Thank you, Jesus! Lord, forgive me. Bless those in Ukraine. Help me, God. These four prayers are spontaneous utterances that I have spoken in the past week. They are examples of four types of prayers that I encouraged Confirmands to use in their prayer journals: thanksgiving, confession, intercession, and petition. The truth is, these short, spontaneous prayers are much more my style than the longer conversation or meditative style of prayer that some prefer.
“Thank you, Jesus” may come in response to something as simple as the elevator being on my floor when I’m in a hurry or when I get a phone call from a long-time friend. “Lord, forgive me” is appropriate more frequently than I actually pray it but comes when I have thought unkind thoughts about someone, for example.
Prayers of intercession come maybe while watching the news, or hearing about someone’s illness, or even when seeing a homeless person while driving. There are many opportunities to lift up a quick prayer for someone. Just saying a name is enough — God knows the needs more than I do!
And finally, petition: prayers for myself are much needed — particularly praying for patience. I recognize the value in the longer, more thoughtful conversations with God — I read the Upper Room every day as well as a Lenten devotional, and each evening I write five things for which I am thankful. But still, for me, the admonishment to “continue instant in prayer” is best acted out spontaneously. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.