Family Prayer Guide

GUIDE FOR FAMILY PRAYER TIME

  • Begin with a short prayer asking for God’s leadership during the family prayer time. Ask God to help everyone to be attentive, considerate and respectful of one another throughout the process. Also, ask that God give everyone a sensitive, discerning attitude about His will in your family.
  • Explain the four aspects of the R.A.Y. model you will be using: Praise…Repentance…Ask…Yield. For the sake of understanding and teaching it may be preferable to make this a series of four prayers, pausing between each to be sure everyone understands what you are doing.
  • Have each family member share their request(s) while someone records them on a piece of paper to be put on your prayer wall/door/bulletin board.

 

YOU ARE NOW READY TO P.R.A.Y.

P – Praise... The “P” of praise reminds us that prayer is primarily a vertical, God-focused act. When you begin your prayer with Praise, you are approaching God with total respect and honor. Start your prayer by telling God something you appreciate about His character and why: “Father, I praise You for Your love, Your justice, Your holiness, Your kindness, Your faithfulness, Your grace, Your omnipresence, etc.” Praise God for who He is and what He has done, offering Him your thanks.
R – Repent... The “R” of repent reminds us God has called us to confession and repentance when we sin and break our fellowship with Him. To confess is to say the same thing God says about our sin. It’s no longer making excuses but agreeing with God that your attitudes and actions are sinful. To repent is to change your mind about a belief or a behavior that produces a change of life. It’s making a U-turn with our lives. It’s turning from an old way of thinking and living that enables us to live new. As you pray, take some time to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal your sins. Think through various areas of your life…..thoughts, actions, attitudes, etc. Ask God to forgive you and restore your fellowship. Thank him for his promise in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You may want to have this be a time of silent prayer or parents may need to lead or model what this looks like.
A – Ask... When our hearts are God-oriented in praise and purified through repentance, then we are ready to Ask. God encourages us to come boldly to Him and ask. “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). James says, “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Jesus makes an amazing promise in Matthew 7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).
Y – Yield... We must be willing to yield our desires and our thoughts to God’s sovereign wisdom. Our model is Jesus who yielded in humble obedience to the Father which ultimately took Him to the cross. When we submit to God’s sovereign rule, we understand that the outcome is His to decide, and ultimately that His decision is best for His glory and our joy. When we pray for God’s will to be done, we want to be careful not to think  God should conform to our wishes, but we should truly pray for “His will to be done.” To close our prayer by “yielding” to God is a way that we submit our desires to Him.