About a year ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Mark Maccarone from Victory Ministries make a presentation about the process he goes through each day for his morning prayer. It was clear this man loved his Saviour with all his heart, and had the kind of walk with Jesus for which I long to have. I implemented his routine, plus added a bit of my own, and would like to share it with you. Hopefully you will clip this column and use it as a guide to get you started toward living a victorious life through the power of prayer.
The first step Mark suggests is to “set the alarm clock” by claiming the promise in Isaiah 50:4, asking God to awake you early for prayer and worship time. Then, as soon as you awaken, get on your knees and pray. The first thing you do is to give your heart anew to God, based on Proverbs 23:26. I like to do this part out loud, so that satan and his evil minions hear me state that I freely choose to follow Jesus, but the rest I do silently.
Next, claim the promise of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, asking God to empty you of self, and to fill you with His Spirit instead. Also, ask for God’s grace (2 Corinthians 12:9), and the bread of life (Matthew 4:4). Ask God to give you the right words at the right time to help you be a witness to others (Jeremiah 1:9). Ask God to surround and protect you by the help of his Holy angels who excel in strength (Psalm 103:20).
Next, ask God to place his armor on you, as stated in Ephesians 6:10-18. I usually do this from head to toe, as I have trouble remembering the order it appears in scripture, and I expand on each section a bit as follows: Father, place upon my head the helmet of salvation, guarding and protecting my mind and thoughts this day. I ask that you give me your shield of faith, increase my faith each day, and help me to trust fully in you and not be deceived by the enemy. Guard and protect my heart and my emotions by giving me the breastplate of your righteousness, and let this righteousness flow through and from me. Help me to each day strengthen my sword of your word. Help me to learn and remember your word, to hide it in my heart, and call it to my mind when I need it (Psalm 119:11; Luke 12:11-12) . Father, please gird my loins with your truth. Please reveal your truth to me, and when you do, help me to have ears to hear and eyes to see, and to walk in the truth that you reveal. (As a side note, I especially consider the prayer for truth to be what personally brought me to the foot of the cross from the bondage of believing the New Age deception. Maybe I’ll share that story with you someday, but meanwhile, please make asking for truth a part of your daily routine.) Shod my feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Guide and direct my footsteps today, so that I can be where you need me to be to give strength or comfort to someone who needs to hear the good news of your word this day.
Ask the Lord to give you wisdom (James 1:5). Claim all of the promises of scripture, even those of which you might not be aware (2 Peter 1:4). If there are specific promises for which you especially feel a need, list them individually.
Next, spend some time asking God to reveal any sin in your life (Psalm 139:23-24), to give you the strength to overcome temptation and to really repent and turn away from this sin once and for all. Confess any sins that you have committed and ask to be forgiven and cleansed (1 John 1:9). Pour out your heart to him as though he were your closest friend, which he should be. Then spend some time thanking and praising him for the victories that he has given you in the previous 24 hours (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Next, go through your list of people that you normally pray for, and anyone else who needs special prayer. This list might include friends, family, neighbors, church leaders and members, government leaders, our military, and anyone else that comes to mind. This is also the time to make any special requests for yourself that haven’t already been addressed.
Often I close with the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew 6:9-13. Once I’m finished praying, I like to spend some time studying Scripture. One interesting study that you might want to repeat for yourself is to look at each verse in Scripture that includes the word “pray”. It will give you a number of other suggestions of things for which you should pray. Once you make this a habit, I believe that you will find that this routine makes a great way to start your day. I encourage you to begin with this immediately, and watch for some upcoming columns where I will share other prayer ideas with you.