Updated Monday, September 5, 2015
Wondering how prayer can help you overcome a difficult time, an unhealthy habit, or achieve a goal? Or, do you feel disconnected from God? Or, never felt God’s presence and would like to give it a try now? I’m not a “holy roller,” nor am I promoting any religion or agenda. I just want to help people who struggle with challenges and pain and help them reach their goals. I’ve learned how praying a certain way can do those things. I’ve adopted an acronym from Jane Fryar and have made it my own. And now, I want to share it with you, in case you’re hurting or could use some help achieving a goal.
First, think of three things you’re thankful for that happened to you in the last 24 hours. Not yesterday or the day before, but today. Even if terrible things happened, take a moment to thank God for three blessings that happened.
Recall, Reconcile, Repair
Then, recall one thing you did today that you shouldn’t have. What did you think, say, or do that wasn’t right? Ask for forgiveness and think about what you should have done or said instead. What would have been better? How will you repair and reconcile for it? And the following day, do it.
Next, ask for what you want. Don’t be shy. Don’t feel like you’re asking for too much. Want a more fulfilling job, more attention, love, or a better relationship with someone? Ask away.
More importantly, think about what you need to accomplish your goal? Would more effective tools or instruction help you get what you’re asking for? Need more energy? If so, how could you get those tools, instruction, or energy? How could you make better use of your time, materials, connections, or resources like books to make a life-changing leap? Or, ask for heightened awareness to see God’s signs and opportunities. Ask for the courage and discipline to help you make better choices that will bring you closer to your goal. Or, ask God to help you build character (forgiveness, fortitude, motivation, courage, strength, tech-savviness).
Afterward, think of how getting what you want will help others. Sometimes people are hindered mentally from reaching a goal because deep inside they may feel they are being selfish. Vanquish that by acknowledging how getting what you want could benefit someone else.
Lastly, give it up to God. “Thy will be done.” And then listen.
Many of us think praying is just asking God for what we want. And when those things we prayed for don’t happen, we may lose faith in prayer. I think that when we pray, if we skip the “Praise” and “Recall, Reconcile, and Repair” and just “Ask” for what we want, then we are not building a relationship with God. Instead, we are being like a child who talks to a parent only when the child wants something. If you were a parent, how would you like for your children to only talk to you when they want something? How would you feel if they never say thank you or give you credit for the good you do? And, what would you think if they just ask for stuff without thinking about what they could do?
Life is hard and no one is immune to pain, failure, and loneliness. But, there is power in prayer. May it help you find the calm in the midst of a storm or God’s presence when all seems lost. May it lead you to many successes and much joy!