In this episode, Ilona and Justin talk about the relational practice of prayer and how it reminds us that there’s more to our lives than the physical things we see around us. Whether you’ve never prayed or are looking to grow, Justin and Ilona offer ideas for different approaches to and methods for prayer. They also wrestle with what to do when we don’t feel like God hears our prayers, and how that possibly reflects more on us than anything else.
Ideas We Highlight:
- Formal prayers and using words from scripture or church history
- Breath prayers and the significance of repetition
- Prayer journaling and how using acronyms like ACTS and PRAY discipline us to not just pray for ourselves
- What do we do when we don’t hear God’s response to our prayers?
- A Praying Life by Paul Miller. Find it on Amazon.
- The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions by Arthur G. Bennett. Find it on Amazon.
- The Hour that Changes the World: A Practical Plan for Personal Prayer by Dick Eastman. Find it on Amazon.
- For a brief introduction to breath prayer and some examples, read “Breath Prayers for Anxious Times” by Sarah Bessey.
- A printable guide to the ACTS prayer acronym.
- For resources on more types of prayer (contemplative, imaginary, intercessory, listening, etc.), check out practicingtheway.org.
Begin where you are and take your next step!
- If you’ve never prayed, start by adding a daily practice of praying The Lord’s Prayer (found in Matthew 6 or Luke 11) or the Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Consider using this helpful resource on learning to pray from the Church of England.
- Use a prayer acronym like ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) or PRAY (Pause, Rejoice, Ask, Yield) to focus your prayer (or prayer journaling) time.
- Feeling particularly anxious? Use prayer as a way to talk through those feelings with God. From above, reference “Breath Prayers for Anxious Times,” or check out “20 Prayers to Pray During This Pandemic” from Jen Pollock Michel at Christianity Today.
- Community application: Pick up a book on prayer for your community group to read together – we recommend A Praying Life from the list above, and you can find a discussion guide for it here. Work through it, talk about it, and commit to praying together regularly as you do so.