This article was taken from God’s Revivalist and Bible Advocate in the Winter 2014 Issue. Special thanks to God’s Revivalist and Bible Advocate for giving me permission to use this article in my blog. It not only inspired me to take a closer look at my prayer life, but also a way to keep my prayer life from becoming a rut, or boring.
First let me say that we want to shy away from legalism anytime we talk about spiritual formation topics. It is so easy to fall in the trap that if I just do these ten things or follow this specific regimen, then I will certainly be in God’s favor. On the other hand, some Christians are so lackadaisical that they never make any effort to seek God earnestly. It is interesting the interaction Jesus had with His disciples about this topic: “Then He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’” (Mark 14:37-38).
Here is a good way to spend some time with God, whether it is for an hour or not. However, it does
work well to spend 15 minutes on each section.
About 140 times in Scripture it talks about how we should give worship and praise to God. The book of Psalms itself is full of this admonition to praise God. For example, “He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen” (Deut. 10:21). This verse alone should get us blessed. Think of scores of other admonitions throughout
the Bible encouraging us to praise God! You could take a whole hour just on this point.
As Wesleyan-Arminians, we don’t believe you have to practice sin as a Christian. When you get
saved and sanctified, it changes you and your desires so you don’t want to sin and hurt your relationship with God. However, this does not mean that there is not room for confession
in the life of a believer. With all of the strengths of the holiness movement, this has been one of our
weaknesses. That is, to believe that once you are saved that you never need to confess anything to God or others. The practice of confession is stated clearly in James 5:16: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another….”
Often by this point in your prayer time you will be feeling great. You have spent time giving God the praise He deserves and have confessed any sin or fault that He brings to your attention. Too many of us just plop on our knees with our “wish list” to tell God all that we need and never take the time to cover these two very important before-mentioned steps. The good news is that God wants us to ask Him for our needs and even our wants. Repeatedly in Scripture we are invited to come to God and
are told that He cares about our needs and situations. A favorite reference to illustrate this is found in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seek finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matt. 7:7-11)
Don’t make the mistake of believing that the sanctified no longer have anything to yield to Christ. Even though consecration is a major part of that work of grace in the life of a believer, the reality is there are things that come into all lives continually that we still need to be yielding to Christ. What a beautiful thing it is to finish your prayer time by just reminding God that you totally belong to
Him. Even though none of us deserve it, ask God to make you a conduit of His grace for that day to those who are hurting and need a hand. You will yield your time, treasures, and talent to Him once again. The other day I was leaving a restaurant with my wife. There was a sign in the window that said, “Prayer is the world’s greatest wireless connection!” I agree, so I invite you to P.R.A.Y.
Scriptures printed in article are taken from the NKJVArticle written by Dr. Mark S.F. Eckart (GBS BRE ’83), District Superintendent of the
Indiana South District of The Wesleyan Church, formerly served as a faculty member and Dean of Students at God’s Bible School.