Have you wondered if there is a “right” way to pray? I remember being taught early on in my walk as a believer that a good formula to follow was this: spend time praising God, confess your sins and ask for forgiveness, thank Him for all of His goodness and then bring your requests before Him.
I developed this habit early on and it has stuck with me through the years. The good thing is that I never feel like I am in a rut, even though the potential is there. Whenever we adopt a formula or model for doing something, it can quickly become mundane and lose its real purpose. However this formula works for me because it keeps me on task and helps to cover all of the important areas in my spiritual life.
This won’t work for everyone. We all have our own way of praying. So what it really comes down to is that there is no “right” way to pray. However, if you have been struggling with your prayer life then adopting a similar type of formula might help. Let me break it down a bit more.
I love beginning my prayer time by just worshipping God. This is my chance to express how I feel about Him. This can be done with your own heartfelt words, singing a song or putting on some praise and worship music.
Then I like to immediately get into that time of wiping my slate clean. When I daily ask for forgiveness, I find that it actually lessens the amount of forgiveness that I need. Here’s why…if I allow my sins to “pile up” and don’t bother to confess them for several days I have not allowed myself to be prepared to handle sin when it comes my way. By daily confessing my sins, I am more prepared to handle those temptations to sin and am less likely to do it. So I find that daily confession helps me to resist sin.
Just yesterday I was in a morning Bible study group at my church where we are watching a video series by Beth Moore on the fruit of the spirit called “Living Beyond Yourself.” In the teaching yesterday she mentioned how so often we confess our sins but we don’t receive His forgiveness. So often we walk away and we still feel unforgiven. Part of confessing your sin is receiving His forgiveness.
Another thing that I do when I am confessing my sins is that I ask Him to show me sins I may have committed and have either failed to recognize or have forgotten. I want Him to reveal to me anything that could be hindering my relationship with Him.
Once I feel “cleaner,” I am ready to thank Him. I thank Him not only for His forgiveness of my sins but I recount the previous day’s blessings and thank Him for those. Granted there are some days when everything has gone wrong and I feel like I have to really stretch myself to come up with some blessings. Even if it is “Thank You for getting me out of bed and giving me air to breath,” I have at least recognized His hand in my life.
Once I thank Him, then I bring my requests before Him. I have a number of ways that I keep track of my prayers — which I will probably share in a future blog — but this is the time where I pray for my husband, children, my own day and any other important needs.
By the time I have finished I feel ready to face my day. However keep in mind that there is no “right” way to pray. It is what works best for you and keeps you in daily communion with your Heavenly Father.
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