There seems to be a renewed interest in improving our prayer lives today. A great number of new books, articles, websites, apps, and Bible studies are available on the subject.
Sadly, some people are finding their study of prayer to be disappointing when put into actual practice. Far from being the wonderful experience of a deeper life, it has become something heavy to carry each day. I’ve noticed people that seem to be under pressure to pray about all the things on their list. Praying on behalf of others is treated as a serious duty with the outcome of people’s lives at stake.
I am absolutely in favor of the quest to improve our prayer lives. So, I would like to bring a few reminders about prayer to your attention in this post.
First, the outcome of whatever we are praying about is NOT dependent upon us at all.
It’s not about us
It is all about Him
Faith needs to be in God not in our praying
“Don’t bother to give God instructions; just report for duty.”
“It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.”
“There is no panic in Heaven! God has no problems, only plans.”
~ Corrie ten Boom
Second, go back to the beginning.
A vibrant prayer life is not about meeting some requirement but is about your relationship with God. Go back to your first understanding of prayer. What did you originally think of as prayer? Wasn’t it simple?
Prayer = talking to God
Let’s get back to the place of talking to and listening to the Lord. Put aside the list if it is dominating your time spent alone with the King. After all, God knows everything and does not have need of a detailed presentation to understand the details of problems, needs, requests…
Lastly, I suspect that often praise is being been left out of our prayer lives.
Praise – an act of worship that focuses our attention on God
In Michael Youssef’s book The Prayer That God Answers, he says, “Without praise, we get too self-conscious. We get preoccupied with who we are, and not enough about what God thinks of us. And then we get grumpy and critical.”
If your true desire is to improve your prayer life, start praising and thanking God. A day filled with praise is a sure way of keeping your focus and attitude right. Infuse your life with praise and you will soon find joy in the day to day.
I will praise the Lord at all times; His praise will constantly be on my lips. – Psalm 34:1
My mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. – Psalm 63:5
Charles Spurgeon said, “Christians are made to glorify God. We are never in our element until we are praising Him. Prayer and praise are the oars by which a man may row his boat into the deep waters of the knowledge of Christ.”
I believe there is much value in the ACTS prayer model. I’ve found it a reliable guide for both personal and group prayer times.
ACTS stands for:
Adoration = start with praise & worship
Confession = confess any sin
Thanksgiving = thank God
Supplication = ending with your needs and requests
Do you have a helpful guide for prayer?
Please share in the comments.