A Simple Way To Learn To Pray

Are you familiar with the P.R.A.Y. acrostic? It’s a simple way to learn how to pray. I didn’t make it up, and I’m not sure who did, but I use this tool frequently.

Too often, our prayers become like letters to Santa Claus. I want this and this and this and this. God is not a genie waiting to grant all our wishes. The P.R.A.Y. acrostic reminds us of who we talk to in prayer. It also reminds us of the proper posture of prayer.

My friend, Dr. Clint May, explains it in the L.I.T. Devotionals. (The following is an excerpt from Leaders In Training: The Way of the Disciple, Level 1: Fall Devotionals by Dr. Clint May, p. 8.)


Prayer and Worship: God Encounters

Isaiah had an encounter with God that resulted in God calling him out in obedience to Him. Isaiah saw the worship of the angels, he felt convicted of sin in the presence of God because of God’s holiness, and he felt a burden for the people of Israel. Isaiah said, “I live amongst a people of unclean lips,” and then he surrendered to God’s will for his life: “Here am I. Send me!” Each day as you approach the Lord, pray in the Spirit as instructed in Ephesians 6:18. Approach Him in worship and thanksgiving, confess any known sin to Him every day, ask the Lord what to pray for according to His will, and then surrender yourself fully to His will for your life every day.

P.R.A.Y.

Isaiah 6:1-8

Praise & Thanksgiving

I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” (vs. 1-4)

Repentance & Confession

“‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips…'” (vs. 5a)

Asking

“‘And I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.'” (vs. 5b-7)

Yield & Surrender

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!'” (v. 8)


Additional Thoughts by Nancy Ruth

I would add one thing. When it comes to asking, I teach kids that we ask for ourselves and for others. It shouldn’t all be self-centered prayers.

I hope this has been helpful to you. May God draw you closer to Himself as you seek His face in prayer.

‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” Jeremiah 33:3

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Nancy Ruth

Nancy Ruth is the Co-Founder and Primary Content Creator at Parent Road Ministries. Learn more at https://parentroadmin.com/about-us/

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