Prayers to Enhance Your Quiet Time: Part 1
There are many different ways to pray. This post will outline a few prayers that have helped me build my relationship with God. I hope they will encourage you and enhance your quiet time prayers.
Prayer of Commitment
I always begin my prayer time with several prayers of commitment. Commitment is "the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. When we pray a prayer of commitment, we tell God we prioritize him. We are committing ourselves to all he calls us to do in obedience to his will.
Jesus prayed a prayer of commitment in the Garden of Gethsemane: They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, "Sit here while I go and pray." He took Peter, James, and John with him and became deeply troubled and distressed. He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. "Abba, Father," he cried, "everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." Mark 14:32-36
Jesus doesn't want to go to the cross but is willing to go because of his confidence in God. He has committed himself to God's plans for mankind. And trusts that if this must be done for man's salvation, he will go to the cross. If you click here, you will go to my prayer page and find the seven prayers of commitment I pray daily.
Prayer of Confession
Confession is acknowledging sin and helplessness and seeking God's mercy. And, as the old Scottish proverb states, confession is good for the soul. Not only must we confess, but we must do it with repentance in our hearts. In 1st John, we read, "But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." 1 John 1:9 And I would like to add that God doesn't restrict our forgiveness to once per sin. We can repeatedly confess the same sin; if we are repentant, he will forgive us.
David understood exactly what God wanted in confession. "You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart." Psalm 51:16-17. Sometimes, even when I confess, I find myself offering something in return for forgiveness. Perhaps do a good deed or promise this will never happen again... But God does not require that; he simply requires a repentant heart.
And remember the prodigal son, who came to understand, "... 'At home, even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.'" Luke 15:17-19
Confession keeps us close to God, and I've found that we are less likely to commit the same sin over again. God made a promise to the Israelites that still applies today. "Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14