Help Students PRAY (with Infographic) by Ron Powell
Considering the chaos in our world, I feel like I need to pray more effectively
I keep telling myself that when I work, I work, but when I pray, God works. I have the right slogans and read the right books. What I really need is to get down to it.
Here’s something that I developed years back. My friend Chris, who runs EGAD Ideas took my graphic and fixed it up for you. Already it has helped tons of parents and teens pray more effectively.
How to Use This
If you concentrate praying in teach of these areas for only 5 minutes you have prayed for 20 minutes. I have led students through these 4 letters 10 minutes in each area for 40 minutes and they wouldn’t believe me it had been that long. Most of the time students are dying after trying to pray for just 5 minutes.
Teach Teens to PRAY
As you can see this follows the pattern of the Lord’s prayer that he gave his disciples as a model for how to pray. If you want to explain each aspect it breaks down nicely into about 8 statements:
Praise can go in two important directions:
- Praising God for who he is. Focus on his qualities and characteristics. Mention them out loud!
- Praising God for what he has done. Recall all the wonders he has done in times past and in your personal life. This increases your faith and puts God in the right perspective in your mind.
Repentance is one of those loaded words that can be filled with fear and guilt. It doesn’t have to be. This is a time to confess sin that has happened in your life. Sin can be broken into 2 categories also:
- Sins of commission. These are sins that we have committed. Some were premeditated, some were spontaneous. Either way, if we confess our sin he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 Jn. 1:9
- Sins of omission. These are sins that happened because we didn’t do what we were supposed to. So often we ignore the voice of the Bible of the voice of the Spirit and do our own thing.
This is where most of us begin. It is probably the part of prayer that we think we understand best. Once again I like to look at this part of my prayer time from 2 angles.
- Intercession. This is standing in for someone else. Here is where we put the needs of others before our own. I like to begin with the needs close to home and branch out further from my family, school, church, city, country to world needs.
- Supplication. That’s a really old word for praying for our own needs. God encourages us to do this. He doesn’t want us to be anxious about anything but instead make our requests known to him. Of course he knows what we need before we ask but if we don’t ask he says, we don’t receive.
Yielding is what some people call listening prayer or centering prayer. It’s so important but the easiest part of a prayer time to omit. It requires yielding or surrendering to God. Once again, I find it helpful to ask two questions.
- What do you want me to know? A.W. Tozer once wrote that God tells the person who cares. I believe God wants to reveal things about himself and about me each time I pray. Tozer says that it’s in these times that God brings Bible verses to our conscious mind.
- What do you want me to do? I already have a to-do list for the day but God often brings things to mind that are a priority or never made my list at all.
Getting Down to Praying
I have a friend who says that he would rather read 4 books on prayer than to get alone and commit himself to praying. Many people have told me that this simple process helps them to focus and to keep their minds from wandering. Whatever process we use the most important thing is that we keep praying regularly and don’t give up.