“So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: ‘Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them.’”—Acts 4:24 (NKJV)
If we haven’t personally experienced the power of prayer in our lives, we have definitely heard accounts of others who have. It’s so amazing when we encounter the God of the universe through answered prayer. God has provided this simple form of communication for us to access Him.
And yet, prayer remains a challenge for so many believers. As a pastor, I often encounter people who tell me they don't know how to pray. When we fail to pray, we miss out on God’s bigger picture for us. Author Leonard Ravenhill says, “Preaching affects time; prayer affects eternity.”
So how do we pray? Jesus gave us guidelines in Matthew 6:5-13. And while space does not allow us to look at all the elements here, we can learn some simple points that will help us pray. This method, called ACTS, is something I learned early on as a Christian.
Adoration: We want to first praise the God we are talking to. After all, as in the above prayer in today’s verse, we are talking to the Creator. He has given us life and has the power to respond to our prayers in a very real way!
Confession: In our relationship with God, it is important to remember our sinfulness and His holiness. We want to seek His forgiveness where we fall short.
Thanksgiving: God has already done so much for us, especially in offering His Son for our salvation. It is important to thank Him for all that He has done.
Supplication: We now have the opportunity to ask for things—salvation for friends and family, direction on decisions we are making, healing, and more.
It’s important to remember that God knows all things and what is best for us. So while we are seeking to have our prayers heard, we need to remember that God will do things in His timing. We need to patiently wait on Him in faith. An unknown author notes, “Much of our praying is like the boy who rings the door bell, but then runs away before the door is open.”
We need to spend time with the Lord in His Word as we seek answers to prayers, knowing that God hears all prayers. Then we can hear from Him.
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