and worship.
Lord, ensure that we keep all the hardware of our prayer life running smooth. Help us focus on the bigger picture, time with You. Amen.