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Go to a quiet place and in prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify situations in your life that are causing you worry or fear. Pay attention to situations you have been praying about for a long time.
Write down in your journal the situations that come to mind. Keep listing until you have 8 to 10.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you which one he wants you to start with and mark it in your journal.
Step One:In prayer admit to God that what you fear most might happen.
Why is this step important?
When we force ourselves to face our fear, remembering that God is all powerful, we put ourselves in a position to start experiencing true relief.
Step two:In prayer place the situation in God’s hands.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop asking God to work it out. Sometimes closing your eyes and visualizing yourself actually putting the person or the situation into God’s hands Is helpful.
Why is this step important? In Luke 22:40 we see Jesus placing his situation in God’s hands: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done”.
Step Three: In prayer tell God that you will accept whatever he allows to happen.
This doesn’t mean resignation, it means trusting that God’s decision will be right. Why is the step important? Our acceptance demonstrates trust in God and leaves the door open for him to do great things.
Step Four: In prayer acknowledge that his plans are always better than yours. Why is the step important? In Isaiah 55:8 – 9, we are told that God’s plans are better than our own: “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, “declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”. *Lewis, M., Franks, J. & Beer, B. (2015). Essential Practices of the Faith. 72-76. SDG Publishing.
Prayer is not about the vocabulary we use or how well we form and articulate the content. It’s not about long impressive prayers to persuade God to do what we want. It’s about drawing from that place of “lowly position” that Jesus calls his disciples to – a childlike trust and simplicity when we approach God.
Before you pray, it’s sometimes helps to put yourself in the right frame of mind – one of trust, hope and acknowledgement of the power of God in your life.
One way to do that is by first being quiet before God and making some simple requests to Him.
Then, listen. Then pray. Here are a few suggested requests:
Preparing My Heart to Listen: Sample requests to God before prayer
“Lord, increase my awareness of Your Presence. I welcome You.”
“Father, calm me. Focus me. Help me listen. Help me think on You.”
“Holy Spirit, what do You want to say to me right now?”
“Lord, refresh my trust in Your ways and Your timing.”
“Father, what do You want me to pray for this person? (situation?)”
“God, I need Your help. I really want to hear from You. Give me ears to hear. Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening.” (I Samuel 3:10)
“Give me the ability, Lord, to recognize and understand what You’re saying.”
“Lord, who do You want me to pray for today? And how?”
“God, what do You want me to give thanks for today?”
You can also come up with your own questions while inviting God to speak. Then listen intently with an undivided, undistracted, hearing heart. Hang on His every word. Take time to enjoy the pleasure of His company. Then pray as He directs.
When it’s time to pray, here are four approaches to prayer that can help you keep God-focused
Adoration – for who God is – His character, His names, His roles,
His worth – worship and praise Him
Confession – for what has been displeasing to God – confess, repent, ask forgiveness
Thanksgiving – for what God has done and given – for salvation, blessings, provision, protection
Supplication – requests, asking God for His divine help to meet needs, solve problems, work in someone’s life, bring healing
You might want to close with a simple doxology praising God for his who He is.
Annual Examen Written by Alan & Gem Fadling from Unhurried Living
“A daily examen is a practice whereby we reflect prayerfully on the experiences of our day to watch for God’s presence, God’s action, God’s grace. This enables us to gain wisdom for our continued journey with God in the days ahead.
This resource is meant to give you some windows through which to look back over a year rather than simply one day. The reflections and prayers below grew out of a time of listening to Isaiah 61 and looking back over a year in my life. The practice of an annual examen is much like a daily examen, but focuses on a longer look back. “
Pray, asking God to show you things in your life that are currently going wrong or are less than ideal.
In a journal, write down the things he brings to mind (8 to 10 items). They may be small annoyances, significant personal tragedies or something in between.
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you which one to begin with. As you think about that situation move through these steps:
In prayer, let go of your desire to understand why this happened. This step helps us to be mindful that God is loving and all powerful. We take our focus off of the problem and turn toward him, trusting him in the situation
Let go of your expectation to have a life without problems. As we let go of our expectation that life will not have any problems, we are able to turn toward God and trust him.
Praise God acknowledging that he will bring something good out of the situation.
Continue to praise God even when you don’t see a change in your situation.
Journal what happens as you use this practice in this situation you are facing. Include scriptures that have been helpful, feelings you have experienced, insights into your situation, etc.