Matthew 6:5-15 (The Lord’s Prayer)
I Timothy 2:1-4
Reflect & Practice
We say it a lot around here. And you may hear it so many times you’re tempted to gloss over its importance.
“Prayer,” Oswald Chambers once said, and we often repeat, “does not equip us for greater works— prayer is the greater work.”
Sure sounds nice, and yet we often live like other work is more important or pressing. But prayer is the way we connect to Jesus. It’s the way we communicate our deepest desires and pains to him. It’s the way we seek to find his will.
We so easily fall into what some have called the “tyranny of the now” that we neglect this most important practice of prayer. This week, as we focus in on prayer, take some time to slow down and enter in to some times of fellowship with your Father. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
ACTS You may have heard the ACTS acronym, and we’ll remind you of it because it can be a helpful way to structure your prayers. The acronym stands for adore, confess, thank and seek. Start with praise, move to confession of sin, transition to thanks and then lay your requests before God.
JOY Another acronym that may help is to start by focusing on Jesus by telling Him what you love about Him. Then pray for others, and finally yourself.
Concentric Circles A way to structure your prayers for others is to think of the circles in your life. Start with those most close to you (your family, perhaps). Then work your way outward to those well beyond your circle, including perhaps those you don’t even know, such as Christians in other countries who are being persecuted.
Pray the Word God’s word is rich, and when we read it, we can read it back to God as prayer. For instance, when you read the command to love your neighbor as yourself, you can stop right then and there and pray about it, confessing where you’ve failed but asking for new opportunities to obey. For an excellent example of this, check out the Pray the Word podcast by pastor and teacher David Platt.
Now, let’s get to it. Take some time this week to enter in to prayer, using one of these ideas or your own. And remember: posture matters, so find a quiet place and perhaps kneel before God, knowing that He hears you and loves when you spend time with Him.
– Brad Jenkins