Day 31 – A Pattern for Prayer – Part 1 of 4

Lord Jesus Christ, speak to me.

Daniel 9:4-7:
I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
“Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you.

Good Morning. Over the next 4 days I am going to share with you the basics of the most valuable tool I have ever learned as a Christian. It is a pattern of prayer that was shown to me when I was in high school.

All of us have probably experienced at some point in our lives some frustration or embarrassment with prayer. My best friend (Pat) told me of the time when he was called on at church to say the blessing for the entire church prior to the churches fellowship meal. He was a new Christian and only 13 or 14 years old. He had no idea how to pray. He didn’t know what to do. So everyone bowed their heads and closed their eyes. Pat began by saying, “Dear God…” And then there was a really long pause. REALLY long pause. And then he said, “Thank you for the food…” And then there was another long pause. A really long pause. Some more pausing and dead air. And then he said, “Amen.” He was so embarrassed. He wanted to crawl into a corner and shrivel up and die. Fortunately, Pat has grown tremendously in his prayer life and now connects with God without fear or embarrassment. But sadly, there are Christians who live their entire lives who never learn to pray more than simply reciting prayers like the Lord’s Prayer. I don’t want that to happen to you. Learning to connect with God and maintaining that connection is what being a Christ-follower is all about. I hope the four-part prayer pattern we learn over the next 4 days will help you like it has me. It is based on the word, “ACTS.” Each letter stands for a different area to pray through.

“A” stands for adoration. The first thing we should do when we enter the presence of God is adore and worship Him. When you enter the presence of greatness, typically you will become in awe of that greatness. Let’s say Michael Jordan walks in my office right now. I will likely jump up, shake his hand, and begin to say how thrilled I am to meet him and what a big fan I am and how he is the best basketball player I’ve ever seen. That’s adoration. It’s worship. The same, and more so, should be true with us and God. When we enter His presence, our natural response is worship. You will want to reflect back to Him how great He is. You do this by things like, “Lord your great. Lord your awesome. You are so loving and forgiving.”

Will you say a prayer of adoration today? Will you take a few moments/minutes and bow your head and reflect back to God your adoration?

Tomorrow we will look at the “C” in ACTS.

About mikewindley

Mike Windley is Lead Pastor of The Bridge Community Church in Morrisville, NC.
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