2) The second practice a new Christian should cultivate is developing a deliberate, consistent, Biblically correct prayer life.
Today's post will deal with possessing the proper attitude towards God when praying and tomorrow's post will demonstrate ways to keep track of what you are praying for.
There are far more brilliant theologians out there who can speak more eloquently than I. I am not even in their league nor do I claim to be. But, there are some principles that I have discovered that have helped me develop a satisfying prayer life.
Prayer is simply deliberate, consistent communication with God. You will bypass years of frustration and possible bitterness if you approach the Lord properly. I've known many Christians who have become imbittered when they didn't get what they thought they deserved from God. What they don't realize is that their perspective is wrong. God didn't give them what they did deserve: hell. Here is a simple acronym to help you remember the proper protocol for approaching the Lord:
- A- Adoration- comes from the Latin verb adoro which means "adore" or "exalt." It is used primarily as a form of exultation, as in the traditional hymn "Adoramus Te", in which we sing "How we adore thee Christ." Are you an enraptured lover of God? Express to God your love for Him. After all, He gave His life in the form of Jesus Christ for you.
- C- Confession- confession is an ongoing process that is somewhat revelatory in nature. The more that I spend in the Word of God, the more I become aware of the principles I should be allowing to guide my life. When I come across something that I had as a habit and see that it is contrary to the Word of God, I confess that to God and repent.
- T- Thanksgiving- Psalm 100:3 says, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." There is a protocol for approaching a King or Queen and likewise there is a proper way to approach the Lord. Notice the verse demonstrates that we enter the gate first and draw closer by entering the courtyard, the inner fellowship of God. We have so much to be thankful for. Even if you have lost your job, had cancer, lost a child, or had a debilitating injury causing you to live daily in pain, all of which I have personally experienced, your thankfulness is never to be tied to your circumstance! You have been saved from hell! You enter His gates thankfully and you will soon be praising Him for all He has done for you. That one thought should be enough to remind you to be thankful in all circumstances.
- S- Supplication- comes from the Latin verb supplicare which means, "to beg on one's knees." It is a formal, humble request for help from one in authority. It is interesting that the very word implies humility by the physical position one making supplication assumes on the knees. To "supplicate" also implies earnestness to the appeal or plea being made. Psalm 119:169-171 says, "May my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word. May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise. May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees."
Now, briefly revisiting the discussion before about the number of Christians who appear bent on consistently asking the Lord for their best life now here on earth or financial security, does the ACTS model reflect any of that?
Practice the proper approach to prayer and you will have the correct attitude when praying. Tomorrow I will share two ways to keep track of the things for which you are praying.