Note: In this third of a four-part series, Andrew Mills explains a prayer model that you can use as the foundation of a rich prayer life.
Where to begin?
The first time you pray it will likely feel very awkward. That’s okay; remember that the Holy Spirit is translating your words. Many Christians get discouraged because they don’t think they pray well and so they stop. Praying isn’t a talent that you either have or don’t. It’s something that is developed with practice and cultivated over a lifetime.
It can be helpful to start your prayer journey with a basic formula and then when you get more comfortable you can branch out and try other ways. One formula I have found helpful is called the ACTS model. What better time to practice prayer than now? So as you read through this model, go ahead and pray. Take your time. Seriously, I’ll wait.
Adore – This means to regard with the utmost esteem, love, and respect. Spend a few minutes just telling Jesus how awesome He is to you and why.
“Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the Lord.” – Psalm 117
Confess – This means admitting any wrong that you have done. Take a few minutes and confess to the Lord your sin. Apologize for being disobedient to God, thank Him for His forgiveness and make a commitment to turn away from that sin for good.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
Thank – God has done so much for you. Take some time to reflect on the blessings that God has given you and then give the Lord thanks for all that He has done and given to you.
“Give thanks for the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – 1 Chronicles 16:34
Submit – This means to give over or yield to the power or authority of another. Now that you have spent time praising the Lord, confessing your sin and thanking Him, spend the remainder of your prayer time submitting your needs to Him. Realize that God has the authority to answer your prayer. Make sure that as you submit your desires you remain ready to receive His.
“In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:6
Congratulations! You are on your way to a greater relationship with God. Here are just a few more models of prayer that I have found to be helpful:
- The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
- Pray through Psalms (Try these to start: Psalm 32,51,67,100,103,111,113,134)
- The Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, Have mercy on me”
- The Serenity Prayer: “God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
- Study various prayers in the bible (Try these to start: John 17, Ezra 9:5-15, Acts 7:59-60, Col. 1:9-12, Hab. 3:2-19, Eph. 1:15-23, Phil.1:3-11)