Prayer is a spiritual journey. Just as a journey from your present location to the other side of the country requires that you have a plan to reach your destination, you need a plan to assist you in your spiritual journey of prayer. Prayer is your personal communication with God. Since this is your spiritual destination every day, you need a plan to help you reach your destination effectively and consistently.
In my own life, I have observed that the greatest times in my prayer life have been those in which I followed a specific plan of action for prayer. Here is a plan that I have used from time to time, and I often customize it as I go. Perhaps it will help you or at least serve as a guide. You can modify this plan to meet your own personal prayer needs.
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The plan I am suggesting has four features that I believe make it accessible to everyone.
*Simple. This plan is simple for everyone to use. Whether you want to move into another dimension in your prayer life or are teaching a child to pray, I believe this plan can be beneficial.
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*Sequential. There is a sense of order to this plan. If this is your first attempt to establish a prayer plan or you have used other plans, a sequential plan can help you. Simplicity combined with sequence produces relevance and productivity, particularly for followers of Christ.
*Specific. One of the reasons this plan is so dynamic is that it leads you to pray for people, ministries, organizations, problems, and situations in a specific manner.
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*Spiritual. This plan incorporates the Word of God into your prayer and encourages the dynamic of the Holy Spirit in the ministry of prayer.
You can modify this plan to meet your own personal prayer needs, but it can be a useful tool that will make a real difference in your spiritual life.
I believe it is very important to listen to God speak daily through His Word. What He says in His Word will prepare you to talk to Him and will influence what you say to Him in prayer. Always keep in mind that the Word of God and prayer go hand in hand. As you continue through the steps, keep your Bible open near you.
When you pray, follow these principles:
When you add focus-day requests to your times of intercession, you will have a healthy balance of prayer. Be careful not to overload this section because too many requests on your prayer list may overwhelm you and even squelch your desire to pray. But remember: Prayer is work!
I believe in the life-changing power of closing your time with God by writing a one-page letter to God. On this one page, you will be recapturing your main burdens as well as the joy of answered prayers. Journaling provides a means of concrete communication with God. It also provides a sense of relief from your burdens. As you document your walk with God in this way, your faith in the power of prayer will increase. Journaling can become one of the greatest dynamics in your prayer life.
This is a suggested plan intended to help you, not bind you. Feel free to customize it according to your desires. The Holy Spirit will work through this plan, granting you spiritual liberty as you communicate with God. In time, these steps will become natural for you. Do not make the plan itself holy. What is holy is when you meet with God in a personal and intimate way every day of your life.
Enjoy the journey! It’s worth it, so just do it!
This article is an adapted and condensed excerpt from Ronnie Floyd's book, How to Pray. Originally published on RonnieFloyd.com; used with permission.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, Immediate Past President of the Southern Baptist Convention, founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry, and host of the Ronnie Floyd on Life and Leadership Today podcast.
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Publication date: May 19, 2017