An Everyday Approach to Prayer
by Melissa Schaser, Pastor of Congressional Care
Many of us want to pray more, pray better . . . but we’re just not sure where to start. Especially in a season where we’ve weathered new circumstances, new fears, and new ways of doing life, we long to bring our stresses and questions and uncertainties before God.
In How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People, Pastor Pete Greig outlines an easy guide to use when engaging in prayer, encouraging people to P.R.A.Y.:
We begin by Pausing. This means physically stopping, but it also means pausing our minds so that we may fix our attention on God. Look around for what may be distracting you. Are you awaiting a text? Is the TV on? Are there tasks undone or upcoming events that you need to release before entering into a time with God?
After pausing, we Rejoice and Reflect. Here we celebrate who God is and remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness. During hard seasons it may be tempting to simply ask God for help. But if we start by naming who God is and the ways He has provided in the past, we can receive comfort and strength in the truth that God is big enough and compassionate enough to hear us and provide.
We then Ask. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” When we pray, God wants us to name what we desire. This does not mean that we are entitled to receive all that we ask, but it does mean that in humility, we can acknowledge that our God is a generous provider, and He calls us to rely on Him for all that we are and all that we have.
Finally, we Yield to God’s will. The Lord’s Prayer closes with the lines, “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.” As children of God, participants in God’s Kingdom, we recognize that God is God and we are not. We worship a God who loves and cherishes us, a heavenly Father who already sacrificed His Son on our behalf so we may rest in our relationship with Him. Therefore, we can trust in His will and surrender all to Him.
This P.R.A.Y. method of prayer can allow us to come before God—in times of pain and in times of joy—with whatever we are carrying and to lay it before God. I encourage you in the coming weeks to try this prayer guide. If it feels overwhelming to try it on your own, you can download the Lectio365 app, which has morning and evening devotions that follow this P.R.A.Y. guide. And if you find yourself going deeper in your prayer life and feel called to pray with others, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have you join one of our CPC prayer teams.