Prayer 101

Prayer 101One of the most incredible ways to connect with God anytime anywhere is through prayer, a simple conversation with our Father in heaven. How incredible is our God who hears us even when we do not speak! He invites us, desires us to talk with Him through prayer, so much so, that he sent His Son Jesus Christ to die so that we would have a direct connection straight to His throne. No waiting, no wondering whether or not He hears us or cares, He wants nothing more than for us to just sit at His feet like Mary and talk with Him. It seems so easy, but does your prayer time ever look like this…

So how do we go from THAT, to something a little deeper? Think of Christ as a new friend, you start by asking the basic questions you would of anyone you meet. Where are you from, how did you get here, what do you do for a living, etc. Then you move on to the more intimate questions, what do you fear in life, what is your greatest joy, what made you decide to pursue your vocation, etc. Ask Him your questions, seek answers in His Word, He will be faithful to answer. Just remember…He is still God and there’s no way we could ever fully understand Him, but through His Word we can certainly get to know Him on a deeper level than we could ever think possible. Here’s one way how:

A.C.T.S.S. (I didn’t misspell it!)

Many times, our prayers turn into a list of requests, demands from God.  He DOES want us to bring our requests to Him, but if that’s all we do, then we are missing out on the incredible joy that can be found in communing with God through prayer.  A.C.T.S.S. is a simple way to include more than just our requests when coming before the Lord.

Adoration: 

Give God praise for who He is, He is the creator of all things visible and invisible, the Holy One of heaven, the only One worth of our praise.  If you have a hard time coming up with praises on your own, or just aren’t sure what that means, then start your prayer by singing, listening to a praise and worship song or reading a Psalm.  There are no rules telling us that a prayer cannot be sung or that we can’t use what someone else has written, as long as it is drawing you into a deeper relationship with Him.  In time, your own praises will flow.

Confession: 

This one is pretty easy to understand.  Here we are simply telling God what we have done wrong, how we have fallen short of His will.  It’s not just confessing what we know we have done, but also what we are unaware of doing.  We can take a moment and ask God to reveal to us something we have done or are doing that is going against His will.  This way we can turn from that action/inaction.

Thanksgiving: 

What a beautiful way to follow confession, turning around and praising God for what He has done!  Here we take the time to thank God for the many blessings He has poured out into our lives.  From protecting us through the night, to rescuing us from sin, death, and the devil by sending His Son to die.

Supplication: 

Finally, we bring God our requests, our hurts, our joys, lifting our family, friends, up to His throne.

We know a conversation involves two or more people exchanging dialogue…so where does listening come into play in prayer?

Shhhhh:

(See I told you I didn’t misspell actss!)  Spend some time simply listening to God.  This can come in the form of sitting quietly, asking God to reveal Himself to you at that moment, or throughout the day and for wisdom to recognize Him.  Perhaps there is something specifically you are struggling with, seek answers in His Word.   

Tip: Write your prayers in a journal, then leave an empty page so you can go back and write in how God has answered your prayer.  If you’re like me, and it’s easier to type out your prayer, save your prayer with the date as the title.  Go back and add God’s responses, be sure to include the date.  One other option is to start your own private prayer blog; if this is an option you’d like to explore I can show you how.

Beautiful Truth:  The above is only one suggestion to deepen your prayer life and your quiet time with God.  There really isn’t any right or wrong way to talk with God as long as our heart’s desire is to draw closer to Him.  If you feel like your are stumbling through your prayers, don’t fret, God still hears what you have to say!  He already knows what you need.

Scripture:  Here are just a few verses to meditate on about prayer.  I encourage you to add your own by commenting below.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
~Romans 8:26

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
~Philippians 4:6-8

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
~Philippians 1:9-11

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
~Matthew 7:7

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
~Matthew 6:33

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
~James 5:15

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
~-I Thessalonians 5:16-18

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
~Ephesians 6:18

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
~Hebrews 4:16

Resources:  I honestly don’t remember the first time I learned about A.C.T.S., but it was probably when I went through confirmation back when I was in 7th-8th grade.  I did add the extra “S” though.  Same with the information about other gods, I learned much of that in my studies in college, though I don’t quite remember the specifics of who taught me or what class.  I did get the idea of getting to know God like a new friend from Wendy Blight‘s book called Hidden Joy.

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5 thoughts on “Prayer 101

  1. I always fell it difficult to pray, as my prayers seem to repetitious.. I stumble at my words, and I would appreciate all the help I can get, as I truly want to have a closer relationship with God. I received Jesus as my Savior, March, 1, 1960. You would think after all this time I would be able to pray. Thank you, I enjoyed your article, and will try to apply it to my life, William.

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    1. Thank you for coming by William. It’s ok to offer the same prayers, as followers of Christ, many of us life up the Lord’s Prayer on a daily basis. Think about when you get together with friends, there are many times when you find yourself talking about the same things over and over simply bc there are your common ground. God wants to hear from us and isn’t bothered if we lift up the same thing everyday. Keep the lines of communication open with Him, picture sitting with Him over a cup of coffee. Prayer is a simple conversation with our Savior, a blessing not a stressing.

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