Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Primer on Prayer

If you have ever asked the question, "why does God need me to pray?", we have asked the wrong question. The right question is, "why does God command us to pray?" God desires our prayers not because He needs our prayers (God is complete/without need), but because we need to change our hearts from their self centered perspective to a God centered perspective. Prayer is something that we need, not God.

Form should not be our primary concern with prayer. A desire to seek God's face and encounter His truth and the truth about ourselves should be our primary focus. But, fallen man is lazy and selfish by nature, so form does serve the function of keeping us focused and disciplining our hearts and our minds.

There are numerous forms of prayer. I like this one, and it does serve the purpose of focusing our hearts and minds on the things of God and disciplining us.

A.C.T.S - is an acrostic that stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
1. Adoration: We are to praise God when we pray. We praise Him not for what He does for us, but for who He is.
2. Confession: We need to be truthful with God so He can prepare the truth in us. There are 2 methods on sin. Commission - where we either thing or act in a manner that doesn't glorify God. Omission - where we fail to think or act in a manner that would glorify God. Tell Him all.
3. Thanksgiving: We praise God for His mercy and grace towards us. It's this "attitude of gratitude" that leads to humility.
4. Supplication: We petition God for the needs of others and for our own needs. We shouldn't be afraid or ashamed to ask for God's help. He knows we need Him. Just remember that He understands our needs better than we do. Trust in Him.

We need to understand completely that prayer is for our benefit. We don't just go to God when we desire His approval or a pat on the back. We don't just go to Him when we desire His blessings or His protection. The most important time to pray is when you don't want to pray. If you're mad at God - tell Him!! If you're feeling doubt about God's leading in your life - tell Him!! If you feel like God doesn't love you and is a thousand miles away - tell Him!! he knows that's how you're feeling (He's God remember?)! He desires your honesty so He can deal with your weakness.

1 comment:

  1. I am working on a prayer in this format for the men's breakfast right now