Chapter 4

A Framework for Prayer

From the book How to Pray

During Jesus Christ’s ministry on Earth, the disciples witnessed the powerful results of Christ’s intimate contact with God the Father: He healed the sick, cast out demons, even quieted a storm! They wanted to have that same closeness with God.

One day, Jesus was praying. When He finished, one of His disciples approached Him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).

Jesus proceeded to give a wonderful outline, or framework, of a prayer that will get results. “After this manner therefore pray ye …,” He said (Matthew 6:9). Christ gave an outline around which we can all build our prayers.

Jesus did not call this the “Lord’s Prayer” as many do today. He didn’t want His disciples to memorize this particular wording and repeat it over and over. In fact, He had just warned them not to use “vain repetitions” (verse 7). Rather, He was outlining the correct approach to take and the basic things we should pray for. It was meant to be a guide of topics, a framework for our daily prayers.

Clearly, Christ did not want His disciples to pray only for themselves. The words “I,” “me” or “my” don’t appear once in these verses. He was outlining the unselfish approach we need, and the basic things we should ask for.

The warning against using vain repetitions doesn’t mean that repeating a certain prayer is wrong: Earnest, persistent supplication sometimes requires that we repeat prayers. But Christ gave His disciples this outline so they could add their own material to it, fleshing out each point as you would if you were turning a list of bullet points into a term paper.

This sample prayer outline is only meant to be a guide. You may use this outline but should try to add more to a personal outline as you go along. Be careful not to rely on your notes too much. Be careful not to repeat the same wording over and over again. Every prayer should include thoughts and feelings from the heart. For all this, a personal prayer notebook is most ideal. You can follow the framework outline here, and build on it.

If you use this outline correctly, you can have effective, fervent prayers that will move God and get results.

This inspired framework for prayer as revealed by Christ can be divided into seven segments.

1) ‘Our Father … Hallowed Be Thy Name’

Jesus began His example prayer by addressing the Father (Matthew 6:9), and we should do the same (John 16:23). Jesus came to reveal the Father to mankind (John 1:18). He always addressed the Father when He prayed, and He set us the example to follow (1 Peter 2:21). However, it would not be wrong to occasionally address Christ.

We should feel deep personal love for and closeness to our heavenly Father. This Father-son relationship is personal and intimate. It should be much closer than the relationship we have with our own physical father. The Apostle Paul emphasized this: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption [this word should be translated sonship], whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:14-16). For those who are Spirit-begotten sons of God, the relationship of Father and son is doubly emphasized here.

The word Abba is special. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the New Testament notes, “‘Abba’ is the word framed by the lips of infants and indicates unreasoning trust.” It is a word like “Daddy.” The expression “Daddy, Father,” expresses childlike love and confidence.

“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name,” Christ’s model prayer begins (Matthew 6:9). God the Father eternally exists in heaven and governs the whole universe by the power of His Spirit! When you address the Father, realize that you have a personal audience with the supreme, eternal Ruler of all things! Most people would treasure a private meeting with a king or prime minister or president. How much greater is the privilege of coming to the very throne room of the universe to talk with the Ruler over all!

As we begin our prayers, we should not only address and think of God as “our Father,” but start by praising and venerating His name—His office, character and beneficence. The word hallowed means sanctified, or highly venerated. In this section of prayer, Jesus intended that we praise and venerate God’s many names and character qualities to bring us into proper reverence and fear of God. Hallowing God’s name sets the table for the rest of our prayer, placing us into a submissive and deeply grateful attitude before His infinite majesty.

Nearly always I do begin a prayer with exaltation of God, which brings to my mind how great—how wonderful—is the All-mighty one to whom I am speaking! So immediately I broke off the thanksgiving and the gratitude temporarily, to praise and exalt and extol the Supreme Creator God! Yet I just naturally continued my giving thanks—now thanking God for Himself—and realizing how grateful I am that God is—that there is the great God—that He is the living God!

—Herbert W. Armstrong, Plain Truth, August 1967

Praise God for His greatness—His supreme power and might. Praise Him for creating and designing the vast, awesome universe, and for giving man the incredible potential to rule it with Him. Praise Him for being such a loving and all-merciful Father. Praise and thank Him for His active participation in your life. Let Him know that you appreciate and love Him.

Notice in the Psalms how King David praised God. Look how this man after God’s own heart addressed God in prayer: “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. … I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being” (Psalm 18:1-2; 104:33; see also Psalm 148).

When King Solomon made his dedication prayer for the temple, he opened with praise for God: “And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart: Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day” (1 Kings 8:23-24).

The angels in God’s throne room praise God day and night! (Revelation 4:2, 6, 8-11).

Try to picture God’s throne room in your mind. Think about the vast universe, and realize that even it is too small to house God. God resides in the third heaven, which is above the physical universe.

The attitude of praise, worship and adoration draws our attention to the true God. It enlarges our human faculties to appreciate and more fully sense the great Being with whom we are communing. Deepening your understanding of God’s power and vastness will give you more ways to praise Him in the opening section of your prayer.

Perhaps it is best to focus on hallowing just one aspect of God’s character per daily prayer session. This section of our prayer can take up at least 10 minutes. See “Praise God’s Name” on page 87 to learn more about God’s names. Here are some of God’s offices and character qualities you could pray about.

  • Praise God as your Father
  • Praise God as your Provider
  • Praise God as your Master
  • Praise God as your Creator, and your Sustainer
  • Praise God as your Judge
  • Praise God as your Healer
  • Praise God for His perfect character
  • Praise God for His love, grace, mercy, faithfulness
  • Praise God for the blessings He has given you
  • Praise God for your incredible human potential

2) ‘Thy Kingdom Come’

After addressing the Father and hallowing His name, we should pray for His Kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10).

Praying “Thy kingdom come” is asking that God’s literal government be set up on Earth through the return of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). It is yearning for when the devil will be restrained from influencing humanity for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3). It is praying and longing for when God’s holy and righteous law, summed up in the Ten Commandments, will be enforced by God’s government as the standard for daily life everywhere. It is yearning for the time when real peace will be ushered in and all mankind will know God’s truth (Isaiah 11:9).

When Christ returns to set up God’s Kingdom and government, He will “restore all things” to the Earth! These will be “times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21). This is one of the most pivotal passages in the Bible! Restitution in verse 21 means restoration. Something that was taken away will be restored to the entire Earth when Christ returns. What was taken away? God’s government! It is through God’s government that “all things”—an entire way of life resulting in supreme happiness, prosperity, joy for everyone—will be restored.

Restoring His government to Earth is uppermost in God’s mind. For His Spirit-begotten sons who think like Him, it is likewise of utmost importance. That is why we pray “Thy kingdom come” as our first request. A Christian’s number one priority should be seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33).

The Apostle Peter indicated that true Christians could hasten, or speed up, the return of Jesus Christ and God’s Kingdom to Earth (2 Peter 3:11-12). By earnestly applying ourselves to overcoming, Bible study and prayer while supporting God’s Work, we could well hasten Jesus Christ’s return and the restoration of God’s government!

To better understand the need for God’s Kingdom to be established, God tells us to watch and then to pray (Luke 21:36). If we watch world events and see the suffering wrapped up in just about every headline, it will help us pray with much greater urgency. Our planet is plagued by appalling evils that in many cases originate in, or at least are tolerated by, corrupt or impotent governments of men. Misguided religious zeal is also responsible for a great deal of human suffering. It would be appropriate, in this section of your prayer, to rehearse with God why the world desperately needs His Kingdom and Christ’s righteous rule. Pray fervently that the tremendous meaning of “Thy kingdom come” may soon be a reality.

Having a focus on world events also allows us to witness firsthand the fulfillment of Bible prophecy—proof of our Father’s hand in current events as His Kingdom approaches. Praying about prophetic events as they unfold really motivates our prayers. You can find these events identified as they occur on and in the Trumpet newsmagazine (we will send you a free subscription upon request).

Be sure to cast your mind to subjects related to the soon-coming Kingdom of God and the prophecies of the World Tomorrow. This should be a most inspiring part of your prayer. This subject, too, can take at least 10 minutes. Here are some subjects you can pray about.

  • Rehearse why world evils: that Satan is the ruler of this present world
  • Pray about the other cause of world problems, human nature (Satan’s nature in mankind)
  • Pray for mankind to be free from Satan and from sin
  • Pray about the restoration of God’s government
  • Pray for God’s one pure religion, when all will know how to worship God
  • Pray for God’s knowledge and God’s education to cover the Earth as waters cover the seas
  • Pray for a world free from crime and violence
  • Pray for God’s true justice to fill the Earth
  • Pray about the solutions to society’s problems
  • Pray about God’s new world economy that will enable prosperity and abundance for all
  • Pray for a world free from sickness and disease
  • Pray about the happiness and joy that is soon coming to every land and family
  • Pray that God would hasten the fulfillment of these prophecies and make the Kingdom a reality

3) ‘Thy Will Be Done …’

After praying for God’s Kingdom to come, Christ instructs us to begin the next section: “Thy will be done [on] earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

When we pray “Thy kingdom come,” we see the terrible suffering in this world and the urgent need for Christ’s return. This then motivates us to pray “Thy will be done.”

God’s will “in heaven” is expressed through His government: The Father reigns supreme, and Christ, under Him, is Head of the Church (John 14:28; Colossians 1:18).

Only God’s one true Church—the body of Christ—is attached to the Head. The Head does not have more than one body. Thus, God’s true Church is ruled by His government. So God’s will on Earth is expressed through His Church, which today is led by Gerald Flurry, under Christ. (Request our free booklet Who Is ‘That Prophet’?)

The Church is God’s instrument for fulfilling His will on Earth—as it is the Kingdom of God in embryo. It is a means by which God is preparing for the return of Christ and the Kingdom of God. Thus, our fervent prayers for the Church and Mr. Flurry help to ensure that God’s will is done “on earth, as it is in heaven.”

This part of our prayer should focus on praying for the many varied activities and programs of God’s Church—especially activities that revolve around proclaiming the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. God’s Work needs many open doors to fulfill its commission. We should pray that God would open those doors for His Work to be done (Colossians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:1). God’s Work is urgent: It needs to be as effective as possible to hasten Christ’s return and end all the human misery and suffering we see on Earth today.

By praying for God’s Work, we become more big-minded in our perspective and get our minds off our own day-to-day problems, which are generally of little importance by comparison.

Herbert W. Armstrong finished the work of preaching the gospel around the world as a witness to all nations (Matthew 24:14). The Philadelphia Church of God has been commissioned to prophesy again (Revelation 10:11). We must emphasize the warning aspect of the message since this world is closer than ever to the Great Tribulation. Before God’s Kingdom arrives, the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord must happen, and God won’t allow those events to occur until the world is properly warned. Thus, for God’s Kingdom to come, it is God’s will that we finish His Work!

We should beseech God in prayer to provide His Church with open doors, or opportunities, to reach the largest audience possible, as quickly as possible—and with the necessary resources to broaden its television coverage, expand the circulation of its printed materials, and reach more people online and in person.

Christ gave the lay body of the Church the special mission to back up His apostles in their going forth with the gospel to the world—with their prayers, encouragement, tithes and offerings. … [T]his giving of their prayers, encouragement and financial support was God’s assignment as the very means of developing in them God’s holy, righteous character—that they, with the apostles and evangelists, may qualify to rule with and under Christ in God’s Kingdom.

—Herbert W. Armstrong, The Incredible Human Potential

The Apostle Paul exhorted Church members to pray for him so he could do the Work (Romans 15:30-32; Ephesians 6:19). Likewise, we should pray for Mr. Flurry—that he may speak boldly to make God’s message known; that he may work as unhindered as possible. Praying for the needs of the various departments and personnel around the world that assist Mr. Flurry can be included in this part of your prayer.

We should also pray for God’s true ministers (1 Thessalonians 5:25; Hebrews 13:18). 2 Corinthians 1:11 reads, “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us in answer to many prayers” (rsv). Ask God to protect the ministry and give them inspiration in the messages and counsel they give.

“Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38; see also Luke 10:2). Pray that God would lay it on the hearts and minds of more listeners and readers to become co-workers in helping to support His growing Work with tithes and offerings.

Pray for The Key of David and the Church’s radio station, Ask God to open doors for new television stations and other means for the message to reach more people. Pray for the books, booklets and magazines. Ask God to inspire the authors, give the editors detailed eyes that pick up all mistakes, and help the graphic designers make the layout of the publications as eye-catching as possible. Pray for everything that goes on at headquarters, Herbert W. Armstrong College and Imperial Academy.

You should also ask God to help you understand and surrender to His will. Ask Him to show you how to live His way more perfectly.

Here are some specifics you can pray about:

  • God’s apostle
  • Television: content, stations, reach, response
  • Editorial and Publishing: periodicals, books and booklets; websites; foreign language work
  • Personal appearance campaigns; advertising, circulation; radio; information technology; mail processing; call center; concert series, auditorium, music program; festival; support services: kitchen, landscaping, custodial, maintenance
  • Youth programs: Armstrong College, Imperial Academy, Philadelphia Youth Camp
  • Supporting ministry worldwide
  • Regional offices, work in Judah: support staff; open doors; archaeology; costs; protection
  • Laborers, income: provide resources equal to vision and needs of growing Work

4) ‘Our Daily Bread’

In the next portion of Jesus’s prayer outline, He tells us to petition God for our needs: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Here, pray that God provides nourishment, both physical and spiritual. It is God who sustains us, supplying our food and water, even the air we breathe. Spiritual sustenance is even more important, and we must request this “daily bread” from Him.

While this part of our prayer is to include our personal needs, it should also include a healthy amount of prayer for the needs of others. The request is to “give us”—not just “me.” While it is our tendency to automatically want to pray for ourselves first, it is important that we put others before ourselves. That is God’s way (Acts 20:35).

Pray daily for your family. Praying for your spouse and your children is part of your duty as a Christian. You need God to watch out for them, keep them safe physically and protect them spiritually. You know them intimately, including their weaknesses and faults. Express your care for those you know best and love most by praying for them, even more fervently than you pray for yourself!

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18). All God’s people are targets for Satan and need God’s protection and guidance. God instructs us to pray for the ministry especially (e.g., 2 Thessalonians 3:1), who are particularly targets since they are the means by which God nourishes His spiritual flock.

The Bible includes many examples of people praying for the sick, many times resulting in an immediate healing. It is God’s will to heal. He does, however, expect you to ask (Matthew 7:7). We must entreat God for those who are sick and suffering (James 5:16).

Ideally, you should pray for others and their trials before you pray for yourself. (More about this in the next chapter.)

Paul also tells us to pray for those who have authority in government so that God’s people may live in peace and the Work can be finished (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

We have as much need of daily spiritual food as physical food (Matthew 4:4)—and God promises us both. He will supply our daily spiritual needs if we come to Him through daily prayer and Bible study. Jesus is the spiritual “bread of life” (John 6:35); we eat this bread by studying His Word, the Bible.

Ask for the living faith of Jesus Christ to trust God totally—to surrender and yield to His will as revealed in the Bible. And ask Him to help you understand the Bible!

Although most of our requests should be spiritual in nature, it is not wrong to ask for physical things as well. 1 Peter 5:7 says to cast all your cares upon Him—but you must seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness first (Matthew 6:33), and then God will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

If God is working with you, He wants to be actively involved in your life, even your hopes and dreams. Ask God to show you what else He wants you to pray for. He will show you, in His Word, many other things to pray about.

Finally, remember this: When making your requests known to God, always have a thankful spirit (Philippians 4:6) and don’t be critical or complaining. Acknowledge your many blessings!

Here are more specific subjects you can pray about.

  • Church members: Faith, righteousness, strong marriages, excellent child rearing, hope and vision, members’ needs and wants
  • Sick and suffering: Healing, deliverance; miracles
  • Teens and children; singles; elderly
  • Strong congregations
  • Enemies of God’s Work; those persecuting you
  • Pray for direction, guidance, wisdom (Jeremiah 10:23; James 1:5); Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13)
  • Ask God to heal your ailments (in many cases, anointing is necessary—James 5:14)
  • Pray about your personal finances
  • Pray you are accounted worthy to escape the coming time of trouble (Luke 21:36)
  • Pray for your hopes and dreams

5) Confess Your Sins

The next part of the prayer outline involves confessing our sins (Matthew 6:12). Luke 11:4, the parallel verse, says, “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us ….”

Matthew calls them “debts” because every time we sin, the law exerts a claim on our life: We earn eternal death (Romans 6:23). In the same way that only a creditor can forgive a debt, only God can forgive sin. Our sins must be paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:7). God can forgive us because He has accepted Christ’s sacrifice in our stead if we repent and have faith in that sacrifice.

To have our sins wiped away, however, we must ask for repentance in fervent prayer. God already knows about all our sins, but He promises to forgive us when we confess them (1 John 1:9). God wipes away our sins upon repentance (Isaiah 1:18-19; 43:25). We are then no longer cut off from God because of our sin. He doesn’t hold it against us—He forgets all about it!

It is vital that we admit to God where we have been selfish and self-centered, breaking His law of love. Be up front about your struggle against vanity, pride and the lusts of the flesh. Be specific about your sins, beseech God for forgiveness, and ask for His help to change.

God knows our hearts individually. He will reveal to us our innermost thoughts and help us repent deeply of following the vanity of our carnal minds. We should also ask God to reveal to us our hidden, secret sins, as David did (Psalm 19:12). We need God to reveal those to us so we can repent of them and be reconciled to Him.

Psalm 51 shows David’s deep repentance and confession to God after the Prophet Nathan confronted him about his sin with Bathsheba. He was clearly broken up about his sin against God. After confessing his sins, David prayed: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (verse 10). God wants us to pray as David did and ask Him to change our human nature. Such prayer will help us develop God’s spiritual character so we can attain the goal for which we have been born!

Remember to ask that “our,” not just my, sins be forgiven. Learn to be concerned for other Christians, and have godly love and compassion for them as well. (Read Daniel 9:3-5; Ezra 9; Nehemiah 1.)

Here are more specifics you can pray about:

  • To hate sin and see it for what it is
  • For discernment to clearly see our faults, sins and human nature
  • For help in turning away from worldliness; to replace your human nature with His righteousness
  • To deepen your understanding of God’s sacrifice for spiritual and physical sin
  • To see God’s goodness
  • For power to resist the devil

6) Pray for Deliverance

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil …” (Matthew 6:13). “Temptation” is a bad translation. This statement is more correctly rendered from the original Greek: “Bring us not into sore trial, but deliver us from the evil one”—referring to Satan the devil. God tempts no man to sin (James 1:13), but He does permit us to fall into trials and troubles of our own or the devil’s devising if we are not keeping close to Him and seeking His guidance and help every day (1 Peter 5:8). Ask God to deliver you from Satan, society and self, and if there is ever a time when Satan does tempt you, ask God for strength to resist that temptation.

One way to escape sore trial is to daily respond to what God shows us we need to change and apply ourselves to overcoming sin—relying on God for the spiritual strength we need (Philippians 4:13). Pray for Him to correct you daily so that you might be kept from having to go through a sore trial. When God reveals our sins, it often involves correction. This is good, because He only corrects those He calls His children (Hebrews 12:5-8). When God corrects us, He is helping us become more like Him and build His holy righteous character. He shows us love. He will also be merciful in that correction if we ask Him to be (Jeremiah 10:24).

When we don’t learn these lessons as we should, He must take more drastic action. However, we can ask God to help us learn the necessary lessons now, through daily correction, so He won’t need to lead us into sore trial. Praying “lead us not into sore trial, but deliver us from the evil one,” is asking God to perfect you and to bring you to the place where such trials are not needed.

Revelation 12:9 and 12 say that Satan has been cast down, and God’s people are his target! We need God’s protection. If you ask Him to, God will send His angels to camp around and protect you (Psalm 34:7). Claim that promise of God in your prayers, both for you and for God’s people.

This isn’t just about physical protection though. Satan can also attack us mentally, emotionally and spiritually; thus we should ask God to protect us in all these ways.

  • Pray God gives you the help to master any wrong desires and to do His will daily
  • Pray you learn what you need to so you don’t need to undergo sore trial
  • Pray to be teachable, humble and contrite, like a child
  • Pray you know when to seek counsel
  • Pray to apply instruction and counsel
  • Pray to handle trials and tests God allows, and that you learn what you need to from them.

7) Close With Praise and Adoration

Just as Jesus’s inspired outline of prayer begins with praise and adoration of God, so does it close: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13). This reminds us, again, to whom we are praying, and of the character and office of the true God who rules over the nations of men.

Close your prayers with a sincere acknowledgement—in a spirit of worship—that all real and lasting glory and power belongs to the great God of the universe! Thank God for taking the time to listen to and answer your prayers. Thank God for His wonderful plan and for your part in it. Remember God’s throne room and its splendor, and praise Him for being the wonderful Creator, Ruler, Sustainer and Father that He is.

Christ instructed us to end our prayers by asking the Father “in Jesus’s name” when we know it is His will—that His authority stands behind our requests (John 16:23).

Finally, we are to affirm that what we have prayed is so, and that we really mean it, by concluding with “Amen,” which simply means truly, or so be it. Christ used this word many times, including at the conclusion of His outline for prayer, giving us an example to use amen at the end of our prayers. According to Thayer’s Lexicon, the word amen here means, “So it is, and may it be fulfilled.” The Hebrew word comes from a root word that signifies “truth.” Saying amen confirms that what has just been uttered is true, trustworthy and reliable. The last biblical usage is the final word of the final book of the Bible, Revelation. It denotes that everything that has been said before is true, trustworthy and reliable.

Jesus’s framework for prayer contains vital instruction to help you in your prayer life. Use it daily!

The Value of a Prayer List

Planning your prayers demonstrates their importance. You wouldn’t appear before a king or world leader, or even your boss, without at least some mental preparation about what you were going to say. You wouldn’t step in front of an audience and speak to them for an hour without notes to remind you of your specific purpose and the points you wanted to cover.

Making a prayer list will force you to think about the needs of others, the needs of God’s Work and Church, and your needs. This will ensure that when prayer time comes, you will focus on the important things. Your list will serve as an automatic memory. If you tell someone, “I will pray for you,” you don’t want to forget your promise. As you see a need or hear of a problem, write it down. Put your list in front of you when your prayer time comes.

You may want to use a notebook with a separate page for each category. You may choose to divide your categories according to Matthew 6:9-13. Get detailed. Don’t write “pray about the Work.” Get out the Philadelphian and write down specific details about the Work—e.g., The Key of David distribution, call center operators, literature requests, names of people involved, production, subjects for Mr. Flurry and his inspiration, etc. Focus perhaps on two or three areas of prayer, then move on to others.

Review your prayer list every week. Update it. Don’t be trapped in repetition; don’t just read out your list to God—that’s a pitfall to avoid. Your prayer list is for planning your prayers, but don’t think that you can only pray about what you have written down. If something else comes to mind while you pray, go with it. Allow for inspiration! All your prayers should include any thoughts and feelings from the heart, which are not planned. It is possible to rely on a prayer list too much. And be careful not to repeat the same prayer in the same words over and over.

God is a planner. To be effective, we should be mentally prepared in what to say to Him in prayer. For many this may be a small step, but you will find that your prayer life will take a giant leap!

If you don’t have a prayer list, begin now. You will find it a very effective way of planning your communication with God and improving the power of your prayers. Instead of asking, “What am I going to pray about?” you will be asking yourself, “When am I going to get the time necessary to pray about all these things?”

As a final point, realize that you need not ask all of the things outlined here in each prayer, but we recommend beginning each day praying “after this manner.”

Continue Reading: Chapter: Praise God’s Name