It is the same with prayer. There are different elements of prayer which, like Lego bricks, we can build together to make a prayer time. For example, there is the well-known acronym for praying called “A.C.T.S.” This acronym puts together elements of adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication, to form an easy to remember formula for praying. You can move through a time of adoration, giving praise to God for who He is and what He has done and then move into a time of confession before the Lord. Then after spending time in thanksgiving, being thankful for the many blessings life gives, the prayer time is concluded by moving into supplication, that is bringing to the Lord the people, events, situations in which we would like Him to work.
There are of course more than just four elements to prayer. Prayer can include times of singing in worship, or listening in silence. Elements of prayer can include intercession for the needs of others or petition for our own needs. Meditation, reading and praying Scripture, journaling, are just a few examples, but the list can go on. These elements can be put together in different orders to make very different prayer times. You can have quiet times of prayer with meditation and journaling or expressive prayer times with singing and loud declarations of Scripture.
The beauty of prayer is that these elements can be combined in so many ways. The possibilities are endless. So prayer should never become routine and stale. If prayer begins to feel like a simple routine, then perhaps it’s time to mix things up a little and add a new element to our prayer time. This keeps our prayers fresh and stop us from getting stuck in a rut. We shall look at some of these elements in the next few weeks.
But as you think about your prayer times right now, what are the elements you include when you pray? Are there elements you spend more time on than others? Maybe it’s time to consider building a new prayer structure and try a different element of prayer.