As we approach the end of the year and are anticipating a new year, we may lose track of the days and before we know it, a day, a few days or a week or longer have gone by and we haven’t had any time with the Lord. Christmas keeps us so busy with the hustle and bustle of shopping, cooking, cleaning, and collapsing in our beds at night that we fall asleep as we are saying our prayers or perhaps before we even start.
Today I have a special guest with us, Gina Duke. She is the author of Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray. Maybe, we need to clean out the things in our life that are getting in the way of praying or we just need to re-organize our life to include more of Jesus. Whatever, your situation I hope you will take a few minutes to read where Gina shares a few prayer tips with us.
So here’s Gina . . .
Perplexing Pixie Cuts & Scripture-Guided Prayers
by Gina Duke
I don’t know if you have ever thought about this or not, but I have never understood how my hair stylist knows which hairs on my head to cut to get the style I want. When I look at hair and envision a pair of scissors in my hand, there is no way I would be able to figure out how to cut a pixie. This is how I used to view prayer. I thought that prayer may only be something that well-trained prayer warriors could do effectively. Prayer is one of the easiest things we can do as believers; however, by and large, I think we are mostly bad at it. Have you ever noticed this?
Some people like to use different prayer models to facilitate their prayer time, such as the acronym ABC for Abiding, Believing & Confronting. Some use the ACTS acronym for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. And some use the Lord’s Prayer as their model.
One thing I like to use is structured prayer journaling, but I’ve also discovered something else lately that has been a great help—scripture-guided prayer. Every now and then I run across a scripture that further aids my approach. Would you mind if I share a couple with you?
Psalm 100:4 (ESV)
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Whenever I have trouble getting started in prayer, I begin to list those things that I am thankful for that day and then I give God praise. Psalm 100:4 tells us how to properly do this. Note that this verse says, “Give thanks to him; bless his name.”
Let’s say that I thank God for healing, so I will bless His name, Jehovah-Rophi!
When I thank God for provision, I bless His name, Jehovah-Jireh!
And so on…
Aren’t we prone to just gloss over praise and thanksgiving? Well, Psalm 100:4 changed all of that for me, and I hope it does the same for you.
Matthew 7:7 (ESV)
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
With this verse, I began to organize my prayer requests. For those requests that are typically the most heart wrenching and completely out of my control, I simply write an “A” beside that request. For petitions where I need wisdom, I write an “S” and I then begin doing some seeking. I go to God’s Word and I go to my godly mentors. Lastly, for those requests that could benefit from my participation, I place a “K.” It’s not enough to only pray that someone comes to know Jesus, when I can also share the gospel message with them. A designated “K” signals me to take action! See how that works?
This is how I partner with God in prayer, and it has helped me to be much more engaged.
Herbert Lockyer, Bible scholar and author of All of the Prayers in the Bible, declares that there are 650 prayers mentioned in scripture, along with 450 answers. Add in all of the scriptures about prayer to these testaments, and we end up with a solid guidebook for prayer.
Perhaps you have your own helpful scriptures? If so, please feel free to share them in the comments section.
Award-winning author Gina Duke loves organizing prayer closets through structured prayer journaling. Her book Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray was awarded the 2014 BEST book on prayer by Christian Retailing Magazine. She is a wife, mom conference speaker and Christian blogger at GinaDuke.com. You can also follower her on Instagram and Twitter @TheGinaDuke
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