There is a way to transform our prayer from a monologue to a dialogue; from a relationship to a “real-ationship;” from being filled with words to making us capable of discerning and receiving the true Word. This way is the seven Rs of prayer. The seven Rs is an outline for prayer that if used daily will open you to God who will transform you into a father of glory.
The steps to effective prayer are, first, recognize God’s presence in you. Often we begin prayer, launching into what we want to say, directing our thoughts to the God Who seems to be somewhere “out there.” Pause and greet God Who lives within you. This can be done by making the sign of the cross devoutly and slowly, bowing your head, or simply saying, “Hello, God, I’m here. Hello, God, you are here.” But most importantly, we ought to pause for a moment of silence reverently acknowledging that we are humbly placing ourselves in the presence of God who has placed His presence within us.
Second, every conversation has a context, a topic for discussion. It is no different with our relationship with God. Considering this, the second R of prayer is read. It is important to read God’s Word, particularly the Gospel, which contextualizes our prayer. We read until something strikes us, or a phrase connects with us. Perhaps we reread the same passage a couple of times. Third, after you have identified a phrase or a word that God is using to speak to you, reflect on that word or phrase. Meditate and consider what God is trying to communicate to you through His word.
Fourth, after reflecting, we respond to God. We do this by discussing our dreams, aspirations, desires, struggles, plans for the day, our sins, fears, and anxieties—we simply tell Him all about it. During this time we ask for His help and guidance, and for Him to grant success to the work of our hands (see Psalm 90). The fifth R is rest. After you have recognized God’s presence, read His Word, reflected on the phrase that resonates with you, and responded to His Word, then it is time to rest in Him. Simply remain in His presence silently for several minutes. This, perhaps, is the most essential aspect of prayer. During this time of rest God infuses His very presence and life into us.
Sixth, after you have rested in God, then make a resolution in the form of a request: God please help me do this today. The seventh R is to remember your resolution throughout the day, returning to the divine guidance that you received during prayer.
By humbly entering the silence daily and listening in this manner, you can be certain that God will transform your life. You will become a father of purpose, peace, power, and passion, who is capable of transmitting God’s love and mercy to his family.