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.
Respond with any comments below and feel free to share this post.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/62698615@N08/6044747780″>Highchair Blue Praying</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>
Good stuff! we can and should always be ready to hit the refresh button on prayer!
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Your post was a timely reminder for me. I think this might prove helpful to me during my morning prayer time. I am encouraged by your observation that your time of asking was impacted and your sense of peace was greater when you first expressed your love, praised and then thanked God.
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Let me know how it goes.
This is good stuff and I think will be helpful for me. I’ve been in a rough place the last couple of months and even at times feel like I am in a funk. Because of this, I feel like lately at times I am praying for God with a bunch of requests, but I don’t tell Him I love Him, praise Him, or thank Him enough as I should. Thank you for this reminder Pastor Bob. I think I will try this out a little when I pray. Also, I will continue to pray for you too. Thanks again
Andrew you are a good guy and I appreciate you very much. You pray for me, and I will pray for you right now.
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