It can be hard to pray sometimes. For me especially, I often find myself distracted and my mind wanders away from my conversation with God. Because of my tendency to do this, I like to give my prayer a nice structure that I can follow. It helps me to focus on God and give Him my undivided attention for however long I pray.
The structure I give to my prayer is the W. R. A. P. method. This prayer is form of Lectio Divina, or divine reading, which means to read scripture thoughtfully and prayerfully. A FOCUS missionary taught it to me, describing it to me as a way to “wrap yourself up in God’s word.”
There are four steps to this prayer exercise:
In this step, I write down which chapter and verse I am reading for the day. The best way to choose a Scripture passage, I feel, is to read the Gospel passage from the readings of the day — that way you don’t take any Scripture out of context as you will read what comes before and after the passage on the preceding and succeeding days.
After I write which Scripture I am reading, I say a short prayer to ask the Holy Spirit to come and fill me up in order that I might gain a better understanding of God’s word. I will then read through the Scripture twice, then write down any verses, sentences, or words that stuck out to me.
In this step I ask myself: What is God telling me? What are the verses that stood out to me actually saying about my life? Is God calling me to something? Is He pushing me to say sorry, to forgive, to laugh a little more?
The Bible has so much to say to us, and this is the step where we really listen to what God is saying and how He wants to work in our lives. I write down anything I think He is telling me.
In this third step I make plans of how I will apply to my daily life what God is telling me. How will I say sorry, how will I forgive, and how will I laugh more? This is the core step in the prayer where I begin to let God come into my life and start making changes. It is here where my relationship with God begins to change in small ways.
In this fourth step of WRAP, I turn to God and respond to what He has told me through Scripture. Here is where there really isn’t structure — it is just time for me to converse with God, to tell Him about my day (though He already knows how it was), to thank Him for my blessings, and most of all to ask for strength to actually do what I planned in the “apply” step.
With that, I end my prayer. It usually takes me fifteen to twenty minutes to get through, and I have recently been getting up earlier so I can start off my day with it.
The prayer gives me something to reflect on the entire day and reminds me of what I am living for. WRAP is something that allows me to stay focused during prayer and actually listen to God, and although I haven’t been using it for a long time, I have already noticed growth in my prayer life.