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Just Pray // Praise & Shine

How is your prayer life? Would you be surprised to learn that many believers relegate their prayer time to Sunday morning church? Even more surprising is one survey from Pastor Dave Early said the average pastor prays only seven minutes a day! Another said that 80% of pastors surveyed spent less than 15 minutes a day in prayer. The most generous survey said that pasters pray 37 minutes a day. [1] This is a sad statistic for those who are supposed to be leading others to a deeper relationship with the Lord. At best pasters are spending 9 1/2 days a year in prayer.

Author Lowell Snow writes, “The land is ripe for spiritual harvest, yet the church seems to be powerless to reap it because the people in the pews are not experiencing an authentic encounter with God. […] The major roadblock isn’t the lack of desire or effort, but the absence of effective prayer…” [2] Christians understand they should pray, and they want to pray, but they don’t know how to pray.

Daniel Henderson gives the 4/4 prayer pattern, which can help lead us in prayer. It follows the same pattern as a conductor: Upward, Downward, Inward, Outward, Upward. [3]

Upward. Focus on Reverence and Adoration.
Downward. Focus on our response through confession, allegiance, and recommitment to God.
Inward. Focus on Requests. Trust in the provision of God, pray for the lost, and forgiveness and purity.
Outword. Focus on Readiness. Praying to prepare for spiritual tests.
Upward. Reverence. Ending where you began, focusing on the greatness of God.

There are many ways, patterns, and methods to get us on our knees in prayer; however, knowing a lot of techniques is useless unless we simply pray. Take some time to pray right now.

[1]Dave Earley, “Creating a Passion for Prayer,” (lecture, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO).
[2]Lowell Snow, Prayer Guide: A Manual for Leading Prayer, Stonehouse Creations: Prairie Grove, AR. 2006. p.141.
[3] Daniel Henderson, Fresh Encounters. NavPress: Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2008. ch.13.

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