What should your prayers contain?
Sometimes I have extended time for prayer, and sometimes I don't. There have even been times when a hasty whisper or exhale was all I could muster. How about you?
When we do have time for organized prayer to our Father, we need to include the following that I call the 4 Aspects of Prayer:
- [Praise] This is your offering of words or song that expresses your approval or admiration. It is a form of worship. The focus is on the character of God. Pray a verse from Psalms because we "enter His courts with praise." (Ps. 100:4) Praise puts us into His presence and puts our mind on Who we are talking to.
- [Confession] Sin interferes in our relationship with Father God, so we need to confess it each time we approach Him. "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." (Is. 59:2) We also need to admit certain truths about God to be in agreement with them and with Him.
- [Intercession] While God isn't a vending machine, we can make our requests known to Him. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matt. 7:7) God answers. He may say "Yes, No, or Not yet." But as the verse from Matthew says, continue to seek and ask until the answer is made clear.
- [Thanksgiving] This is our opportunity to say "Thank You" to God for what He has done and will still do. Expressions of gratitude - even for the smallest things - can literally change our outlook on life. We are greatly blessed, even in the worst of circumstances.