Last night I taught our youth group about prayer. The focus of the lesson was in the Bible book of James chapter 5, but I ended with a simple “How to Pray” section of my own. I used one simple method with them but would like to share a couple more with everyone.
1. The PRAY method
This is a simple and easy way to expand your prayer life. It will get you focus on four specific topics:
P for Praise
R for Repentance
A for Asking for Others
Y for Yourself
Just walk through each of these primary areas while you pray. Praise God for what he has done in your life and in the word. Then open up about your sins and the power you need to change. Third, you ask for the needs of others. This one is good to keep a list or some even keep a journal. Finally, you present the requests for your life.
2. The ACTS method
This is very similar to the first with minor variations
A for Adoration
C for Confession
T for Thanksgiving
S for Supplication
You start by praising God for his work in your life, move to confessing sin, follow that with thanking God for what he has already done. The end is a big word that basically means “asking.” This can be asking for other people along with asking for your own needs.
3. The Circles Method
This is one that I use often. I start with praying for myself. Then I pray for those closest to me like my spouse and my children. Next, I move out to my Church. Then to extended relationships and finally with people I do not know. Finally, I praise God and what he has done and what he will do. I am basically working a circle out from myself till I reach God.
For most people, prayer is an intimidating task. Where do we start? What do we say? I encourage you to take one of these simple forms and try it in your life. Before long a couple of minutes of prayer will grow into extended times with God.