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?

Prayer

Today will be the first installment of our men’s Bible study.  This will be a thirteen week “Journey Into Powerful Praying”.  Because of this the subject of prayer is and will be on my mind for some time now.

Yesterday afternoon I stumbled across a southern gospel music program.  The artist was The Dill Family and they were singing a song titled, “Only The First Time”.  This was a great song.  I truly enjoyed it.  The message of the song is found in the chorus that says in part, “When you kneel before Him it’s only the first time.  He’s forgotten the last time…”  My ears perked right up as I listened intently.  This was a powerful song and what a thought!

If we keep short account with God by praying and confessing our sins right along as we go then the truth of this song is right on target.  When God forgives our sin He forgets it.  The enemy will keep bringing up our past sin to keep us in bondage; but, our Father will not bring them up again after He has forgiven them.  Glory to God!  We can be free from the guilt!

Take a look at Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”  One old Preacher said it this way, “God casts our sins into the deepest part of the sea and posts a sign, ‘No Fishing!'”  Amen!  Now it is up to you and I to keep our sin confessed and forsake it.

So, how are you doing?

Prayer

Very early in my ministry I did some counseling with a young couple that were having deep marital problems.  I remember the lady relating to me a story of an accident that she had been involved in. She related to me how she had called out to God in prayer.  There was one problem.  At the time of the accident she was not born again.  You see God will only hear the prayer for salvation from the unregenerated person.  The truth of Psalm 66:18 comes in to play.  I know this verse deals with those who know Christ as Saviour.  Yet I believe it has wisdom for us here today.  Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”  The problem is “iniquity”.  Sin separated people from Holy God.

Even those of us who know Christ as Saviour have to deal with sin.  If we are living in sin we can rest assured that God will not hear our prayers.  He, Who is Holy cannot hear prayer from unholy people.

Today is Sunday.  It is the LORD”s day.  Some people who say that they are Christians will not even darken the door of His House.  Yet, they will “pray” and expect God to hear and answer their prayers.  One man labeled Proverbs 28:9 as “The Non-Church Goer’s Prayer”.  Proverbs 28:9 says, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”  This is serious.  People who do not attend Church have turned away their ears from hearing God’s Law and the Word of God says that their prayer is an “abomination” (something makes God want to vomit).

So, how are you doing?