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Posted 02/28/2023 in Christian Mental Health Tips

P.R.A.Y. - A Prayer Acronym To Deepen Your Prayer Life


P.R.A.Y. - A Prayer Acronym To Deepen Your Prayer Life

Prayer is one of the most powerful tools we have as Christians. It's a direct line of contact with the Creator of the universe, our God, the One who knows us fully and loves us deeply. Yet, for many of us, prayer can feel like a real struggle. We might find ourselves unsure of what to say, how to say it, or what to ask for. We may also feel confused or distracted, wondering if our words are even being heard.

This is where prayer acronyms come in. Prayer acronyms provide usLike this Content on facebook with a structure for our prayers and help us focus our thoughts on God. In a previous blog post, we learned about the acts prayer method acronym but that’s not the only one. Another great acronym to use in your prayer time is P.R.A.Y.

The P.R.A.Y. acronym is a simple guide to prayer that can deepen your prayer life and bring you into a closer relationship with God. Each letter represents a key element of prayer, ushering you through a powerful process of praise, repentance, asking, and yielding to God's will.

In this post, we'll explore each part of the P.R.A.Y. acronym in-depth. So if you're looking for a different, more structured way to pray, keep reading.

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How to Pray According to the PRAY Acronym

The P.R.A.Y acronym stands for Praise, Repent, Ask, and Yield. This acronym is a simple yet effective way to structure your prayers. Like the acts prayer method acronym, the P.R.A.Y Acronym is based on the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 KJV). Each section is designed to help you focus on a specific element of prayer, making your time with God much more intentional.

Let's look at each element of the P.R.A.Y. acronym in-depth:

What the pray acronym stands for PinPin It

Praise

Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

The first element of P.R.A.Y. is praise. Praising God is an integral part of prayer. When we begin our prayers with praise, we acknowledge who God is and express our adoration for Him. This sets the tone for our prayers and helps us to remember that God is in control.

Psalm 100:4-5 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

Therefore, we begin our prayers by praising God, so that we can enter into His presence with praise and thanksgiving as the Psalmist says.

Practical steps to praising God:

  • Make a list of God's characteristics and meditate on them.

  • Read a psalm of praise to God, such as Psalm 150.

  • Sing a song of praise to God.

  • Bring to mind specific ways He has shown His love and goodness in your life.

Repent

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors

The next step in effective prayer is repentance. Repentance is the act of admitting our sins to God and then turning away from them. This step is crucial because it helps us remain close to God despite our sinful nature.

See, when we sin, we automatically form a barrier between us and God. Repentance is the way we remove that barrier. 1 John 1:9, says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Therefore, when you choose to repent in your prayers every day you will receive God’s grace and gain the strength you need to turn away from your sinful ways.

Practical steps to repenting:

  • Confess your sins to God, and be clear about what you’re admitting.

  • Ask God to forgive you for your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

  • Reflect on the areas of your life where you struggle with sin, then ask God to give you the strength to overcome them.

  • Consider fasting as a way to seek God's forgiveness and guidance in specific areas of sin.

Ask

Give us this day our daily bread...and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

The third step in the P.R.A.Y acronym is Ask. This is where we make our requests known to God. Philippians 4:6, says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” 

God wants us to bring our requests to Him and to trust that He will supply. 

When we ask God for help in our prayers, we reveal our dependence on Him and our faith in His ability to provide for our needs. We can ask for anything that's on our hearts, whether it be for ourselves or for others. We can also ask for His guidance, direction, wisdom, provision, healing, and much more. 

As you ask for what you need you will be reminded that God is your provider and that He deeply cares for you.

Practical steps to asking:

  • Write down your prayer requests so that you can remember them.

  • Separate your requests into categories, such as personal, family, church, work, and community.

  • Pray for each request specifically, one at a time, asking God to meet your needs and the needs of others.

  • Use scripture to guide your requests.

Yield

Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, forever.

The final section of the P.R.A.Y. acronym is Yield. Yielding means surrendering our will to God's will. It's an opportunity to recognize that God is in control and that we can trust Him to guide us.

In James 4:7, we are instructed to submit ourselves to God and resist the devil. Yielding can help us do that.

See, when we yield to God, we actively resist the temptation to take control of our lives and we submit to His will instead. In doing so, we put ourselves in a position to receive His blessings and guidance.

Practical steps to yielding:

  • Pray for the wisdom to discern God's will.

  • Submit and surrender your plans and desires to God.

  • Trust that God's plan for your life is good and perfect (Romans 12:2).

Final Thoughts on The P.R.A.Y Acronym

The P.R.A.Y acronym, modeled after the Lord's Prayer provides a simple and effective framework for us to follow. This prayer method can truly change our lives if we let it. See, when we praise God, repent of our sins, ask for help, and yield to His will, we begin to experience a deeper connection with Him and we start to grow in our faith.

So the next time you pray, try using the P.R.A.Y. acronym and watch how it enhances your prayer life. Also, remember to approach God with reverence and respect, recognizing His holiness and sovereignty. Do not be afraid to be honest with Him and to pour your heart out, knowing that He is always listening and eager to help.

By consistently using this prayer method in your prayer time, you'll soon begin to see your heart and mind aligning with His will. Keep in mind that prayer is not just about asking for things, but also about pursuing God's presence and communing with Him.

PRAY acronym PDF printable

May this acronym guide you into a more meaningful prayer life. May it help you grow closer to God and experience His goodness, love, and mercy in new and deeper ways. We developed several prayer journal pages to help you implement the PRAY acronym.  You can download them by clicking the above picture.  



About the Author:

Corine Williams, Ph.D. is Clinical Psychologist that is currently seeing clients in the States of Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. You can find out more about her practice by visiting www.therapyforchristians.com/corinewilliams.  In addition to providing individual therapy, Dr. Williams is also passionate about writing books and designing merchandise that educate, uplift, and normalize mental health subject in the Christian community. You can find out more about her at  www.booksbycorine.com or by visiting her amazon profile here: https://www.amazon.com/Corine-Hyman/e/B00AWZ5FL2


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