On the subject of polishing your prayer skills
Prayer is simply talking to God. You are worshipping Him in praise, endearing yourself by humbling yourself, and blessing yourself and others. Plus, you are building your faith. I bet you didn’t realize that part. The below is a snippet from one of Pastor Chad Keeteman’s (of The Gathering Place) messages from earlier this summer, and I expounded a bit. Below are some guidelines, but speak from your heart. Don’t copy what I have written, but use it as a guideline until you are comfortable in your prayer time.
This is what to pray.
A great prayer application acronym is ACTS:
- Acknowledge God’s righteousness – this could fill 20 mins…just for the record, it is not proper to thank God for coconut creme pie here. Lets focus on his righteousness, his grace, his mercy, his loyalty, and his redemption given so freely given to us.
- Confess our sin – uh huh…we need to do this often. It’s good for us and reminds us it’s not by our own works. Not only are we dorks, but we are sinning dorks. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
- Thank God for all He has done – This is where you can acknowledge the abundant blessings in your life
- Specify needs – ask for your friends needs, your family’s needs, and your own needs. It’s okay to ask. He wants us to ask for spiritual health, physical health, emotional health, and even financial well-being.
This is how to pray.
- Speak to God like you would speak to a friend. He is your greatest friend and ally.
- Address him. “Dear Lord” or “Precious Father” or “Jesus Christ” whatever is in your heart. There are 60-ish names for God in the bible. Pick one or two. It’s all good.
- If you are asked to pray in a group, it’s okay to say that you’re going to keep it short because you are not very comfortable yet. No one was born praying…so if someone gives you attitude, pray for their attitude problem in your prayer. 🙂
- Sincerity is really about the only thing that is going to matter to God. Fake, pretentious, superficial (coconut creme pie gratitude) dramatic…none of that is what God wants. Think of it this way; what do you want from your friendships? Honesty, integrity, depth, loyalty, and genuine authenticity. Those are the same things that God wants from us because he wants a relationship with EACH of us. (how cool is that?) According to Acts, we are his offspring and he wants us to seek after him.
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Acts 17:27-28 (KJV).
I hope that you are encouraged if this is a scary area of your spiritual walk. I pray that you are blessed and not embarrassed if you are just learning this skill. Be yourself and you’ll be okay. Just remember everyone starts off at the beginning.