When my kids were younger, my wife and I tried modeling prayer for them so they could have an example to follow. She used the Lord’s Prayer as the model for context and approach. However, over time their prayers became repetitive and lost their purpose.
After explaining to them that Jesus gave us an example of prayer to understand how to approach God when we pray, their prayers became more conversational and heartfelt.
Using The Lord’s Prayer, we can breakdown the prayer into four distinct areas using the acronym A.C.T.S.
A: Adoration – We must first prepare before coming to the throne of the Almighty. This preparation requires us to set be in reverence and awe. The God of the universe is ready to hear our words, thoughts, and hearts. We must meditate on this to praise and honor Him for who he is.
C: Confession – God is a righteous God and, as such, will not tolerate sin. The problem with sin in our lives is it creates a barrier between God and us. But, when we confess our sin, we breakdown this barrier and become receptive to his will and way.
T: Thankfulness – What parent doesn’t melt when a child thanks them? Thankfulness is always for us to acknowledge not only his provision but also our dependence on him. It keeps us humble and appreciative of all we have.
S: – Supplication – This is when we ask. Up until now, our prayer has been about focusing on God and his goodness. Focusing first on God prepares our heart and soul to pray for things following his will. Keep in mind God already knows what you’re going to ask. God wants us to ask to make us aware of our desires and also teach us reliance on Him.
God doesn’t want repetition; he wants a relationship.
Answer and Journal the Following
Read and meditate on Matthew 6:9-13 for yourself.
What do your prayers and prayer life look like? Be real; be honest.
Create a plan of action on how you will strengthen your prayer life. What will it take? Be specific.
Bonus: Share this with another man and have them hold you accountable.