A Pattern for Prayer

By: Steve Negley

Posted: August 2, 2018

Category: Daily Devotional

“Pray then in this way:
‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.’”
Matthew 6:9-13

In reading about the life of Jesus we find a number of accounts of Jesus praying. And in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray in what we have come to know as The Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer with a pattern: adoration, confession, petition. Sometimes our conversation is enhanced as we follow a pattern.

There was a professor named Dr. Ben Johnson at Columbia Theological Seminary when Dr. Harvey and I were students there. Dr. Johnson published a little pamphlet called “An Adventure in Prayer”. Ben Johnson suggests that we spend 15 minutes every morning in prayer – following this pattern:

  1. BE STILL. Get seated comfortably. Relax. Remind yourself: “I am here to meet God. No other appointment competes in importance.”
  2. ADORATION. Think on the greatness of God, and how incredible it is that God desires to have fellowship with you.
  3. THANKSGIVING. Name the things God has given you for which you are grateful.
  4. DEDICATION. Review the large vows you have taken as a Christian, church member, spouse, employee. Reaffirm these and offer your life to God today for joyful service.
  5. GUIDANCE. Envision your day with God. Ask for guidance in each aspect of your day.
  6. INTERCESSION. Make a list of the names of people who need a relationship with Christ. Pray for them. Also include those whom you love and suffer in whatever way. Ask God to help them.
  7. PETITION. Tell God what you most deeply desire in your life.
  8. ACT OF TRUST. Intentionally release your prayers to God and trust God to answer them.
  9. WAIT. Wait in silence for God to speak to you.

Dr. Ben Johnson suggests that as we take this adventure in prayer – starting each day with a 15 minute conversation, our lives will be changed and enriched.


1. BE STILL. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.