A few months ago, I completed a 10-week Bible study by Beth Moore, called “Whispers of Hope”. In the study, Beth gave scripture verses to read, shared her thoughts about the verses, and then provided spaces to write down our thoughts and prayers, while using the acronym P-R-A-I-S-E:
P Praise God for his creation and majesty, for being our loving Father.
R Repent of our sins, our faults and failures, asking for forgiveness.
A Acknowledge that God is the Creator, and all things are in His control.
I Intercessory prayer for our loved ones, friends, situations, our world.
S Supplication for ourselves; our current trials, hopes and dreams.
E Equip us for what will be needed to get us through the next hour, day, month.
I am not very good at praying in the traditional sense. As soon as I close my eyes, after the first ‘Dear Father’, either my mind wanders off into space, or I find myself waking up an hour later. It happens to me in church all the time…No offense to my pastor. I have been writing down my prayers for a very long time, but I’m sure most of what I write would fall under the ‘supplication for self’ category more than all the others.
This acronym helps me remember there are other needs out there, and I want to express my praise and thankfulness as well. Before, these thoughts usually ended up as little snippets at the end of my dissertation about what I wanted for myself. God knows what we are going to ask for before we even think it, so I don’t think he minds our prayers being written down in word form.
I can nail down the P, R, A, I, and S fairly easily, but the ‘E’ was more difficult for me. “What did Beth mean by ‘Equipping’?” I deduced that she meant that we should stay in the Word so that we are ready for battle when the need arises. Put on our armor of salvation, praying that the Holy Spirit would always be there to give us the words we need when we can’t recall them on our own. Yes, that would be good ‘equipment’ for facing each day, hour, moment.
It occurred to me though, that there are some other really good ‘E’ words that we could place here. How about:
Edification – To edify, to lift others up. Pray for God to reveal to us ways we can edify those near to us. Tell someone that they have done a great job. Tell your friend with low self-esteem that she looks stunning today. Tell your mom that you appreciate all she does for you. Tell your husband that he is a wonderful provider. Tell your children that you love them dearly.
Encourage – Very close to edifying, but perhaps this might include our asking for divine guidance in revealing to us those who might appreciate a card of sympathy, or to encourage someone not to give up in their fight with cancer. Perhaps our church leaders and pastors are feeling discouraged and need our special prayers…
Eternity – This one is probably my favorite. If it weren’t for the hope of eternity with God, none of this means a hill of beans. I can thank God for his promise of eternity…There’s nothing wrong with that. But what about all the other people in the world? Where will they spend eternity? Do they even think about it? Do they even know they have a choice? There’s the rub. Someone must tell them.
Perhaps we can ask God to show us who needs to hear about eternity. I also think it’s wise to ask him ‘how’ to tell others about eternity. I try to live what I believe. That’s a really good place to start. I hope others can see Jesus in me. Especially my grandsons. How can I point them to the Father if I don’t look for him myself?
I love good contemporary Christian music. I love to share my favorite songs with friends. I share songs that move me on Facebook. I rarely listen to anything else in my car. When I do change up my playlist, the boys tell me to “Put on your music, Grandma!” How can I deny a plea like that?
There are so many subtle ways we can share the love of Christ with others that doesn’t make them feel like they are being judged. But there are other times when we just need to lay it out there and let God do the rest. Invite friends and neighbors to church. Start a blog and boldly tell others that God loves them, and they are never alone! (Personal plug here…)
The plain and simple truth is that we were placed on this earth for God’s purpose. While we pursue the American dream, creature comforts and ways to fulfill our desires to make us and our loved ones happy, it’s so important to remember that this is not our main purpose. Yes, God tells us to eat, drink and be merry. He wants us to enjoy the blessings of this life. But we have a job to do.
Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we may live with Him forever, in eternity. What will you do for him?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”