How to Pray for an Hour

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How to Pray for an Hour

We often desire to develop a prayer discipline in our life but may struggle with knowing what to pray about longer than ten minutes. Though I do not believe God has time requirements with regard to prayer, I do believe that the more we pray, the more we get to know Him and the more we change our world as we co-labor with Him. The more we know Him, the more we can pray in His will and He can work through us.

If you desire to build your prayer time, here’s a way to help you. I have taken the Prayer Wheel prayer guide, and expounded slightly upon it to help bring some ideas to you to expand your prayer time easily into an hour.  One hour each day equates to more than six weeks a year. Using this guide of twelve prayer areas of only five minutes each, you can easily reach that hour mark and in the process, change yourself and your world. You can adjust the 5 minutes slots as needed.

“The greatest victories to the church of Christ or to the individual Christian are not those that are gained by talent or education, by wealth or the favour of men. They are victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power.” E. G. White.

1. PRAISE (5 minutes): Psalm 22:3; 63:3; Hebrews 13:15 – Begin your prayer with praise. Praise esteems God for His greatness and virtue, focuses on His nature, and builds our faith as we reflect on His goodness and faithfulness. You don’t have to thank Him for the same things or everything you can think of each day. Rather, consider taking one or two of His attributes and talk with Him about how they have affected your life, or the lives of others. Though we should develop a consistent habit of praise unto God, we don’t want to develop a rote method that becomes more rehearsed than meaningful. Praise is not a method to “sugar-talk” God into listening to us; it’s bringing our mind back to seeing WHO He is, regardless of what’s happening in our life.

2. FORGIVENESS (5 minutes): Matthew 6:14-15 – Nothing blocks your spiritual progress more fatally than an unforgiving spirit. Forgiveness is a complete pouring out and release of any negative feeling that might be held against another person, church, or group. It’s not holding a grudge, or desiring revenge. It’s easy for us to become bitter against someone who has hurt us, but remember that you have also hurt others, including God. We all need to receive forgiveness, and we all need to give forgiveness. Include both of these areas during this time. In addition, accept God’s forgiveness rather than holding onto your past mistakes. When God forgives, He releases, and we need to release ourselves as well. I’ve often prayed for those who were considered my enemies. As I have done that, I’ve seen those enemies and my situation change. There’s too much effort needed to maintain bitterness and strife.

3. CONFESSION (5 minutes): Psalm 139:23-24 Psalm 66:18 – If you hide sin in your heart God will not hear you. Repent of sin and you will clear the road for God to move. When there is nothing to hide or cause hesitation between you and God, you will be free to approach Him without fear and full of confidence. During this time, repent of things you have done that need addressed, but also ask God to show you anything else that He is not pleased with. Wait on Him and open your heart as He shares any issues with you. When He does, don’t revert to feeling condemned. Scripture tells us that God corrects those He loves. He desires to commune with you, so when He shares issues, realize that it’s His love, not Him condemning you for your faults.

4. PETITION (5 minutes): James 4:2-3; Matthew 6:9-13 – This aspect of prayer deals with our personal needs and desires. God is interested in our personal life. He’s interested in more than if we have a job, or good health. He also cares about our dreams, talents, and struggles. When I pray in this area, I talk to God about my frustrations, my thoughts, and things I’d like to do, even if they don’t seem “spiritual”. We need to remember that even the non-spiritual things of life can become spiritual when we bring God into them. When we make all of our lives spiritual, we’ll begin seeing God more involved. He won’t intrude where He’s not invited.

5. INTERCESSION (5 minutes): I Timothy 2:1-2; Matthew 9:37-38 – Intercession is prayer for others. This includes family, friends, our church, city, nation, and world. As you go through your week, write down issues that you hear about in these areas and pray over them during this time. Keep up with the news so you know what issues are happening in your world. Remember that God is bigger than your personal life. He cares about all nations. We co-labor with God to bring about His divine purposes when we pray, give, or go. Consider praying about missionaries, famines, natural disasters, wars, human trafficking. and so on. Try to feel what God would feel in these issues and pray accordingly. I also ask God what He wants prayed for. Sometimes He shares His heart with me about something that never crossed my mind.

6. READ THE BIBLE (5 minutes): II Timothy 3:16; Psalm 19:9 – Read the Bible during prayer. The Word is enlightening to the eyes, giving us direction, understanding, and revelation. It is the primary way that God speaks to us. Don’t rush through your reading. Read scripture slowly, thinking on what you are reading. When you get to a scripture that makes you pause or think, this may be God speaking to you. Reread it again, and ask God to reveal to you what He wants to share. Read scripture for your personal edification, but also be open to scriptures that you can share with others. God often speaks His Word through people to others who need to hear it. We are to be conduits of His truth, in kindness and grace. My bible is full of things I received from God as I read. I write them down in my bible, if possible, so I when I read that scripture later His Word is brought back to my mind again.

7. MEDITATION (5 minutes): Psalm 1:1-2; 46:10; 77:12 – Take time to “think on these things.” This works well right after reading scripture. Ask God to give you understanding of what you read, and believe that He will. You will not hear if you don’t have faith God will speak. You must be open and willing to listen. We have to hear with our ears, and with our heart. Write down scriptures that God is dealing with you about and keep going back to them in your prayer time. I have a notebook full of things God shares with me. Sometimes during my prayer time, I open that notebook and reread those things. Sometimes they speak to me anew, and other times they bring a wealth of thanksgiving as I see how His words affected my life.

8. THANKSGIVING (5 minutes): Philippians 4:6 – Spend time thanking God aloud for His provision and goodness to you. Even the smallest of things are miraculous when we see them as the goodness of God. Consider thanking Him for something  you don’t often thank Him for, such as your talents, His thoughts toward you, music, silence, flowers, etc. Sometimes I simply thank Him for coffee, because I really enjoy it. And when God answers prayer, it would be good to record those answers so we can review them later. Sometimes our life situations can seem hopeless, but when we think about what God has done, our faith builds again. God doesn’t change. He is able to do the impossible. It’s natural for our human mind to easily forget what He has done in the past, so journaling and reviewing those things keep our faith fresh.

9. PRAY THE WORD (5 minutes): Personally apply, out loud, the precepts of the Bible. Praying scripture is praying the Word and will of God. When you don’t know what to pray for in a situation, find a scripture and pray it. God will not go against His Word, and is faithful to do what He said He would do. Pray His promises over your life. When we live in obedience to His Word, His promises are sure for us. When we delight in Him and is His Word, He delights in us and is willing to bless us. I used to read my bible as a strict discipline, trying to hurry through my reading to check off another day. Now I read to simply know Him. It may be just a few scriptures, but even one scripture can bring revelation when you are truly searching to know Him.

10. SINGING (5 minutes): Psalm 100:2; Ephesians 5:19 – Singing refreshes the soul. It lifts our spirits, and causes praise to erupt. It releases emotions and gives us words to express what we are feeling. You can sing to God yourself, or sing along with a recorded song. God doesn’t care how you sound; to Him, your praise is always beautiful. Try singing in the Spirit, or writing your own song. I have several songs I’ve written that are mine and God’s alone. They will never be recorded or shared because they are for Him only. And sometimes, we simply need to listen because He may sing a song back to us.

11. LISTENING (5 minutes): I Kings 19:11-12; Psalm 46:10 – Prayer is not all talking to God. Prayer is also listening. Quiet your mind and silence your words, even if it feels awkward. Remember, you will not hear if you don’t have faith God will speak. And you cannot hear if you are doing all the talking. This is personal instruction time. When God shares things with you, consider writing down what He says in a journal. Review this often. If God speaks, it’s worth rereading again, just like scripture. And not everything God shares with you is for all the world to hear. Sometimes what God speaks to me is personal, and other times He speaks, I feel the need to share it with others. The more you listen, the more you will find Him speaking.

12. PRAISE (5 minutes): Matthew 6:13; Psalm 52:9 – Conclude every prayer with praise. It’s not hard to praise Him again after everything you’ve just experienced. When He reveals more of who He is, we can’t help but simply enjoy Him. We need time in our prayer hour to simply be with Him. To enjoy Him and to see Him in our everyday lives. When we do, we change. He no longer becomes a big God in the sky who might answer if we are good enough… He becomes personal – a loving father who delights in us, and we in Him.

Though this is a great guide to help you develop your prayer life, don’t feel you have to follow this every time. Allow God to guide you. Sometimes He will take you on a “field trip” and allow you to experience your prayer time in a  different way. But regardless of what method you use, enjoy Him. Get to know Him. The more you see His glory, the more you’ll want to be in His presence.

Colleen Clabaugh
World Network of Prayer

How to Pray for an Hour2017-09-09T18:55:27-06:00

Creating a Vocabulary of Praise

A Focus on God’s Attributes

I’ve always been able to hold up my end of a conversation without difficulty. Except, that is, when it came to prayer, and particularly when I tried to express my praise to God. Attempting to begin and end my prayer times with praise and adoration, I often found myself flat-out speechless. I wanted to praise God with all that was within me, but I couldn’t think of one sensible thing to say. I recently read a book called Invading the Privacy of God by Cecil “Cec” Murphey. The book describes how Cec’s prayer life was revolutionized when he settled on the practice of praying God’s attributes as praise. I began imitating that practice in my own times of praise, and over the course of a few months, I developed a “program of praise” that has proven wonderfully helpful. It has opened a door for me, and my praises to God now flow freely from my heart and lips during prayer. I focus on one attribute of my awesome God and Father each day, using the Scripture-based sentences as “praise starters.” At the end of each month, I start the list over, combining traits when the month is shorter than 31 days.

1. God the Creator. “Creator God, I praise You because ’you made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all
their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the
multitudes of heaven worship you’” (Neh. 9:6).
2. The Only God. “God, I praise You because You are ’the LORD, and there is no other; apart from [You] there is no
God’” (Is. 45:5).
3. The Almighty God. “’O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness
surrounds you’” (Ps. 89:8).
4. The Everlasting Father, the Ancient of Days. “I praise You, Lord, as the ’Ancient of Days’ (Dan. 7:9), the ’Everlasting
Father’ (Is. 9:6), who lives forever and ever.”
5. A Loving God. “I praise You because You are a loving God, whose very nature is love”
(1 Jn. 4:16).
6. A God of Justice. “Lord, I praise You and magnify You, who is ’just and the one who justifies those who have faith in
(Ro. 3:26).
7. A Faithful God. “Heavenly Father, I give You my praise and adoration, because You are a ’faithful God, keeping
[Your] covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love [You] and keep [Your] commands’” (Dt. 7:9).
8. A Merciful God. “’You are a gracious and merciful God’ (Neh. 9:31), and I praise You for Your great mercy.”
9. God, My Refuge, My Fortress. “I praise You, Lord, for You are ’my mighty rock, my refuge’” (Ps. 62:7).
10. A Patient, Persevering God. “Father, I praise You because You are ’patient with [Your children], not wanting
anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance’ (2 Pet. 3:9). Thank You for Your patience with me.”
11. Eternal, Saving God. “I give praise to You, Father, ’the only God our Savior.’ To You ’be glory, majesty, power and
authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore’” (Jude 25).
12. The Holy One. “Holy, holy, holy [are You] Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Rev. 4:8).
13. A Personal God. “I praise You, God, because You are a personal God, who gives me the honor of knowing You
personally, even inviting me to feast at Your kingdom’s table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Mt. 8:11).
14. A Giving God. “All praise and honor be Yours, O God, because You are a generous God, who did not even stop
short of giving Your own Son” (Jn. 3:16).
15. A Provider God. “I praise You today, Lord, as my Jehovah-Jireh (the Lord Will Provide), who makes all grace
abound in me and generously provides all I need” (2 Cor. 9:8).
16. God, My Shepherd. “I bless Your name and praise You as my Jehovah-Rohi (The Lord My Shepherd), who will
shepherd me and guide me in the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake” (Ps. 23:1-3).
17. God, My Victory. “Praise to You, my God, because You are my Jehovah-Nissi (The Lord My Banner), God, my
victory, ’who always leads [me] in triumphal procession in Christ’” (2 Cor. 2:14).
18. God, My Peace. “I praise You with all my heart, Lord, because You are my Jehovah-Shalom (The Lord Our
Peace), ’the God of peace [who] will soon crush Satan under [my] feet’” (Ro. 16:20).
19. The God Who Heals. “Father, I praise You because You are the Lord who heals me” (Ex. 15:26).
20. The God of All Comfort. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and
the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3).
21. The God of Miracles. “Lord, I praise You because ’you are the God who performs miracles; you display your power
among the peoples’” (Ps. 77:14).
22. A Forgiving God. “I want to bless You with praise, Father, because ’you are a forgiving God, gracious and
compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love’” (Neh. 9:17).
23. The Burden Bearer. “Praise be to the Lord, to God [my] Savior, who daily bears [my] burdens” (Ps. 68:19).
24. A Faithful God. “I praise You because ’your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies’
(Ps. 36:5), and ’great is your faithfulness’” (Lam. 3:23).
25. King of Kings and Lord of Lords. “All honor and praise be to You, my God, ’the blessed and only Ruler, the King of
kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light’” (1 Tim. 6:15).
26. God the Liberator. “I will praise You because ’you are my help and my deliverer; O LORD’” (Ps. 70:5).
27. The Lifter of My Head. “Father God, I praise You because ’you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory
on me and lift up my head’ when I am weary or despised” (Ps. 3:3).
28. God of Light. “I praise You, Lord, because You are ’my light and my salvation’ (Ps. 27:1), and because You know
’what lies in darkness, and light dwells with [You]’” (Dan. 2:22).
29. God of Joy. “I give You praise, O Lord, because ’you have granted [me] eternal blessings and made [me] glad with
the joy of your presence’” (Ps. 21:6).
30. The God Who Answers Prayer. “I praise and honor You, Father, because You are a God who loves to answer
prayer and who begins to answer even before I pray” (Is. 65:24).
31. The God of All the Earth. “I praise and adore You, Lord, as ’the Holy One of Israel . . . [my] Redeemer . . . the God
of all the earth’” (Is. 54:5).
Following this “praise program” has energized my praise life, helping me to worship and adore God more plentifully
and purposefully in prayer. It has also enlarged my vision and awareness of the praiseworthy God I love and serve
and, I believe, increased the evidence of His godly character in my life. I pray that it may do the same for you.

A Vocabulary of Praise
To spend an entire prayer meeting praising God for who He is.

Talk about the many things that scripture describes God as being.
Begin to praise God for being these things. Spend the entire hour focusing on the attributes of God rather than asking Him for anything. Have different people come up and lead in a prayer of thanksgiving for who God is. Example: “Lord, I praise you because you are
Jehovah Jireh, my provider….”

Creating a Vocabulary of Praise2015-12-21T12:23:29-06:00
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