Many of us have difficulty in sitting down and praying. It is not that we don't want to pray as much as it is that we don't know where to begin. The Old Testament gives us a very good model for prayer in the arrangement of the Tabernacle in the book of Exodus. The Tabernacle was designed to give the priests a pattern to use in approaching God. A royal priesthood [1 Peter 2:5] we can use the pattern as well. Listed below are some general steps you can follow to help you move into and through your prayer time.
Choose to enter into prayer with Thanksgiving and praise.
Ps. 100:4 Enter into His gated with Thanksgiving. And enter into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
We often start our prayer time by asking God for all the things we want or need. Psalms 100 gives us a different pattern to follow: * Thanksgiving...for life, breath, salvation, health, provision, and many other things He has blessed us with."
* Praise...For being The Way, The Truth, The Life, Everlasting Father, Almighty God, Comforter, Creator, and all the other attributes we can think of for who He is.
Address areas on your life where you have strayed from the truth... In the outer court of the Tabernacle there was a place of sacrifice for sin by shedding of blood, the Brazen Altar. Heb. 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
We need to apply the finished work of the Cross to our failures and continue forward into the presence of God with a clear conscience. Don't let false guilt and condemnation keep you from entering into God's presence. The Lamb of God has paved the way for you to enter in.
Spend some time in the Word. The priests would go into the Laver to take a look at themselves in the reflection of the water and wash away the things that had defiled them. James 1:25 But if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law, the law sets you free, and if you do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
Ask God to speak to you about your walk with HIm and your relationship with others. Let Him reveal any areas of your life that may be hindering your prayers from being heard and answered. Use the Word to see yourself and your situation as God sees it.
Be still and listen to the Holy Spirit and let Him direct your prayer.The Golden Lampstand illuminated the Holy Place as the Priests entered into fellowship with God.Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit. Ps. 110:106 Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
We have been given the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth [John 16:13-14] but we need to learn to listen to Him to recieve that guidance. We need to keep our minds prepared so that He can move through us like the oil moved through the wicks of the lamps to bring light to a situation. The power of the Holy Spirit will illuminate our mind and as He speaks to us, we will be able to follow that path God has extablished for us to walk in.
Take time to just fellowship with the Lord. The priests were told to set the bread from the Table of Showbread that had sat before the Lord for seven days [Lev. 24:9] and absorbed His Glory. John 6:51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh offered so the world may live. 1 John 1:3 We are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Adam and Eve walked in the Garden in the cool of the evening with God and fellowshipped with Him. Just like them, we were created to fellowship with Him. He enjoys spending time with us. It is up to us to take the time to be with HIm and enjoy His presence.If you follow the earlier steps, you have positioned yourself for this step. Sometimes just being with the Father tends to remove our worries and doubt and helps us find the strength He offers.
Lift up your hands and release your prayers and burdons to the Lord. The Altar of incense was placed before God's presence and the incense was burned as part of worshipping Him. Ps. 141:2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense.The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.Rev. 8:3-4 Then another angel, having a golden censer,came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand...
Allow the Holy Spirit to direct your prayers and worship the Lord. As we lift up our prayers to the Lord we are honoring Him by trusting Him to meet our needs. He loves to give good gifts to His children.
Wait on the Lord.The priests entered the Holy Place of God's presence to isten to Him. 1 Cor. 2:10 But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit, and His Spirit searches our everything and shows us even God's deep secrets.
Our prayer time will always be productive if we learn to listen to God and follow His direction. As we hear His direction and obey it, we can trust Him to move in our behalf because we are praying according to His will. We are coming into agreement with Him and His direction and purpose in our lives.
Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from sin in His own Blood. Rev. 1:5