While praying and trying to put into practice the call to “delight in the LORD” (see last week’s post) I stumbled into a sequence I found helpful and rewarding. It certainly isn’t in league with the model prayer Jesus gave us, and I don’t know that I will follow it often, but that morning it worked for me in a way that refreshed my time with the Lord in prayer. As I was praying four lines of thought came to me that formed my prayer.
LORD, I LOVE YOU . . .
In reflecting on the idea of delighting in the Lord I simply told Him I loved Him. In doing that it occurred to me that I probably don’t express my love to Him often enough. I don’t know why, but I proceeded to directly address each member of the Trinity telling the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each separately of my love.
LORD, I THANK YOU . . .
As I reflected on my love for the Lord I was reminded of how thankful I should be and am. Once I began noting specifics for which I am thankful my prayer of thanksgiving began to flow. I listed things any of us would mention, but then continued by thanking God for a variety of things I tend to take for granted and do not often express gratitude for.
LORD, I PRAISE YOU . . .
Having spent time thanking the Lord I was reminded of a distinction I learned many years ago between gratitude and worship. It isn’t that the two don’t go together, but I remember hearing someone suggest we thank God for what He does for us, but we worship Him for who He is. So I began to tell the Lord I praised Him and worshipped Him and honored Him for who He was. And I returned to directly addressing again each member of the Trinity noting specifically how I praised each.
LORD, I ASK YOU . . .
To be honest I surprised myself that I prayed as long as I did before I got to asking God for things. So often in my prayers I get to asking Him about things pretty quickly but on this morning it took a while. I still had a number of requests, but coming to the requests after the first three parts of my prayer made my asking seem different. Like pretty much everyone who will read this post, I have some troubling and heavy issues I took to the Lord. I’m not aware of any instantaneous resolutions that came about, but I did have a greater sense of comfort and calm about things.
I don’t know if what I have relayed to you is something you will want to try or not. What I do know is that thinking about and trying to put into practice the Psalmist’s call to “delight in the LORD” has made and will continue to make a difference in my prayer life.
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