Pastor Jim Alblas
Pioneer Christian Reformed Church
Cedarfield Community Center
3592 17 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs
Sometimes people will ask me for tips on how to pray. They want to know what to say when they spend time with God. In those times, I tend to point them in the direction of The Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:2-4), a prayer of confession (Psalm 32), a prayer of praise (Psalm 27) or to simply model the prayers of other people they hear in church. But recently I’ve discovered another model for prayer from Psalm 3 that I think is helpful. I have named this model the STAR Prayer; each letter corresponds to four things David does in his time with God.
First, David shares what’s on his heart. O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Sadly, his own son and his army were chasing after David. But rather than keeping it inside, David shared his burden with the Lord. And that’s where we get the S, in the STAR prayer. One way you can begin your time with God is S, Share what’s on your heart. Maybe you’re happy, maybe you’re sad. Don’t bottle it up; share it with God. God already knows what’s going on, but often it’s helpful to unload.
The second thing David does is express his confidence in God. David says: Many are saying of me, God will not deliver him, but you are a shield around me, O Lord. David had been around God long enough to know He had his back. David knew that from his battles against the Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, Ammonites, not to mention ol Goliath back when he was a kid. And this is where we get the T in the STAR Prayer. In your time with God, express your T, Trust in God. Tell God that you know He’s with you and list past examples of His faithfulness to justify your trust. God loves to hear it when we express our trust in Him.
The third thing David does is call God into action. David says: Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! He knew God was his willing advocate and so he called Him into action. And that’s where we get the A in the Star Prayer. A third thing we can do is A, Appeal for God to move on our behalf. So list your needs and ask God to move, list your blessings and ask God to send more!
Finally, David ends his time with God by thinking of others. He says: May your blessing be on your people. David knows that he’s not the only one with troubles and so he prays for others. That’s where we get the R; one way to end your time with God is to R, Remember others. Ask the Lord to help them in their needs, just as He has helped you.
The Star Prayer is not the only model out there, but one that I hope can be helpful for you.