Do you pray to “Ogodo?” I remember a brother pacing the floor at a church praying to this unknown being. It went like this: “Ogodogodogodogodogodo, [gasp for air], ogodogodogodogodogodo.” You can follow a better plan to have a meaningful talk with God.
When the dial is stuck
We create rituals quickly. A church can develop a culture of floor-pacing prayer warriors. If everybody does it, though, watch out for head-on collisions. (By-the-way, I am a pacer, so stay out of my lane.) Another church develops peer pressure to jump. If you are not jumping for joy, you do not have the victory. Another has a culture of lying on the floor—you really are not spiritual unless you are laying prostrate before the Lord at prayer meeting. Our posture does not do much for our prayers, however.
Some people struggle through an hour-long prayer meeting not knowing what to do or say. Creative people have given us “strategies” to help us pray longer. We can pray the tabernacle plan, using each piece of furniture as a prayer prompt. Others use a prayer wheel to help them pray a whole hour. Some have dissected the Lord’s prayer to make each section stretch out enough to fill an hour. May I ask, however, if long prayer is the goal? Jesus condemned those who did long prayers to show off.
Change your frequency
Remember, we pray to have a meaningful relationship with our Lord. We want Him to hear us, and we need to hear Him. I do not think either happens when we get stuck in ruts like those mentioned above. Jesus warned us to not chant meaningless repetitions. He said we will not get heavenly recognition if we pray in order to get human recognition. So He gave us a simple prayer plan in Luke 11:1-5:
- Worship – “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
- Submission – “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
- Requests – “Give us day by day our daily bread.
- Confession – “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
- Freedom – “And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
Tune in the signal from above
Do not make a routine out this prayer guide, but think of it as a radio with multiple settings on the dial (like Worship, Submission, Requests, Confession, Freedom, and so on). Each time you pray alone or at church, scan through these stations to see which one comes through the clearest. Some days you start to worship and enter the presence of the Lord immediately. Other days you may not get into glory until you turn the knob to repentance and ask for God’s forgiveness. Sometimes you will get caught up in the Spirit while submitting your will, your day, your home, and your career, to the Lord. Then next day you may try to pray the exact same thing and get nothing but static.
We seek after God until we find where He is moving that day. Listen to His voice, free from commercial breaks or other self-promotion. As I get caught away praying in the Spirit for someone else, worshipping God for His goodness, repenting for the sins of my community, or thanking Him for His blessings, I find an hour to be only a moment in His presence. Without my old prayer program guide, I now get better reception when I tune in to the melody of the Holy Ghost.