When should you pray? Well, are you – hurting, happy, or in need of anything in your life? Perhaps encouragement, guidance or purpose? Pray about everything! Prayer is something most of us learned how to do as children. But our lives are much more complicated as adults. How should we be praying now?
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When I launched my Thyme4Faith posts, I mentioned that God occasionally reinforces a specific message to me from multiple angles. It’s like God is saying, “wake up, this is important!”Prayer as a life strategy, is one of those messages. So how do we incorporate prayer into all areas of our life?
Prayer as a Life Strategy
Relationships are based on communication. Prayer is in essence a conversation with God. Many of us haven’t revisited how we pray since we were first taught. Or perhaps you’ve never really prayed in the past. A.C.T.S. is a great recipe for prayer which I picked up from The Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen & Alex Kendrick (a quick shout out to my amazingly Spirit-filled daughter Jessica, for giving me this book.) Here’s what A.C.T.S stands for:
A = Adoration – We should start our prayers by praising and worshiping God for who he is – creator, provider of our salvation, more powerful than anything. We were actually wired for worship when we were created. (Ephesians 1:5-7)
C = Confession – Then we seek forgiveness and gain freedom from the shame of things we’ve done and left undone. We do this by honestly and humbly examining our hearts and pouring them out to God. (1 John 5:9)
T = Thanksgiving – We all have reasons to be thankful. It may be for what He’s already done, or what He’s doing in your life right now. This should lead us to humbly express our gratitude. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
S = Supplication – An unfamiliar word to most of us, it means to ask God for what we need. Whether it’s for us, or for others that need God’s help and provision. (Matthew 7:7-8)
Wait, you mean we don’t just launch into our wish list for God when we pray? There are times when just an urgent request is required. The bible even provides a number of examples of this type of prayer. But as a life strategy, we should first praise God for who He is. Then we should confess our sins. Next we thank Him for what He’s done or is doing in our lives. Finally we bring Him our requests. This puts our hearts in the right place and even transforms what we pray for.
As we build our relationship with God, our prayers become more in line with His will and what brings Him the most glory. God created us out of love. By putting Him at the center of our lives through prayer, we can live in the freedom and confidence that God is with us every step of the way. Face it, life is hard. We don’t have the strength to face it on our own. Prayer is the life strategy that works.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all He has done. Philippians 4:6