Prayer is transparent dialogue. It is a conversation with God in which we address him and in quiet are addressed by him. There are four types of prayer, which are summarized by the acronym A.C.T.S.
A - Adoration: appreciating and worshipping God for who he is, apart from what he has done for us
C – Confession: acknowledging to God our sin, our sorrow for it, seeking his pardon, and asking for his power to turn from our sin and into his will
T – Thanksgiving: expressing our appreciation to God for all his benefits to us
S – Supplication: interceding for ourselves and others according to God’s will
(From Discipleship Essentials, Ogden, p.46)
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
A thought for today:
A very important discipline is Prayer, daily. There are many reasons why one would pray daily. First of all, we know Jesus prayed. (LK 6:12). He commanded us to pray and taught us how to pray (“when you pray…”). So in obedience, we draw near to trust in a holy, loving God, and to express our thanksgiving for his goodness to us. We come in prayer to reaffirm relationship and our need and dependence on him. As we pray we hear from him, answers to questions we asked, especially when we are in the Bible.
I like the way Jesus taught his followers to pray. He said, “Go into your room, shut the door (ie, turn off distractions) and in secret, pray”. Then he gave us The Lord’s Prayer as a lovely pattern that includes four types of prayer: Adoration, appreciating and worshipping God for who he is, apart from what he has done for us, Confession, acknowledging to God our sin, our sorrow for it, seeking his pardon and asking for his power to turn from our sin into his will, Thanksgiving, expressing our appreciation to God for all his benefits to us, and Supplication, interceding for ourselves and others according to God’s will (ACTS). Jesus promises when we pray as he taught us,” then your Father who sees in secret will reward you”.
Our heavenly Father, we love that you desire to welcome us into your presence. Turn us to see what you see and turn us to do what you want us to do. Forgive us for letting things come between you and us as we forgive those who would separate themselves from us. We thank you for continuing to hear and ably act on our petitions for ourselves and others as we pray according to your will. Sustain us by your loving presence and by the power for the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.
By Judith Heisinger
Questions to prayerfully ponder and challenge us in this devotional.
- How do Jesus words in Matthew 6:6-13 give us Jesus’ command and formula for following the ACTS model of prayer?
- ow has daily prayer changed your life? (consider and write down specific examples)