One of the books I've been reading as background research for the Prayer Lab is Transformation Prayer by Daniel Henderson (oops, I almost wrote Transportation Prayer...). One of the cooler little nuggets from the book is a pattern for prayer using the conducting pattern for 4/4 time. It follows the pattern of the Lord's model prayer and provides a visual memory device to help you order your prayer time in a way that honors God. Here's the picture:
2. From there our prayer moves downward to our world in our response, because God's revelation always demands a response from us. We see our sin and failures in the light of His character and we repent, recognizing our need for a saviour, redeemer and restorer. Because we have seen Him clearly, we can rightly see our own world from His perspective. That moves us to...
3. A desperate understanding of our need for His intervention. Since we started from an understanding of who God is and we now understand His perspective, our needs look vastly different than they did when we approached God first. We need the power to obey. We need changed hearts and minds. Aunt Edna's kidney stones becomes an opportunity for me to love her in deeds, not just words and an opportunity for Aunt Edna to seek the Father in her illness.
4. We also need to power to correct the injustice and wrongs in this world. As we have asked for God's intervention in our own needs, He points out the things that we must address to meet those needs. Sometimes that just means waiting on His provision. More often, that means moving out into spiritual warfare and acts of sacrifical service. Our hearts are now ready to move with Him into battle, protected by His grace and a will that has been submitted fully to the Father.
Our time with the Father has now left us with a deep sense of His power and presence in our everyday lives. We are again in awe of the God who is here with us but at the same time in complete control of the universe.
Take a closer look at the Lord's prayer (Luke 11) and see how it aligns with this pattern. This type of praying will utterly transform your relationship with God, not because it's a cool tool, but because this is how Jesus taught us to pray.
Try it out and let me know how it goes...