Many times we talk to God in prayer and we’re all over the board, asking for this and that. Maybe we don’t even spend any time listening to Him. But prayer should be communication with God, not to God. It should be simple and honest, just being ourselves, pouring out our hearts to Him, and being willing to hear what He has to say to us.
Today we prayed as a church through the prayer model presented by Pastor Miles. Of course, this is not the only way to pray, but is a simple guide to help structure your prayer times. Spend an equal amount of time for each letter. (Pastor Miles recommended five minutes for each letter as a starting point.)
Thank God for everything that comes to mind: your job, your family, your home, and even your illnesses or your trials, because you can be grateful for the things you are learning through them.
A – Admire and thank God.
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:9
Always tell God how grateful you are. Acknowledge His holiness and perfection. Thank God for everything that comes to mind: your job, your family, your home, and even your illnesses or your trials, because you can be grateful for the things you are learning through them. Theoretically, you should be able to spend hours thanking God for all the blessings He gives, so in this prayer model you should have no problem thanking Him for five minutes!
W – Wait quietly before God. Psalm 46:10
Sit quietly and listen to God speak to you. Clear your mind and don’t let your brain take you someplace else. If distractions come to mind, pretend you are floating on a river and just let those things float on by you.
Have a paper and pen ready so you can write down what He places on your heart. God speaks only valuable truth and He can show you things that you cannot know on your own.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3
C – Confess your sin. Psalm 103:11-12
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Confess your sins to God. Ask God to search your heart and uncover sins you may not even realize. He wants to cleanse you! Be honest about each and every sin that comes to mind – rudeness, selfishness, gossip, etc. Talk as much as you can about it to let it all out, and then allow God to wash it away.
I – Intercede for others. Galatians 6:2, 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Pray for other people. You can pray for a state, a country, a particular person, victims of a war or natural disaster, your enemies, your friends and family, or anyone else. Pray for salvation of the lost, the healing of the sick, the comfort of the grieving, or whatever the Holy Spirit places on your heart.
P – Petition for yourself. Psalm 51:10-12, John 14:12-14
Ask for a pure heart. Acknowledge God’s holiness and your sinfulness. Esteem other people better than yourself. When you do these things, you may realize that your needs aren’t really what you thought they were.
If you delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
This doesn’t mean that God will give you the selfish desires of your heart, but rather that He will change your perspective and align your desires to match the desires He has for you. When you pray in Jesus’ name you are adding a clause to your petition: “as long as it is according to Your will for my life.”
A – Admire and thank God. Psalm 8:9
You began by telling God how good He is, and you end by doing the same. Thank God for everything you can think of.
Prayer doesn’t have to be this structured or to follow this structure every time you pray, a structured prayer time of spending five minutes on each letter in AWCIPA will give you a 30-minute communication with God. If you pray the verses included here and journal the things you hear from Him in response, you will have a powerful prayer time!