Use a Model. So far we’ve discussed recommended reads and positioning our hearts as ways to strengthen our prayer life in 2020. Another effective help is to use a model. Have a plan, an outline, for how you will go about spending time in prayer.
Working your way through a model for prayer is an excellent means to keep your mind from wandering and also to avoid being at a loss for words. That may sound crazy, but if you pray in the morning like I do, even though there are a gazillion things and people and reasons for me to pray, I can draw a blank! In addition, the use of a model to structure our prayers lessens the sense of prayer being work or duty and increases the sense of having a real conversation with our Father! The model is the skeleton. Our individual prayers give flesh and blood to it.
The Model Prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13. When Jesus taught us to pray in the sermon on the mount, He gave us the Model Prayer. Looking at it as an outline for daily prayer, one would begin with praise to God, then prayer for others, on to material needs, then to spiritual needs, and finally returning our thoughts to God in closing. Beginning and ending our prayers with our thoughts on God keeps our focus and perspective in the proper place.
Another practical model that I have found to be helpful is the ACTS model. Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication. The strength of this model is that it places our requests last. Prayer is not a wish list. God is not Santa. Walking through adoration, confession, and thanksgiving before we begin our supplications helps to refine our supplications!
Find a model. Walk through it each day during your prayer time. It is a great way to build your prayer life in 2020!