Recently I was talking with a man and he asked me several questions about prayer. I know that prayer is a deep subject and there are many directions one could take on a journey like prayer. There are many different things within the subject we could cover as well. For the next few days I a going to some of my understanding about prayer.
Some of the names like “Prayer Toolbox” you might not care for. I n your journal or data file or notebook, wherever you write these kinds of things down and write them down how they are most helpful to you.
In talking about tools – we could talk about ropes and beads, journals, many things we use in prayer. We talked about those things not long ago and if we were to talk about them this time, I am not sure what I would call them.
Many times we need help in keeping our prayer time straight and on-track. One of the best ways to do this, in my opinion, is the acrostic A.C.T.S.
A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication
What is adoration? Well, the root of the word is “Adore.” What is it we adore, we love about God. Romans 8:28 reminds us that God is at work for us. The open Bible reminds me of God’s faithfulness. The basket of vegetables speaks to God’s provision. The picture from the Grand Canyon speaks to me of the beauty of God’s creation. The heart and cross bring God’s love to our minds.
Scripture says, “If we confess our sins God is faithful and just and forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” (paraphrased).
In a Protestant understanding of confession, it is not necessary to confess to a priest. We can go directly to God ourselves through prayer. That being said, I think we can lost something in not confessing these sins aloud. There is something about hearing them in you ears, an audible sound that is really important. We also, when we confess our sins to another person, whether that is in a group of people, with a friend or accountability partner, or a clergy person, there is someone who can hold us accountable for what we have confessed to God.
I heard it said once that Thanksgiving should be the all-American holiday. That is because no matter who we are or anything about us, we all have something or someone to be thankful for. I am a United Methodist pastor, and I things I am thankful for. A Roman Catholic lay person has things to be thankful for. A Muslim should have no trouble finding something for which they are thankful. Even an atheist, while not thankful to a deity they don’t believe exists, can still be thankful for the Starbucks barista that gets their coffee each morning or for the farmer who harvests their crops.
Well, what does that mean? Dictionary.com defines the word as, “the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.” It is making our requests known to God.
What is it that I need from God. What do I NEED that I cannot obtain on my own? I don’t believe God cares who wins a ballgame. I don’t think God cares what kind of car we drive. I do think God cares and will lead us when we ask how we can feed 500 when we have food for half that. It is appropriate to pray for God to send more workers so a project can reach completion. Supplication is us, asking God, for the things we NEED. God does care about us staying well and avoiding accidents. God does, to the extent free will allows it, keep us safe.
ACTS points us in the right direction in our prayer life. It points us in the right direction. It points us to God.
Have ab blessed day in the Lord.
Seeking the genuine,
Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.