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Building a Prayer

Saturday, February 4 2012 9:08 AM

Have you ever been asked to pray? In public? Out loud? If so, maybe you weren’t prepared or didn’t write something down in advance or felt uncomfortable or nervous about it.

I’d like to provide you with a few tools that might be helpful in “building a prayer.”

There are many models for prayer, so know that what I share here is not comprehensive, and it’s not the last word. It’s just some things that might help.

First of all, whenever you pray, remember three things:

  • Be “you.” Be authentic and reflect your own faith journey.
  • It’s the Holy Spirit working in and through you that enables and strengthens you to pray.
  • Reflect on the common ground beliefs that you share with those you are among, such as the primary tenants of your faith: The cross, a trinitarian God, God’s constant abiding presence and so on.

Second, remember some of the purposes of prayer:

  • To invoke God’s presence, or better, our awareness that He already is with us;
  • To focus a group of people or an event or activity in a prayerful way; and
  • To remind the group that, again, it’s the Holy Spirit working in, through and among us that enables us to be in accordance with the Father’s will.

Two models of prayer that may be helpful to you:

1. ACTS - a simple acronym that can help you remember: 

  • “A” - Adoration: Words that give adoration and praise to God. For example, “Good and gracious God, we praise you for your goodness and your love.”
  • “C” - Confession: Words that express our need for God, maybe particularly, our needs that are the purpose of the get-together or meeting. For example, “As we gather to accomplish this goal, we need your wisdom because we don’t always have all the answers.”
  • “T” - Thanksgiving: Words of gratitude. For example, “We thank you for the gift of this day, this place and the people gathered here.”
  • “S” - Supplication: Words that express our needs or concerns, specifically thinking in terms again of the purpose of the get-together. Name specifically what the group is hoping to accomplish, and invoke God’s help. With supplication, it’s also important to remember the prayer needs of those in the group that are common knowledge or that you have permission to name.

2. Another simple model, I just call To/From/For What

  • “To” - Begin with a name for God: Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Creator, Savior.
  • “From” - Name the group and use adjectives that describe your understanding or relationship with God: sons, daughters, servants, brothers, sisters, children – frightened, joyful, angry, grateful, confused.
  • “For what” - Name the purpose or task of the get-together, and lift that up to God.

As I said at the beginning, there are many models of prayer, and these are just two that may be helpful to you. Hopefully you are part of a local church or can find a local church family or small group to support you in your prayer life.

My prayer for you is that you will be blessed and you will recognize that you are a blessing to others when you pray!

By Bill Kubat, MS
Director of Mission Integration
Source: www.good-sam.com

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