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7 Steps to Prayer
A How to Guide!
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
-- PSALM 100
Step 1 : Place and Time
Pick a quiet place that you can go to every day where you will not be disturbed by outside distractions. Also try and find a consistent time that you can pray every day. Start off small, say 10 or 15 minutes and work up from there. The most important thing is to develop a pattern where you can pray on a daily basis.
Step 2: Worship and Praise
Start off you prayer time by giving praise to God for all of the good things that he has done. Praise him for who he is, for his gift on the cross, for the things that he is doing and has done in your life. An easy way to start out is to say "I praise you Jesus for..." Examples include: You are the Lion of Judah...You are my Hiding Place...You are my Joy....You are my Provider...You are the Alpha and the Omega...You are all I need. Use the Psalms to help you out. They contain many passages of worship. This is also a great time to sing to the Lord. Use songs of praise.
Step 3: Repent and Surrender
Because we are all human we make mistakes and fall short of the glory of God. By admitting our mistakes and asking for forgiveness we put ourselves back into a right relationship with God as his blood covers over our sins. We then surrender our lives to God so that he has the ability to most us into righteous and godly people. Here is an example prayer for a book entitled "Miracle Hour":
"God, I am sorry for the times that I have hurt other people, I repent for any stealing, lying, gossiping, envy, hatred, jealousy, or lack of love, and especially for ______________. I bring these to you and ask your forgiveness. I ask you to transform me so that I might avoid these sins. I surrender my life to you. I love you Lord. Thank you Jesus."
Step 4: Guidance of the Holy Spirit
After Jesus left this earth he promised us his Holy Spirit to help us in our Christian walk. It is important for us to ask for the Holy Spirit to continue to work in our lives. Pray for the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. Pray for the gifts of the Spirit, some of which are found in I Corinthians 12: Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Faith, Miracles, Prophesy, Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues.
Step 5: Read the Bible
The Holy Scripture is the primary way that God communicated to us. Spend a few minutes each prayer time reading scripture and let God speak to you through his word. Start with the New Testament in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). They are the easiest to understand. There are also study books that help you go through the bible. Look at your church, many times there are study books for free there.
Step 6: Listen
Yes, God does speak to us. Spend some time in quiet and listen for the voice of God. Reflect on what he was saying to you in scripture. If you are not sure how to tell when God is speaking than ask God to show you. He will speak! It may take some time, maybe more than a few minutes or more than a day but if you ask God will make his voice clear to you.
Step 7: Intercession
This is the time to pray for your needs and the needs of others in the community. Pray for healing, for God to touch a situation or for a person in need and for the needs of the day. Make sure to remember to pray that God would be with you through the day and that he would protect you from temptation and the "flaming arrows of the evil one". It is a good idea to end with the "Our Father".
Author: Joshua J. Ater
Corpus Christi Generation Chi-Rhos Youth Ministry.
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