Confession - I am ridiculously stubborn and I like to feel as if I am in control of my time. Even though God has shown me time and time again that my peace and well being depends on spending time with Him, I often push Him aside to take care of “important things” that “have to get done.” Can you relate?
Because I own a business that provides Bible study supplies, I am usually involved in at least one, if not several, Bible studies. This makes it easy to let my prayer life slip. After all, I am studying His word - isn’t that enough? Well, nope, it’s not.
Several years ago I realized that my time spent in Bible study, while super important, does not replace the need to have a prayer relationship with my Father. Prayer is certainly a BIG part of studying, but God wants to have a relationship with us. A real life, two way, intimate relationship with us. And relationships require sharing and communication.
I can always tell when my prayer life is slipping because my anxiety will start to skyrocket. And the only fix is getting back to basics and spending daily time with God focusing on our relationship.
Thankfully, I have found a prayer system that really works for me and I want to share it with you. Now some of you may not need a “system.” You may even balk at the thought of adding a prayer system to what might be a wonderfully organic relationship with your Father. I totally get that. And honestly, I am a little jealous. But for me, systems help me to be accountable and they keep me on track.
(Disclaimer - I do sell this system in a Guided Prayer Journal in my shop if you would like to check them out. BUT, you can absolutely do this in a spiral notebook. No need to purchase anything fancy.)
This system has 6 aspects: praise, thanksgiving, confession, repentance, requests and intercessory prayer. I know that sounds super formal but stick with me - it’s much more personal than it sounds. What makes this system different is that it focuses on what’s happening in your life right now. In the past I would repeatedly pray in the same general terms everyday, rather than looking for the specific ways God is working in my life on a daily basis. Let’s break it down.
PRAISE - List 5 praises that you find in scripture and note the book, chapter and verse you found them in. God reveals Himself in scripture and by searching for His attributes in His word you will get to know Him better.
THANKSGIVING - List 5 things you would like to thank God for that happened in the last 24 hours. This was a game changer for me. No more thanking God for my family, friends, house, etc, day after day. Now I thank Him for the small gifts He gives everyday. And sure, my family, friends and house are a part of that, but I am much more specific now. And, I am so much more aware of Him moving in my life every single day.
CONFESSION - List 5 things for which you need to ask God’s forgiveness that happened in the last 24 hours. Again - focusing on daily occurrences helps me to not just gloss over things with generalities. It also keeps me from dredging up old sins that He has already forgiven me for.
REPENTANCE - Ask God to help you make the changes needed to turn away from the 5 things you confessed. Ask for His help and guidance to make needed changes in your life.
REQUESTS - Ask God to help you with 5 things you need help with today. Focus on what is happening now in your life and ask God to be a part of it. He wants us to ask Him - to invite Him - into the details of our lives.
INTERCESSORY PRAYERS - Spend a few minutes lifting up others in prayer.
In all honesty, I don’t always get through 5 of every section. Some days it’s 3, some days it’s more. But the important thing is spending time with Him and inviting Him into the details of your life.
If you decide to try this routine, I pray it blesses your life as much as it has mine.