Day 7: Prayer
Prayer is one of those things that we talk about all the time in church, but if we are honest, many of us don’t know how to pray or even understand the point of prayer. Our best effort can sometimes be a wish list to God once a week, hoping one of them lands.
Even though God wants to hear from you and give you the desires of your heart, asking God for things is a small portion of prayer and is not even the primary point.
Prayer is about building a relationship with God. I build a relationship with my wife when I tell her about my day, my feelings, my lunch, and my meetings. I build a relationship with God by talking to Him about my day. My wife probably knew I went to work that day. We were likely texting each other about the events of the day, but there is still a connection that happens when I get to see her that evening and process through life. It’s the same thing with God. Even though He knows exactly how my day went, there is a connection that happens in my relationship with Him when I take time to talk to Him. My marriage would inevitably suffer if I never spoke to my spouse. It would be a ridiculous thought to believe I could have any relationship with anyone I never spoke to. Unfortunately, somedays we never talk to God yet wonder why we aren’t growing in our faith.
Prayer is communication. Communication strengthens relationships. Communication with God builds a relationship with Him.
Don’t let any of this intimidate you. I often say, “if you know how to worry, you know how to pray.” When we worry about something, we think about our day, past, future, and process through our emotions. Well, that’s precisely how we should pray, direct your thoughts and worries towards God, and you got it down. Worrying with God is encouraged in the Bible. God promises that we will find rest from our stress when we bring Him into our world of worries.
There are some really practical ways we can pray that helps guide us. Whether you are just starting out or having a rough day and need to go back to the basics, I would encourage you to use the A.C.T.S. acronym for prayer.
A – Adoration: Start your prayer off by praising God. Tell Him how good He is, how powerful He is, how gracious He is. It’s important to make sure that when we pray, we are most definitely beginning a conversation with the creator of the universe, and that’s a big deal! Let’s make sure we recognize His awesomeness.
C – Confession: Take time to confess to God. Although this can be a sin that needs to be confessed to Him, it doesn’t have to be. It can just be the state of your heart or emotions in that given moment. It’s a time of authenticity, transparency, and truth. We come to God as our raw selves, and it lays the foundation for a healthy relationship surrounded by intimacy.
T – Thanksgiving: The Bible says that “thanksgiving is the gateway into his presence.” Since prayer is about a relationship and a relationship is built on time together and intimacy, then let’s enter into his presence by giving thanks! Take some time to tell Him all the things you are grateful for in life. This will also help change your Spirit for the day and give you a more positive perspective on just how good you have it. Prayer doesn’t always change your circumstances but will always change your perspective.
S – Supplication: As you end your time in prayer, make sure you express to God the desires of your heart. He wants to hear them. The Bible says to ask, and you will receive. Which could also be written, “you may not get everything you want, but you won’t get anything you don’t ask for.”
Scripture of the Day
“1 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say:” ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” – Luke 11:1-4
Examples of Prayer:
*(A) God, you are amazing. You are so good and gracious. I come to you completely humbled by your power. (C) I confess to you that I have been struggling with a negative attitude, my heart has not been in a good place lately, and I am sorry. I pray that you help me change that, for I know you have given me so much to be thankful for. (T) I thank you for my family, my job, my house, my safety, and my health. (S) I ask that you help me love my family well today and be productive at work. I give you all the glory, Amen.