Learning to pray and actually doing it is a lifelong discipline. Dick Eastman has mentored me and many followers of Jesus in prayer. One of his helpful resources is called “How to Spend an Hour in Prayer.” One hour can be divided up into twelve five-minute points of focus. Some will only take one minute while some may take more than five minutes.
1. Praise. All prayer should begin with recognition of God’s nature. Praise is that aspect of prayer, which vocally esteems God for his virtues and accomplishments. Psalm 63:3; Matthew 6:9-13
2. Waiting. Time should be given to being quiet in God’s presence. This is not meditation or just a time for listening; it is simply taking time to let God love you. Psalm 37:7; Isaiah 40:31; Lamentations 3:25-26
3. Confession. Sin can be one of the biggest roadblocks to answered prayer. Early in prayer we need to make time for confession. This clears the way for powerful praying. Psalm 139:23-24; Psalm 51;
4. The Word. When we bring God’s word into our prayer we are opening our eyes to new possibilities in God. At this point in prayer, read God’s Word. 2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 19:7-8
5. Intercession. Our prayers now center on intercession for a lost and dying world. This concerns praying for others who have desperate needs. 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Psalm 2:8; Matthew 9:37-38
6. Petition. This aspect of prayer concerns our personal needs. To petition God is to open our need to God through prayer. Matthew 7:7-8; Matthew 6:11; James 4:2
7. The Word. Earlier we suggested you read God’s word. Now, pray God’s word. Here we bring actual scripture into our prayers. We can never pray out of God’s will when we pray God’s word. Jeremiah 23:29; 2 Samuel 22:31; Numbers 23:19
8. Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving differs from praise in that praise recognizes God for who he is and thanksgiving recognizes God for what he has done. Philippians 4:26; Psalm 100:4
9. Singing. Melody in its truest sense is a gift from God for the purpose of singing praises to him. Let your songs come straight from the heart with the Holy Spirit creating the melody. To sing unto God is to worship him in melody. Psalm 100:2; Ephesians 5:19; Psalm 114:9
10. Meditation. In meditation, the mind is very active. It is to ponder spiritual themes in reference to God. Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-2; Psalm 77:12
11. Listening. Whether through his written word or the ‘still small voice’ of the spirit God speaks to praying Christians. But we must take the time to listen. Ecclesiastes 5:2; I Kings 19:11-12
12. Praise. We begin our prayer by recognizing God’s nature and we end in a similar fashion. “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Matthew 6:13; Psalm 100:4; Psalm 150
I have often re-framed Dick Eastman’s outline, “How to spend 12 minutes in prayer” by helping new believers in Christ start with a smaller time frame of one minute for each of the twelve components. All of us need help in developing our spiritual muscles.
Think theologically. As Dick Eastman has taught for decades, developing a consistent prayer habit will lead us into a ministry that changes each of us and the world around us.
Love is a verb,
©2017 by Mike Olejarz