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Hello, everyone, I hope your week has been going well so far and that you had a refreshing Sunday! Prayer has been something that has been on my heart for a while and just recently I finished a book on the subject called, “Praying the Bible.” This book has been super helpful to me and has reignited my passion for prayer. Best of all this book is a super quick read and is only 90 pages. So let’s dive in!
How Are We to Pray?
We are commanded everywhere in the scripture to “pray continually” or “pray without ceasing,” but as women why should we pray? There are many verses in the scriptures about prayer, but I believe this verse is a great answer to this question. “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” 1 When we pray our Lord will be near to us. He will hear our words and respond to them. Praise the Lord for this amazing truth. Through Jesus, we have a direct line to our heavenly father and we should long to talk to Him. Because of this direct line to our heavenly father we can know Him in deeper and more meaningful ways. I would like to interject something here. Our prayer life should not be a long list of wants and desires. That is definitely something that we should pray about, but that is not the goal of prayer. Our goal should be to align our thoughts with what God has told us through His written word, the Bible. Prayer is aligning our thoughts with God’s word in an intentional time of meditation. When we first praise Him and thank Him for His work in our life, it molds our attitude into one of thanksgiving and true contentment. With this contentment in our hearts and minds, we should then move onto supplication- asking for something with a humble attitude. When I have come to prayer with this attitude, I have seen my heart be changed. God’s word is molding me into conformity with Christ; the worldly things no longer seem important. A couple of weeks ago during a women’s ministry at my church, a friend of mine spoke on the necessity of prayer. In her lesson, she quoted this passage,
“A deeper knowledge of God brings with it massive improvements in the other areas such as integrity, evangelism, biblical thinking, and much more. If we don’t seek a deeper knowledge of God, we are selfishly running after God’s blessings without running after Him.”
Prayer is important to us as Christian women because it realigns our thoughts with God’s word. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful and simple life if all of our thoughts were aligned with God’s word? I truly believe that’s why we are commanded to pray continually.
I am by no means an expert on prayer, but I have found a couple methods of prayer that have really impacted my life and brought me closer to God.
The A.C.T.S Acronym
This acronym has been taught at my church for as long as I can remember, but I’ve only used it for about the past year. Many of you are familiar with this acronym, but if you aren’t here’s what it means.
This is simply you verbally recognizing God’s attributes. For example, if something great had happened in my life, I would thank Him for it and recognize His sovereignty in my life. This recognization of sovereignty might also lead to His mercy and grace in your life. This one simple thing in your life can lead you to see and praise His perfect character.
As we look at His righteous character our own flaws and shortcomings shine through. We might think we are doing great until we take a hard look at our lives. This time is great for those of us (including me) who struggle with pride. This time in prayer has great benefits for seeing ourselves as we are. I do caution you though, this time is very beneficial, but remember to not idle here. Confession is useful, but we should not wallow in our sin and shame. As redeemed saints, we are free from the bondage of sin. We are new creatures!
It is a very good thing that thanks comes right after confession. I usually take the first couple of lines to thank Him for saving me from my sin. This is a great reminder that I did nothing to deserve my salvation and that it was a gift from my heavenly Father. I also use this time to reflect on what God has done in my life and how he has blessed me. This is one of my favorite times of my day; it fills me with so much praise and contentment. I try to remind myself that I deserve none of the blessings that He has given me and He has truly given me many!
Last, but not least is the supplication (or wants) section. I like that this section is last so it is usually the shortest. Through all of my adoration, confession, and thanks it has helped shape my desires into what God would want. For example, instead of whining about and asking for a new apartment I am more prone to pray for a friend’s salvation. Our requests will more likely be for spiritual things instead of worldly, temporal things.
Praying the Bible
This is something new that I have started over the past couple of weeks, but I have found it very influential. The whole premise of this book is that our prayers can often times become repetitive and dull which in turn makes us less likely to pray. Since we have seen the importance of prayer this dullness is quite problematic. To quote Whitney in his book, “Therefore the problem is not that we pray about the same old things; rather, it’s that we say the same old things about the same old things.”
The Bible is such an amazing resource. After I started molding my prayers after the scriptures I found that prayer became easier and my prayers flowed better. At one point in the book, the author tells you to put the book down and practice. His goal was for me to pray for 7 minutes, which seems like a long time! So I set my timer and started praying through a Psalm. I wasn’t even to the 4th verse by the time the 7 minutes were over. I don’t remember the last time I had prayed for 7 minutes before. It was such an encouragement to me and I hope you take the time to try it out!
Through all of this, I want to encourage you to simply start praying. I heard a quote the other day that said, “you won’t get better at praying unless you start praying.” I can’t say it enough, pray is a vital source of refreshment for the believer. Live intentionally with me this year and make it a priority to pray at least 5 minutes a day. Together we can grow in the grace of our Lord.
Redeemed by the King