Prayer Pathways

Prayer isn’t easy. Somebody has said that the easiest thing about prayer is giving up! That’s why the Bible encourages us to take a little time to prepare our words before we start praying. It also encourages us to make good use of ‘prayer pathways’ – skeleton prayer structures on which we can hang the meat of each day’s prayers.
 
The most famous prayer pathway in the Bible is the Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus explains in Matthew 6:9 is not so much a Bible reading that we are to pray, but rather a prayer pathway that helps us know HOW to pray.
 
We have collated four great prayer pathways here for you. These are by no means the only prayer pathways that you can use, but we hope that you find them helpful as some of the easiest, tried-and-tested pathways. Enjoy!

The Lord's Prayer

Matthew 6:9-13 | Luke 11:1-4
OUR FATHER: Joyful thanks to God that today you can run freely into his arms as your Dad.

IHEAVEN: Faith-filled proclamation of the truth of Psalm 115:3 – ”God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.”

HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME: Speaking God’s Name back to him from the Scriptures, asking him to be true to his Name and to make all the world confess his Name is holy.

YOUR KINGDOM COME, YOUR WILL BE DONE: Pray specific prayers for the will of God to be done in your own life, in the lives of your family and friends, in the lives of your nonbelieving friends, in your workplace or college, and in your nation.

GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD: Be specific with God in your answer to his question: “What do you want me to do for you?” Bring focused, specific and faith-filled requests that he will provide for all your daily needs.

FORGIVE US, AS WE FORGIVE OTHERS: Confess your specific sins to God, including the sin of withholding forgiveness from others.

LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION: Ask God to grant you strength to resist sin, the flesh and the Devil. Ask him to help you grow in holiness, living as the new creation that you now are in Jesus.

FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER AND THE GLORY FOREVER: End with a time of praising God for his greatness and that he has heard your prayers.

AMEN: Before you stop praying, connect your prayers to the rest of what you have planned for today. Receive a commissioning from God to get up off your knees and to become the answer to many of your prayers.

The Moses Prayer

Exodus 25-40
The first thing that a priest of Israel encountered when he arrived at the Tabernacle of Moses was the COURTYARD WALLS, made of white linen that spoke of God’s utter purity.
Begin by confessing God’s greatness and total otherness to you. Worship him in his holiness.

Entering into the courtyard, the priest found himself face to face with a huge BRONZE ALTAR. This was where he offered blood sacrifices, enabling sinful men and women to find forgiveness and to approach God without fear of death.
Confess your specific sins to God, thanking him that you are declared totally righteous by grace through the once-for-all blood sacrifice of Jesus.

Next, the priest proceeded to the BRONZE LAVER, a massive bath of water in made of mirror-like bronze that reflected the worshipper’s face back to him. The priest was confronted by the reality of his own faults and failings, but he was also invited to wash them away with the water God had provided. This was a picture of sanctification, as God purifies our lives.
Ask God to wash you and change you, filling you with the water of his Holy Spirit and yielding the fruit of the Spirit in your heart – the character described in Galatians 5:22-24. 

Next, the priest entered the Holy Place, the first of the two rooms in the tent known as the Tabernacle. He was getting close to God’s presence now, so the symbolism continued. THE LAMPSTAND AND THE TABLE on which the bread of the presence was placed spoke of the Spirit of God, burning brightly in his desire to come and fill us, and of the Word of God, laid out to feed our hearts every day.
Thank God for his Word and for his Spirit. Pledge that you will live by both of them today, obeying God’s Word even when you disagree with it and following the Spirit’s promptings even when you are scared by them.

Before entering the inner room of the Tabernacle, the priest came face to face with the golden ALTAR OF INCENSE. This was the place where he was invited to burn sticks of perfume, which represented how sweet the smell of our prayer and worship is to God (see Revelation 5:8 and 8:3-4).
Spend time worshipping God and bringing specific prayer requests to him for your friends, for your family, for your church and for your nation. Make big requests that are worthy of such a great God.

Finally, the priest entered the Most Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies, where THE ARK OF GOD’S PRESENCE was stored. Here the priest would stand in the manifest presence of God, enjoying him for who he is and deepening his outrageously imbalanced friendship with God. The Lord of all the universe wanted to spend time with him!
End by enjoying the presence of God. Don’t rush away. Ask God to fill you with his Holy Spirit and spend time resting in his presence before you carry on with the rest of your day.

The Trinity Prayer 

2 Corinthians 13:14
This is the quickest of our prayer pathways. You can use it on days when you are in a hurry, but you can also pray it slowly, lingering over the rich meaning of each of the three elements of 2 Corinthians 13:14. It is a prayer pathway that helps us to connect with God in all his Triune glory – knowing him as Father, Son and Spirit – however much or little time we have to pray.

THE LOVE OF GOD: Thank God the Father for his deep love towards you. Be specific about the ways in which you have witnessed his love towards you. Thank him that he is your Father and that love lies at the core of his character.

THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: Thank Jesus the Son of God for his grace towards you. Thank him for dying on the cross to be your Saviour and for rising from the dead to be your Lord. Thank him that all that belongs to him is now yours through your faith in him. Thank him for grace – for God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: Thank the Holy Spirit that he is your Senior Partner. Thank him that has come to dwell inside you so that you can participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Thank him that you can know God closely through him and that you can experience the character and the power of God through his dwelling in you.

The Examen Prayer 

 
This prayer pathway was popularised by Ignatius of Loyola in the sixteenth century as a way for Christians to pursue the same lifestyle as Daniel in Daniel 6:13, and checking in with God in prayer three times a day. We have modernised the words he used, but it’s still a very useful pathway to help marshal our thoughts and structure our prayers when we want to pursue frequent check-ins with God. We’d encourage you to try it too! Essentially, Ignatius encourages us to pursue 4Rs when we wake up in the morning, when we take a break for lunch and in the evening before we go to bed.

REJOICE: Look back on the past few hours since you spent time in focused prayer to God. What has happened that is good and that you need to say thank you to God for? Make sure you check in with grateful rejoicing for what he has done for you.

REPENT: Look back on the past few hours and say sorry to God for anything that you have done that you know was sinful or displeasing to him. Keep a short account with God when it comes to sinning. He is eager to forgive you.

RENOUNCE: Look back on the past few hours and reflect on the ways in which you have seen a clash between the way God wants you to live and the way that the world around you is living. These are the battlefields on which your daily fight for holiness is being fought right now. Renounce wrong ways of thinking, declaring that you are siding with God and with his Word in each of those areas, no matter what price is to pay.

REBOOT: Look forward to the next few hours before your next check-in of focused prayer to God. What challenges and opportunities lie ahead of you? What discouragements and failures are you likely to drag with you into those next few hours unless you leave them here with God? Deal with those things now and let God reboot your life for the next few hours. Go into them empty of baggage and full of expectation. Let God commission you to serve him joyfully for the next few hours until you return to check in through these 4Rs again.