I love days when I get a good nights’ sleep and wake up before everyone else in the house. I love spending time in the word and in prayer; when I’m centered in this way, I’m more aware of God throughout the day.
But, in this phase of life with a young family, some days I wake up tired (or late) due to being up in the night, and my morning is a little more crunched. Yet, I know I need to pray – if I don’t, my tendency is to simply run straight into my day and I’m more prone to respond in my flesh those days.
The simple acronym “P.R.A.Y.” that our church staff has been using has been really helpful to me in this season. It’s simple:
P – Praise/Thanksgiving – Psalm 100:3 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” Giving thanks to God for how you’ve seen Him work and praising Him is the way to enter into His presence.
R – Repent – Ask God to show you what you need to repent from, then seek His forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says, “He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” End this time by asking God to transform you with His power so that you would choose differently the next time you’re tempted in the same way.
A – Ask – Throughout the Bible we are encouraged to bring our requests to God. This is where you lay your requests before Him and “wait in expectation” as David says (Psalm 5:3).
Y – Yield – Take some time to just sit and listen to Jesus. Jot down whatever phrases, pictures, or scriptures come to your mind in this time. It’s probably the Spirit speaking to you.
Staying connected to God by praying without ceasing should be our aim. My goal in writing this isn’t to say that prayer should be legalistic; yet, Jesus often withdrew from the crowds for intentional times of prayer, and if He needed to, then I surely do as well.
Lately, whether I have 5 or 45 minutes, P.R.A.Y. has been a simple tool that has helped me stay focused in intentional prayer. Try it out if you think it’d be helpful to you.