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?

Petition

As we look around and see our country in the current downtrend it is disheartening to say the least.  As I think about things I wonder what I can do.  I think the most important thing that any of us can do is pray.

Far too often we discount prayer because we don’t think that God will really hear us.  We think our cares are too small for our God to be concerned with.  This is a lie from the devil to keep us from praying,

One if the most powerful weapons we have is prayer.  The problem is that we don’t use it.  We shy away from it and this is quite sad.

Prayer is more than asking and receiving,  It is time well spent with our God.  It is time well spent praying for other too.  Look at Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; ”

So, how are you doing?

The Weapon Of Prayer

I am afraid that I am like you, my readers.  When time gets pinched we all seem to want to drop prayer and Bible study.  Why is this?  If I could answer that one I would be a wealthy man.  The fact is that we do seem to think we will make it up.  Just the other day I thought I could just pray in the vehicle as I traveled.  Right…  The traffic was so bad (I should have prayed) that I thought more about the lesser capable drivers on the road than the all sufficient Saviour that I should have been spending time with.  After the trip was over I was deeply convicted of what I had done.  Learn from my mistake.  I took the time to pray and ask for forgiveness.

This weapon we have called prayer is a powerful weapon.  The Scriptures account many times where someone prayed and miraculous things happened.  The problem is that you and I don’t see prayer as a miraculous weapon in our arsenal.  Shame on us all for this.  When we pray we are coming into the throne room of Almighty God and the Holy Spirit of God hand carries our petitions to our Father.  Then our Father answers them personally.  Wow!  If that is not love then I don’t know what love is.

Notice the Apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”  We should always be praying for others and for ourselves.  We can move offensively and defensively against the enemy of our soul in prayer.  We must pray that God puts a hedge of protection around us and our family.  We must pray against the schemes of the devil.  We must utilize the weapon of prayer.

So, how are you doing?

 

Somebody’s Prayin’ For You

Friday evening I had the privilege of attending a cottage prayer meeting at a local Church not too far from home.  I really enjoy these kind of meetings.  No, it does not have to do with the menu either just so you know.

The ladies stay in the fellowship hall and pray as this keeps them close to the kitchen and it ensures there is food fit to eat for the meal afterwards.  As I was kneeling at the altar I listened and heard the Pastor of this Church calling my name and the name of my wife and our son.  Well, you know what happened next.  Tears began to flow like rivers.  Then, I began to hear another Pastor friend who was there also begin calling our names in prayer too.  I could hardly contain myself and truthfully maybe I should have not kept it in.

What a peace swept over my at that moment.  Wow!  It was like my Father put His arms around me and whispered to me that everything was going to be alright.  It would not be pleasant; but, alright.  In other words we would make it through these dark days.  Thank You my Father!

When you are prompted to pray for someone I hope you do it right then.  You never know what their need is at that moment and you could be the avenue that God uses to speak a prayer that gets answered.  Glory to His name!

So, how are you doing?

Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

Thanksgiving 17

My wife related an event that happened to her a couple weeks ago.  She shared that one of her friends had the appearance of bearing a heavy load.  When my wife inquired she told my wife that she just needed her to pray for her and her family.  My wife told me that she looked around and noticed nobody was near so they prayed right there.  This blessed my heart!  As soon as they finished life had gone on.  God’s timing is perfect timing.

Prayer is so important.  Yet, so many people who say they are Christians do not even pray.  I cannot remember the exact statistic about how much time the average Pastor spends in prayer, including meals; but, it is pathetic.  Fifteen minutes a day seems to stick in my mind; but, I think that is too much.

Prayer is such an awesome activity.  We have the opportunity to march right into the throne room of the King of all kings and LORD of all lords and tell Him our needs.  This is a privilege that you will find nowhere else that is for sure.

I thank God for the privilege of prayer, for the power of prayer, the Person of prayer, the possibilities of prayer, and the place of prayer.

So, how are you doing?

Luke 18:1, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”

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?

Prayer

A dear friend shared a quote with me yesterday and I cannot remember who was given credit for the quote.  Biscuits and gravy will do that to a Preacher.  Whew!  Anyway, the quote goes as such.  “Pray or fail”.

This is one of those truths that is small in size; yet, enormous in implications.  Think about that for a moment.  “Pray or fail”.  Maybe you are asking yourself why this is so important.  It is simple really.  Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. ”  There it is.  Jesus said in the latter part of that verse, “…for without me ye can do nothing.”  We get too big for our britches and we think we can do it.

What would you rather be a success in the eyes of the world and a failure in the eyes of God or would you rather be a success in the eyes of God and a failure in the eyes of the world?   The choice is really up to us.  If we want to please God and have access to all that He has for us then we need to access the avenue of prayer.

Notice Luke 11:2, “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”  The first part of this verse is critical.  Prayer is not an option for a Christian.  Notice He said, “… When ye pray, “.  Prayer is a grand assumption.  It is absolutely true, “Pray for fail”.

So, how are you doing?