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Cheat Sheet

Christian Prayer For Dummies

From Christian Prayer For Dummies by Richard Wagner

The habit of Christian prayer is one you can integrate into your life in just a few weeks. From the essentials of praying to using the ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) method to listening for God's voice, you can make praying an integral part of your everyday life whether you're at work or at home. And, you can go beyond the standard prayers to include prayers such as the Trinity Prayer.

Essentials of Christian Prayer

As a Christian, praying doesn't need to be complicated. If you're approaching God in Christian prayer, make sure that you approach your prayer with the five qualities in the following list to be certain that you're prayer-ready:

  • Be aware. When you pray, be aware of exactly whom exactly you're praying to, acknowledging the Lord.

  • Be real. Don't put up a front or say words that you think God wants to hear; simply be honest and open to God.

  • Be repentant. Unconfessed sin in your life can be a major block to your prayers, so always approach prayer with a repentant heart.

  • Be dogged. When you pray, be diligent, praying, then praying some more, and, when you think you're all done, praying more about it.

  • Be expectant. Have the certainty that God will answer your prayer.

Incorporate Christian Prayer into Your Life in Three Weeks

Develop the habit of Christian prayer in just 21 days! Following the schedule in the following steps, you'll be surprised by how much Christian prayer can become part of your life after just three weeks.

  1. Determine the optimal prayer time that you're going to set aside to pray.

  2. Choose a specific location where you know you can be quiet at that time.

    Go to that same place each day at the specific time you've set aside for prayer.

  3. Spend those minutes in prayer.

  4. For those 21 days, stick with it no matter what.

    If you happen to miss a day, don't get down on yourself. Just make sure that you get back into the routine again the following day.

Wisdom from the Lord's Prayer

The Lord's Prayer (or the Our Father) is the most well-known Christian prayer. Examining the Lord's Prayer can equip and empower your entire Christian prayer life. Focus on the following six essential pieces of advice gleaned from the Lord's Prayer to help live a more prayerful life:

  • Praying together is Jesus' first priority.

  • Pray to a personal God, not a title monger.

  • Surrender to open the door to God's blessings.

  • Live a life of trust, one day at a time.

  • Knowledge of sins done by and to you underscores the depth of God's grace.

  • Pray for protection in a dangerous world.

The ACTS Method of Christian Prayer

Ensure that your Christian prayer is complete by remembering ACTS — not the book of the Bible, but the acronym. The ACTS method of Christian prayer goes like this:

  • Adoration: Give God praise and honor for who he is as Lord over all.

  • Confession: Honestly deal with the sin in your prayer life.

  • Thanksgiving: Verbalize what you're grateful for in your life and in the world around you.

  • Supplication: Pray for the needs of others and yourself.

How to Hear God's Voice during Christian Prayer

Christian prayer is a method of speaking to God. To get the full benefit of Christian prayer, though, you can't just speak, you must prepare yourself to listen, as well. The following tips can help you hear what God is saying to you:

  • Get the inside scoop on what God will say to you by reading his diary (the Bible).

  • Listen actively and attentively to all of his message.

  • Expect a whisper, not a yell.

  • Discern the tone of the voice. God's tone is patient and calm. False voices are rushed and impulsive.

  • Look at the circumstances to see whether God is trying to get your attention.

  • Because listening is an art, not a science, always be humble and reliant on him to hear you.

  • Make listening your lifestyle, a byproduct of how you live your life.

Finding Time for Christian Prayer at Work

Incorporating a habit of Christian prayer at work can be difficult if you work full-time. You add prayer time to your workday, however, by following these tips:

  • Pick a dedicated prayer time that avoids the rush of the day. If your schedule permits, get up early and regularly spend time in prayer before going to work.

  • Whether you go by car, bus, or subway, praying during commute time can be an ideal way to transform what is usually dead time into quality moments with the Lord.

  • After you eat, spend the rest of your lunchtime in prayer.

  • When praying at work, close your office door or take a walk around the building.

  • If you don't pray at work, then don't turn on the television, DVD player, or computer at home until after you're finished with prayer time that evening.

  • Don't let work or any other activity become more important than being still with God.

  • Don't wimp out on prayer on weekends. Set up a different weekend schedule for prayer that works on days that you aren't in the office.

The Christian Trinity Prayer

The Trinity Prayer is an easy Christian prayer for children to learn Grownups can pray the short Trinity Prayer in just a few moments at most anytime for a brief prayer break:

Love of Jesus, Fill us.
Holy Spirit, Guide us.
Will of the Father be done.
Amen.
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