To many of us, prayer is passive. We go through the motions and get distracted by random thoughts. For some of us it’s repetitive and predicatable. Many of us go in asking before worshiping. In essence, many of us were never taught to pray. Jesus did model what prayer should look like in Mathew 6:9-15 . We know this because it was public and personal. It was also a response to people’s questions about how and what to pray for.
The prayer was never meant to be a rigid structure of repetitiveness. This is why Jesus prefaces this right before giving us the model prayer in Mathew 6:7 . This is not to be confused with persistent prayer where we are asking God for something like the salvation of a loved one. Instead, our approach should be that of entering into a conversation with a loved one. Jesus seeks to strengthen and build a relationship with us.
A simple way of viewing the model prayer is by identifying the key elements of the prayer. An effective acronym for this is ACTS.
Adoration: Give God praise and honor for who he is as Lord over all. This is an act of worship to put Jesus first and set our hearts and our minds in line with the Spirit.
Confession: Deal honestly with the sin in your life. We must remove the barrier coming between us and the Father. This helps us to hear and be heard. Another term I like to use is “clearing the clutter”.
Thanksgiving: The very gift of eternal life is enough. All other things are icing on the cake. Focus on all things to be thankful for.
Supplication: Christ prayed for us and as such, we must pray for others first. Then we can move unto our requests. The turning point in our Christian walk will be when our requests come from a point of servitude for others.
Prayer is the unhindered communication we have with the Creator of the universe and our Savior. It’s a privilege and honor.
How has prayer changed your circumstance, your future?
What will you do to live a life of consistent prayer?