I am a spiritual baby in prayer. I lost decades in inconsistent morning worship, rushed prayer, or morning quiet times that seemed like a task list. I intend to spend the rest of my days on earth learning from Scripture, from the nudging of Christ, and from deeply praying people how to move beyond the infancy of my current praying.
The following is a snapshot of my morning worship today. By the grace of God, I trust this document will be out-of-date tomorrow as the Spirit introduces me to new ways to come before Him.
I begin by declaring the sovereignty, majesty, and glory of triune God.
I ask Christ to reveal Himself to me as I read His Word. I sometimes repeat this line from an old hymn: “Beyond the sacred page, I seek Thee Lord.”
I “write a blank check to Christ”—telling Him ahead of time I intend to do and be whatever He reveals to me in Scripture.
I ask for the infilling of the Holy Spirit (literally, “Be being filled . . .”). Then, I ask for His illumination as I read.
I read through the Bible in a year. Each day I read the next section from the Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs, and the New Testament.
I tend to use the following outline as I move into prayer.
Adore the Majesty of Christ
- I offer praise to Christ, honoring Him for each for His attributes.
- I ask the Spirit to express for me groanings I do not have words for.
- I agree with triune God that the Father desires the exaltation of His Son.
- I agree with Christ that the sin He has brought to my mind is, indeed, sin.
- I express gratitude for the forgiveness for that specific sin that was earned on the cross.
- I ask for Christ’s courage and strength to turn away from that particular sin.
Thanksgiving for Blessings
- I try to find variety in the blessings and gifts I express gratitude for each day.
- I also try to find variety in the categories of supplications and requests I make each day.
- With each situation I bring before Christ, I primarily ask Him to use that situation to make Himself more famous on the earth and to expand His kingdom here.
- Then, as a much less important prayer, I ask Him to make the situation “better” (from my limited perspective). In other words, my primary prayer is that He orchestrate some illness for His glory and purposes. Only secondarily do I pray for the healing of that illness, and only if that is what best achieves His purposes.
- I make prayers for the broad kingdom first, for individuals in my world second, and for myself last.
Praying on the Armor
Helmet of Salvation
- I ask for a helmet composed of equal measures of the fear of triune God and love and intimacy with Him.
- I declare I was elected for salvation before the foundation of the world, that I was among those for whom Christ died, and that He came to me and won me to Him through no merit on my part.
- I ask Him to place the helmet in place so that it will block assaults on my thoughts and on my will.
Breastplate of Righteousness
I ask Christ to prevent most temptations from the enemy from even reaching my sphere of awareness. Then I ask Him for His courage and strength to resist those temptations that He does permit to get through to me.
As I consider whether to indulge my temptations, I ask:
- Am I willing to lose the intimate part of my relationship with Christ?
- Am I willing to become spiritually irrelevant to those closest to me?
- Am I willing to see innocent people suffer while Christ deals with my sin?
- Am I willing to endure public humiliation as Christ deals with my sin?
- Am I willing to give up early knowledge of where Christ plans to move?
- Am I willing to become useless in Christ’s kingdom expansion?
Belt of Truth
- I pray for extravagant amounts of truth but only that truth which can bring great glory to Christ and is part of bringing His kingdom on earth.
- I promise Christ that if He should decide to give me extra truth (which can lead to money and fame), it is my intention to live in financial simplicity and to deflect attention toward Him.
Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel
- I ask Christ to make appointments for me today to speak of Him to those who do not yet know Him. I ask Him either to orchestrate events that will place me next to such a person or to prompt me to go specifically to share with someone.
- I ask Christ to nudge me when I am walking up on an appointment so I will know He has orchestrated this meeting.
- I ask Christ to give me the courage not to choke when my appointment arrives.
Shield of Faith
- I imagine that today my wife and son die, my house burns down, and I lose my job.
- I ask: “Can I declare that Christ is altogether faithful and altogether trustworthy? Can I declare that what makes no sense to me makes perfect sense to Him when viewed through His omniscience?”
- I invite Christ to make faith in Him alone a shield that will catch all the fiery darts of Satan this day.
- I pray over what was revealed to me in Scripture that day. A promise to embrace by faith? A command to obey? A sin to avoid? A truth to absorb into my DNA?
- If I can’t remember what was gleaned from Scripture earlier, it likely will not impact my life at all. If this happens, I go back to Scripture again.
- I invite Christ to make the sword (the Word) an offensive weapon as I join Him in His kingdom activity.