While reading scripture has come fairly naturally to me throughout life, prayer has not. Sometimes I’m easily distracted in prayer and end up giving up.
I’ve realized I need a system for prayer. The system helps my type-A personality stay focused and have a plan, but I’m not a slave to the system because it leaves lots of room for the Holy Spirit. So, here’s the rhyming acronym I’ve been using in prayer lately:
T, C, P, Others, and Me!
If you can remember that (and what each letter/category stands for) it may help your prayer life. Let me unpack each section:
T – I begin with thanksgiving. The Bible says to “enter His gates with thanksgiving” (Psalm 100:4). If you’re not sure where to start, enter the doors of prayer by giving thanks! On good days and bad, this discipline centers me and reminds me of God’s faithfulness.
C – The next phase is confession. The Bible says to do it, so we need to do it. It’s good for me each day to tell Jesus how I’ve sinned even though He already knows it. I ask for forgiveness, knowing “He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9), and then ask for more of his righteousness in that area of my life.
P – Here, I pray for protection. This is something I never used to do, but the more I walk with Christ, the more I’m aware that the enemy is literally prowling around “like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The next verse says to “resist him,” and so here, I pray for resistance against my enemy. I also ask God to reveal to me areas in which the enemy may be attacking – then I pray for protection in those areas. Sometimes I look at the armor of God in Ephesians 6 and sort of “pray on” the armor before beginning my day.
Others – I break this section down into four more words: Family, friend, church, send. Can you tell I like rhymes? It helps me remember!
Each day in this section, I ask God to reveal one family member I need to pray for, one friend I need to pray for, one person, couple, or situation at church I need to pray for, and one person in the world God is “sending” me to that needs prayer. This exercise not only unleashes Gods power on others, but makes me more others focused. Also, the “send” part reminds me of the great commission daily.
Me – Lastly, I pray for anything on my heart. I may look at my calendar for the day and pray over each item. I give Him my worries. I pray through the scripture I read that morning. Saving this for last keeps me from viewing God like a vending machine I go to for my wants only.
SO, I’ve found this acronym helpful as it gives me a framework for prayer. Remember, it’s only a framework. I’m not a slave to it. Sometimes Jesus leads me a different direction. That’s okay. I’ve just found that for my personality type, this framework helps me get into a flow before I give up due to distraction. I like it because it covers a lot of areas the Bible speaks to regarding prayer, but leaves lots of room for the Spirit to guide you during your prayer time. I hope it helps!