What is prayer?
Prayer is communication with the only true and living God. Prayer helps us to grow spiritually. As we pray we begin to build an intimate relationship with God. Through prayer we appeal to God for his mercy, grace, and love.
Why we must pray?
God’s Words commands us to pray (Luke 18:1, 10,2). Jesus also prayed (Matthew 4:1-2). Jesus who is the Word, who is God, the Creator and Sustainer prayed before every major decision.
How must we pray?
One of the most important elements of effective prayer is praying to the Father in JESUS’ name (John 14:13-14). We must also pray by faith, continually, with a pure heart, with thanksgiving, and assurance that our prayers will be answered (Mark 11:24-25) (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) (Philippians 4:4-7). There is no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer styles vary, and yours is uniquely designed for you.
How To Pray
The following formulary is not the only one and it may not be the perfect one, but it's a good pattern that has been used for many years in Christian circles. It's balanced, and it's easy to use.
A.C.T.S. = Adoration + Confession + Thanksgiving + Supplication
Calling upon God recognizing who He is and acknowledging His Greatness.
Adoration sets the tone for the entire prayer. It reminds us whom we are addressing, whose presence we have entered, whose attention we have gained. How often our problems and trials and needs seem so pressing that we reduce prayer to a wish list! But when we commit ourselves to beginning all our prayers with adoration, we have to slow down and focus our attention on God.
Adoration gets our eyes off ourselves and our problems and causes our focus to see the greatness of God, then our problems don't seem so large!
God's kindness leads you toward repentance. Romans 2: 4
Why do we need to confess sin? We confess our sins to restore our fellowship with God. Sin does not break our relationship with God, but it hinders our intimacy with Him. We confess our sins to be honest with God and with ourselves. We confess our sins to thank God for His forgiveness and ask for His wisdom and help in avoiding that sin in the future. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
How do we confess our sin? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sin in our life. Confess our sins admitting our guilt.
3. Thanks Giving (Expressing Gratitude)
There is a difference between feeling grateful and expressing thanks.
Psalm 103:2 says, "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits" Paul writes in I Thessalonians 5:18, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
When life's circumstances seem to hide those things we can be thankful for, look to nature and the consistency God maintains with the sun rising and setting, the birds and animals carrying out their instinctive tasks. The sun has not fallen out of the sky. The clouds continue to make designs in the sky. Then we can look to the smile of a friend or the ability to take a step, touch a child, or smell a flower.
Our thanks take many forms and will affect our view of life and its circumstances. God is still faithful.
4. Supplication (Asking for help)
This is the time to present our requests to God.
Philippians 4:6 says, "In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." If you have adored him, confessed your sins and thanked him for all his goodness, you're ready to tell him what you need.
Nothing is too big for God to handle or too small for him to be interested in.
Pray not only for yourself and your family, but for those in your community, on your job, in your church even as the word reminds us to ?pray for one another?. Pray for your life circumstances and the decisions you are being asked to make. The needs are endless and God loves your conversations with Him.
It's a good idea to sometimes just tell God Thank You, for what He's already done for you! Let Him know that you know; you can't make it without Him.