Three Practical P's for Prayer
by Mark Grobicki on Monday, 7th of November 2016

Dear friends,

 

“Be… faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

 

If we're honest, most of us find prayer like exercise: we know it’s important, and we want to do it, but when it actually comes to doing it…

Certainly, I find I'm like that. Are you too?

 

This November, as we think about prayer at St Lawrence’s, we want to share a few things that might help us be more faithful in prayer.

 

First up, here are three practical P’s of prayer.

 

Don Carson’s excellent book Praying with Paul (which we’ll review next week), includes a number of practical suggestions to help us pray. Here are three of them.

 

1. Plan it in

Someone has said, if something is not in your diary, you're not serious about it.

Don Carson writes: “We will not grow in prayer unless we plan to pray. That means we must self-consciously set aside time to do nothingy but pray.”

So the first thing we can do is plan prayer into our day. Actually schedule in a time for prayer. That might be first thing in the day with your morning coffee; it might be on the commute to work; it might be just after dinner; it doesn’t matter when, but that it’s in.

Now my tip here is plan something achievable: rather than a big time commitment which the slightest change in schedule will mean you don’t get to do, rather plan in a shorter time that you will be able to do, and which of course you can always extend if you can.

 

2. Prevent mental drift

“Dear Lord, thank you that though we were lost in sin Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Speaking of lost, where could my car keys be?... [No, no! Back to business.] Heavenly Father, I begin by asking that you will watch over my family. Oh don't forget Fiona has swimming after school today. [No! Back to it!] And father I pray for our church. Oh man we need a decent assistant minister…”  

(To paraphrase a prayer Don Carson humorously includes.)

 

When praying it can be so difficult to stay on track. And so we need to prevent mental drift.

Perhaps the most helpful thing we can do here is to pray out loud, to vocalise our prayers, and make sure we complete our sentences.

 

3. Prepare a programme

Am I the only one who's has the experience of sitting down to prayer and not knowing what to pray for? It feels ridiculous because of course there's so much we could pray for, but so often I, at least, battle to think of what to pray for.

 

So Don Carson recommends preparing a programme (think a schedule or list) of things you might pray for. This means that when it comes to the time you set aside to pray (as per point 1!), rather than sitting there racking your brains about what to pray for, you can spend the time praying.

For example you might keep a long list of people and things to pray for, and gradually work your through them, starting at the beginning again when you've finished.

Or perhaps you might come up with categories for each day of the week: On Monday pray for personal gospel opportunities; on Tuesday, global and national issues; On Wednesday, church and Bible study members; on Thursday, my family; etc.

 

So there are three practical P’s to help us pray:

1. Plan it in

2. Prevent mental drift

3. Prepare a Programme

 

This November, and beyond, may God be pleased to see us become more faithful in prayer.

 

In Christ,

Mark

 

Dalkeith Anglican Church • Corner Alexander & Viking Roads, Dalkeith WA 6009 • Phone 08 9386 3675