STAR System – Taking a Step in Style
(2) STAR System – Taking a Step in Style
Over the past year I have been diving deeper into prayer. Though I have been in ministry for decades, it has become evident how mundane my prayer life has become. My limited view, understanding, and methodology in regards to prayer have resulted in an unintentionally limited scoped prayer life.
Through exploring prayer, my knowledge on prayer has expanded, my view of prayer has become even more faith filled, and the methods I use have drastically increased. Using the STAR system for our guide, today we focus on the “Style” of our prayers.
When I mention prayer time, there are probably certain images that come to mind. For me, it is seeing my grandpa on his knees at his recliner praying before the day starts. It is holding hands praying as a family or over someone sick in the hospital. And let’s not forget food. Prayer often makes me hungry, because our family prays before every meal.
These different images are the “style” in which we pray. Style is simply how you pray. It may be walking, kneeling, writing, as a group, or in a quiet place. There are many styles to use, with a variety of benefits for each. What I have noticed in my life is that I need to change my style often. For me, when I use the same style, my prayers get boring. It like eating the same food for every meal. It gets old quick.
Many of you know what I am talking about. Your prayers have become more ritual than heartfelt. It is easy to get caught reciting prayers instead of communicating our heart to God. Our words for each prayer are the same each time we pray. I believe a huge contributor to our drifting in that direction is because we pray about the same things in the same way every day. What I have discovered, is that changing my style drastically impacts my prayers. With a simple style change, I have found myself praying more intentionally for those reoccurring requests and also for areas and people I had not prayed about before.
I pray for my kids regularly. I’m sure you probably do too. Depending on your family, you have probably prayed for your grandkids, nieces and nephews, and your own little ones or sometimes grownup big ones. By using different styles, you can become less ritual and expand your prayers for those you love.
Here is what has worked for me. On most days, I keep the same style. I wake up, read God’s Word, and get on my knees and pray. In the evenings, we have family prayer time where we share a little about the day, our concerns, and then everyone prays over what they just heard and then off to bed.
At both of those times, I pray for my kids as well as my extended family’s kids as needs arise. But frankly, though I was praying, I was still in a rut. So, I added a little style. Style is like the seasoning when cooking, a little bit can make all the difference in the world. Here are a few styles I have used.
Posture of Hands:
Posture is simply the position you are in when you pray. A simple change in posture has significant impact when you pray. For example, I will take one of the kids and place my hand on them and pray over them. The basic act of a physical touch will alter your prayers. It might be a hand on them as they walk out the door for school asking God to help them be a light to their classmates. It could be a hand on their head as I pray for relief from a bad headache. Laying on of hands is a change in style and that can bring out a different aspect in your prayers. You will pray about things you never thought of before and all of the sudden, there is a little seasoning in your prayers.
Using Objects in your prayers can also be a unique style of praying. Sometimes I will pray over the kid’s devices that God would help them to use them for good and keep the evil that is accessible on them far away. I may go in their room and pray on their bed, that they will find rest there, because doubts and insecurities can sometimes arise when you are alone. The concept here is that an object can help prompt prayers that you never thought about praying. Instead of being generic and just asking God to watch over them, you can get specific with everything from praying over their contact list on their phone to praying over the school work.
Location of your prayers can have a very meaningful impact on your prayers. Maybe it’s time for you to take a prayer drive. This is similar to a prayer walk but in a car. I drive to the schools where my kids attend and pray over their school. I may drive to where they do a sport or even where they work, and simply praying over what goes on at that location. It is amazing the things that come out of those prayer times. Praying for coaches, managers, teachers and classmates can make a difference.
Style sparks our hearts to think beyond the routine ritual prayer. It helps us to get out of the rut of boring prayers, and get to heart of what you are wanting to communicate to God.
Changing up your style will bring new perspectives that will enhance your prayers. This week, to deepen your prayer life, I challenge you to change up your style at least twice. Break with the ritual and do something unusual. It will probably feel a little awkward at first, but go with it. I got a feeling you find the awkward is just what you needed.