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?

The 7-Ups of Encouraging Yourself In The LORD 7

Today will be our last look at The 7-Ups of Encouraging Yourself In The LORD.  I hope that you have been encouraged by these blog posts.  I know I enjoyed writing them.  It was a help and encouragement to me for sure.

The 7-Ups of Encouraging Yourself In The LORD – Lift Up!

I heard a preacher the other evening telling of someone that wanted to take their own life.  They told him that they did not know why they were here on earth.  Well, I can tell you why you are here.

Look at Revelation 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”  Right there is your answer.  We were and are created to bring God pleasure.

Part of that is to worship Him.  I like to describe the word worship by pronouncing it “worth-ship”.  When we worship God we ascribe worth to Him.  We show Him that we love Him and that He means something to us.  We put a “worth” on Him.  There are many ways to worship God.  Not all of them involve going to Church either.  You need to be a faithful member of a Bible-believing Church; but, worship occurs other places too.

We need to honor God by obeying Him.  Living the Christian life is not easy; but, it is not impossible either.  When we are indwelled and empowered by the Holy Ghost of the Living God then this becomes easier to us.  It becomes more of who we are than what we do.

No matter what we are doing we need to lift up Jesus.  If we lift Him up others will be drawn to Him.

So, how are you doing/

By Your Grace And For Your Glory

A couple weeks ago a friend shared with us a song by Gold City Quartet titled, “By Your Grace, For Your Glory”.  You can watch a video of it here.  I know that I have worn out my wife’s patience by listening to this song over and over for about a week now.  Maybe I am autistic like she thinks.  Anyway…

There is so much truth packed into this song.  I have to admit that I cannot listen to it; as I am now, without crying.  Why?  It is simple really.  This is part of the answer to the age old question of why we are here.  Now, the first part of the answer can be found in the book of the Revelation 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

We are here for God’s pleasure.  How do we bring God pleasure?  “By His Grace, For His Glory”.  Grace is God giving to fallen man that which we do not deserve.  We need the Grace of God!  The word “glory” means glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (literal or figurative, objective or subjective) and can be translated dignity, glory(-ious), honour, praise, worship.   So, we are here to bring God pleasure by ascribing worth to Him (worship).  When we do things we should do them as an act of authentic worship.  That is really something to think about.

So, how are you doing?

Come Up

I was reading my Bible the other day and I came across these two verses.  They arrested my attention.  Then the rest of the chapter began to speak to me.  Unfortunately, I did not take the time to write my thoughts down (again).  I need to break this horrific habit.  Anyway, I was really encouraged when I finished reading them.

Look at Exodus 24:1-2, “And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.  And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.”  The first thing I noticed was that Moses; the man of God, was called as well as seventy-three others.  They were all called by God to come closer to Him.  Well, so are you and I.  All of God’s children are called to be continually moving closer to Him.  We cannot settle for stale Christian lives.  We must; as a Preacher friend says, be moving”onward and upward”.  This is so true.

Moses was called up, Aaron and his two sons were called up also.  Then we have the seventy elders that were called up also.  God was calling the leadership to come to Him.  To draw nearer   Our prayer as God’s children should be “Draw Me Nearer O LORD!”

There was one catch to all this.  Only Moses was called to come to the top of the mountain and meet with God.  What a privilege!  Notice what God Himself says, “And Moses alone shall come near the LORD”.

How do you approach God?  Do you run in and say, “Hey” and that is it?  Maybe you are content to just stay in the crowd and “worship” Him from afar.  Maybe, it is time to reevaluate your approach to God.  We must approach God like an airplane approaches the runway.  We must line up with Him and go on in.

So, how are you doing?

Praising God

Today is the first day of the week, Sunday.  It is today that is set aside to go to God’s house and worship him.  Some people are outgoing in their worship for various reasons.  Other people are very introvert in their worship of God.

Let me ask you a question that my wife posed to me after hearing Dr. Charles Stanley say this last night on an older broadcast.  “Do you praise God enough to be on the front line?”

Now, before you think we have all lost our minds look at Joshua 6:3-5, “And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.  And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.  And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.”

I know you are wondering what this has to do with praising God.  Here it is.  The priests were and the singers were put in front of the infantry.  What?  Yes.  God has a plan and He operates far differently than we operate.  He sent those first that praise Him.  Then the warriors came behind them.  Again I ask, “Do you praise God enough to be on the front line?”

Worship is giving worth to someone or something.  We must worship God because He only is worthy of our worship.  I mean seriously.  Can you walk into Church and just sing halfheartedly the hymns?  We need to prepare to go to Church and be ready to meet with Almighty God and worship Him because He alone is worthy.

So, how are you doing?

Bring Back The Glory 6

After you follow all the other steps to “Bring Back The Glory” it will lead you to an obvious conclusion.  Worship.  One man described worship as ascribing worth to someone or some thing.  So when we worship God we are telling Him and everyone else that He has worth to us.  I don’t like putting it that way because it sounds like I am degrading God; but, rest assured that is not my intent.

I am not talking about this out of control spiritual garbage that some call “worship” today.  That is exactly what it is.  I am talking about true worship that comes from a pure heart and pure motives.  I am talking about reading the Word of God and seeing some truth about God and being thankful for that attribute.  This only begins to scratch the surface of worship.

Look at II Chronicles 5:11-12, “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:  Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)”  These people were unified an they came together for one purpose here and that was worship.  The singers, the instruments and all.  What a worship service that must have been.

Do you even take the time to worship God?  Maybe you should take time.  I know that God would love to meet with you.  He has given us His love letter called the Bible.  If He loves us that much I imagine He would like to meet with us and receive our worship.

So, how are you doing?

Bring Back The Glory 5

As we discussed earlier, the ark is a picture of the presence of God.  When Moses met with God in the tabernacle it was in the holiest place of the tabernacle.

Again, we need to have right priorities.  They Israelites brought back the ark; but, they did not just leave it anywhere they could sit it down.  It had a designated place.  It was put into the place designed for it.

Far too often we try to put things into the Church that have no business being there.  Some so-called Churches you go to today have rock bands on the platform and lights and light shows like a worldly rock concert.  I am sorry to say this is not what God intended.  I hate to sound like this; but, I sincerely doubt whether the presence of God is even there.

We need to get back to a place where we crave the presence of God and not the fleshly things.II Chronicles 5:7, “And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:”  In all actuality it is verses seven through ten.

We need to put things where they belong.  We need to get the world out of the Church and as one author penned, “practice the presence of God”.

So, how are you doing?




Last night I was enjoying the full moon and decided to take some photos of it.  Only me would get photobomed by an airplane.  Did you notice that?  This set me off thinking.  This is uncharted territory…

We are called to be the light of the world.  Look at Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”  Light is important.  The great thing about light is that when light is present darkness flees.  They cannot coexist.  Did you get that?  Light and dark cannot be in the same place at the same time.

My point here is that too many so-called Christians are trying to live their lives in such a way as to please themselves by doing what they think is pleasurable and keep just enough of their foot in the door of the Church to (in their own mind) please God or do Him some kind of service.  This cannot be.  You are either pleasing God or you are not.  You are either obeying Him or you are disobeying Him.  There is no middle ground here.

Today as you go to Church I challenge you to worship Him wholeheartedly with all of your being.  Do not just sit, soak and sour another week in the services.  Be engaged in the worship service and be engaged in the preaching service especially.  It might be that something you hear will help you shine in the life of someone else and chase the darkness away for them.

So, how are you doing?

Thanksgiving 16

I have had the opportunity over the past month to be in several revival services.  I have attended them because an Evangelist and dear friend of mine was the Preacher in each meeting.  These Churches all had some things in common.  One thing that stuck out to me was their music.

Music is an important part of the Christian life.  It soothes the savage soul I have heard all my life.  This has to be in reference to I Samuel 16:16, “Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.”

Music is a vital part of our worship services.  God does not want some half hearted noise coming from us.  He deserves and expects our best no matter how good or bad it might be.  Music prepares the heart for the preaching of God’s Word.  That is why it is so important.  It is also magnifies the Saviour.  Our Father delights in our worship no matter if we can or cannot sing.

So, how are you doing?

Open The Eyes Of My Heart LORD

I watched a You Tube video with a friend the other night of a ten year old blind boy singing the song “Open The Eyes Of My Heart Lord”.  It was powerful to say the least.  You can watch the video by clicking here.

Many thoughts entered my mind.  I thought how I wished that God would loose the tongue of our son so that he could sing God’s praises like this young boy.  Tear scalding my cheeks I begged God for this.  It is such a powerful video.  Yet, the truth that I also saw was just as powerful.  That truth is?

Most of us are blind.  We don’t see God or if we do see Him we don’t want to see Him.  This is so sad.  When we read the Word of God we need to ask God to open our eyes to see what He is saying to us as we read.  As we go about our day we need to ask God to help us see the opportunities we have to share salvation with the people around us.  We need to ask God to open our eyes to see opportunities that we can be an extension of His out stretched hand.  “Open The Eyes Of My Heart Lord”!

Look at Psalm 119:18, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. ”  We need to see things as God sees them.

So, how are you doing?