My wife and I are cat people.
It started by accident.
A family of stray cats was living under our fourplex in Baton Rouge. When Hurricane Gustav flooded our street, a sopping wet kitten walked into our apartment and refused to leave. Josie moved around with us for the next seven years, and we’ve had several more cats since.
Our current cat, Champ, unapologetically chose my daughter Daphne as his “hooman” and basically ignores the rest of us. So the other two kids have been pushing for a dog. Abby and I are reluctant to agree, but our resistance has been crumbling. Studies show that cat and dog people have different personality traits (see here and here). Are we ready for a dog?
In her devotional, Fear Less, Pray More, Janet Rockey presents a C.A.T.S. prayer model (p. 10). If you’ve ever thought your prayers have become dry, repetitive, or too self-centered, you might find these categories helpful:
I like this model because it holds me back from going straight to the supplication, which I often do. I have to stop and think about God instead of emphasizing my request.
Here are the four steps.
First, you begin by confessing your sins to God.
Second, you adore Him, which means praising Him for Who He is. You think about His attributes such as His goodness, mercy, grace, power, and longsuffering.
Third, you thank Him for what He has done, for His actions, from sending Jesus into the world to providing you with your daily bread (cf. 1 Thess 5:18).
Fourth, and finally, you bring your supplications to God. That is when you finally ask Him for what you need. You can intercede for others or make petitions for yourself (cf. Thieme, Prayer, pp. 9-11). But these supplications come last.
Of course, there are other ways of outlining a model prayer. This one can help you become more mindful that prayer is not primarily about acquisition, but worship.
I’ll have to teach my kids that the C.A.T.S. model is appropriate even if they’re praying for a dog!