ACTS Model of Prayer

A few evenings ago in our mid-week service I shared with those gathered another model for prayer.  It is called the ACTS Model of Prayer.  This is an acronym for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.  As I was going through the introduction I shared how I prefer to start with confession as to remove all hindrances to prayer.  I then pointed out that would make this the CATS Model of Prayer.  Well…  That was not the desired outcome.  So, for the purpose of this writing I will follow the original  model.

I.     Adoration – Adoration is worship.  Now, I can see why start here.  We should worship the LORD both publicly and privately.  He is worthy of our worship!  As we worship Him this will bring into perspective how lowly and sinful we really are.  Then we can move on to the next topic of confession.

Worship is ascribing worth to Someone, someone or something.  I think it would be safe to say that if we have a wrong view of our God we will not worship Him as He deserves.  As I have shared in the past series on “How to Pray for an Hour” there is no time limit here.  You can be as free as you want to worship as long as you please.

II.     Confession – What is confession?  Some people have the idea that confession is letting God in on a secret.  This could not be further from the truth.  God is All-Knowing.  He knows very well what sin we are ensnared in.  Remember, Jesus died to pay the price for that sin.  He suffered the penalty for our sin.

Confession means that we say the same thing about our sin that God says.  It means that we agree with God about our sin.  Then when we confess our sin we can forsake it and move on in life with a clean account before God.  This frees us to live as God created us to live.

III.     Thanksgiving – For some people this is just a “most wonderful time of the year”.  When in reality this should be a lifestyle for a Christian.  What are you thankful for?  Think about Christians in other parts of the world that are thankful to have one page of God’s Word.  Think about the people that live on the street who are thankful to have one small meal a day.  Think about the elderly person that has been abandoned in a nursing home by thoughtless family and forgotten.  Think about the children that fill children’s hospitals all over the world.  Are you thankful yet?

Thanksgiving should be such a part of us that it flows like the breath from our nostrils.  Bible commentator Matthew Henry was robbed once.  Someone asked him how he could obey I Thessalonians 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  Mr. Henry’s response exemplifies this thought of thanksgiving.  He said that he was thankful that he had the money to be taken.  He further said that he was thankful that he was the one robbed and not the one doing the robbing.  Wow!  That is real thanksgiving.

IV.     Supplication – Supplication is where you pray for your own personal needs and the needs of others.  This is where I struggle.  Sometimes I feel prideful when I pray for my own needs.  Yet, we must.  God wants us to come to Him and ask.  He wants us to seek Him for ourselves and for others also.

There are times when God will bring someone to your mind and my mind.  When He does this we need to stop what we are doing and pray immediately for whomever that is.  You never know what the results might be.  We could be the one that prays a prayer that saves someone’s life.  Prayer is serious business.  It is the King’s business.

So, how are you doing?

Pray For One Hour 3

Matthew 26:40-41, “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?  Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

III. Confession – Temple cleansing time.  Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart:  try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

If we are going to spend time with God then we must come to this place.  Confession is saying the same thing about our sin that God says about it.  We try to normalize sin in our day.  It is not sin.  It is just a mistake.  The excuses and justification go on and on.

The thing is that we are not sharing something with God that He does not know.  He knows all.  So, in our confession we are just saying the same thing about it that God says about it.  If we take something that does not belong to us then we are stealing.  That is what God says about it.

When we confess then we remove the things that hinder our prayers from being heard.  I don’t know about you; but, I need my prayers answered.  Sometimes desperately.

So, take some time and just let God search your heart and reveal to you the things that need to be confessed.  Then do just that.  Confess these things and forsake them.  This way you can enjoy sweet fellowship with our Heavenly Father.

So, how are you dong?

Why We Don’t Have Revival 2

I want to continue my thoughts today on “Why We Don’t Have Revival”.

Another reason would be that we don’t pray.  I don’t know who said it; but, it is true.  Here it is, “All failures are prayer failures.”  Wow!  So, based upon our topic today if we don’t have revival it is due to a failure to pray for it and it is a failure to pray.

Life is busy, I understand that.  Two of the most important things that we as Christians can do is spend quantity and quality time in prayer.  We must pray.  Look again at our Scripture in II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Prayer is a vital thing in the life of someone who knows Christ as their Saviour.  This is the time that we can spend with Him and commune with Him.  If I love my wife I will spend time with her.  It is no different with my LORD.  If I love Him then I will spend time with Him in prayer and reading His Word and listening for Him to speak to me.

So, my dear reader it is simple.  If we are going to have Heaven sent, Holy Spirit revival like our nation, our Churches and we ourselves need we are going to have to spend time on our knees and our faces before Holy God in prayer.  We must pray for forgiveness of our personal sins and our national sins.  God please forgive me/us.

So, how are you doing?

The Cover Up

The other day I was making two double batches of my homemade BBQ sauce.  Someone had requested some of both the honey hickory and the honey mesquite.  When I finished the second batch I tuned off the burner.  Then I removed the lid from the stainless steel pot.  Then I moved the pot to a cooler burner.  When I removed the lid; before moving the pot, the BBQ sauce boiled violently for a couple seconds.  A splatter about the size of a dime hit my right arm.  It hurt badly!

I wiped my arm off and it turned a little red.  Then it began to blister and hurt terribly.  I ran cold water over it in an attempt to stop the burning and cool things down.  For several days I put medicine on it and it is healing.  Upon going to Church on Sunday my suit coat rubbed against this area of my arm.  It hurt horrible.

I began to think.  The suit coat was covering the burn mark.  Unfortunately, the thing that was hiding the burn from sight was the one thing that was irritating it.  Then my mind ran to Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

We need to quit covering up our sin with whatever we can find.  We need to confess our sin to God and forsake it.  Then we can move on and live in freedom. The problem is that too man of us love the pleasure of sin and we don’t want to forsake it at all.  Yet, this is what is bringing an irritation into our lives whether we realize it or not.  It is time to quit covering up and get it out in the open before God and get forgiveness and freedom.

So, how are you doing?

Preparation

The other evening as I was looking over social media I came across a beautiful picture from a cemetery taken by my friend Rad Drew (www.RadDrewPhotography.com).  The picture is of a grave from circa 1875 and it has this quote with it.

Remember reader as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I.
As I am now so you will be.
Prepare for death and follow me.

— Unknown author from a gravestone, circa 1875.

There is a lot of Biblical counsel in that little poem.  The truth remains that 1 out of 1 will die.  The only exception will be if Jesus returns and takes His children to Heaven.

I want to ask you a question.  Are you prepared to step out into eternity?  Have you made preparation?

If you have not made preparation you need to do that.  You must realize that you are a sinner.  Romans 3:23 tells us that we are all sinners.  Because we are sinners we are separated from God.  Romans 6:23 tells us, “the wages of sin is death;”  This death will be eternal separation from God.  That is the bad news.  The good news is in the second part of that verse in Romans 6:23, “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD.”  All a person has to do is to acknowledge to God that they are a sinner and need a Saviour.  We must confess that to God calling upon Him in prayer.  We must be sorry for our sin and tell Him that.  Then when we acknowledge that and tell Him that and ask Him to save us, He will.

If you would like to know Jesus Christ as your Saviour, please contact me as I would love to show you how.

So, how are you doing?