acts, attitude of prayer, battleplan for prayer, be thankful, confession, francis chan, jehovah, kick in the pants, praise and adoration, pray continually, prayer, punch in the arm, supplication, thanksgiving, time management, wants and needs
Let me start by saying that obviously I won’t be playing each and every song on the list you have. Some are suggestions for your own use. Some of them are quirky or funny, but the words are good and that’s just so we don’t get bored or sidetracked. I want us to hear what God is saying to each person individually without distraction. And the song links work in this blog, so you can click on the link and hear the songs.
Okay, so we’ve all heard it before. We need to pray. But each and every one of us need help in this area. So I thought I would give us all a punch in the arm…
I recently started doing the study “The Battleplan For Prayer”. And even though I’ve heard it a million times before, and even though we know we should be praying, everyone needs work on their prayer lives. And with the crazy things happening in our world today, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. For me, I got all excited after the movie “War Room”. And then I went as far as making my own room. I sat in that room and it basically started with like two minutes… you know, I’m hyper, right? But as I began to get used to being in His presence and praying and listening, that time grew and grew. Then I broke my foot, couldn’t put things away that are now shoved in that room and got sidetracked. And that’s exactly what my enemy wants – for me to be distracted. And he wants that for each and every one of you, too.WHY? Because, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16 The most powerful men and women in the Bible had conversations with God. Look at Moses and Abraham and Mary and Elizabeth, David, etc… And how the church grew was through prayer. (Read Acts 2)
So, something I learned while I was in real estate, is that you have to be in control of your time. If I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times… TIME MANAGEMENT. So basically, if your child has a soccer game or a ballet lesson mark that block of time in your calendar as busy; as if we had an appointment, and we do! And we never want to let our kids down, right? How much more should it be with our Heavenly Father who sits waiting for us. The same goes if we want to be, and we NEED to be, talking with God on a daily basis. So there’s the deal. Start by marking off a time in your calendar… it may even start out to be only five minutes long… but start! Make that a daily appointment and then keep that time with God. It’s funny how you may start small, but want more and more time as you be purposeful about this.
And since we are to always be in an attitude of prayer, continuous prayer, how impossible does that seem! (Scriptures below) But this study put it in such a way that it takes the pressure off of us as humans who forget. In your prayer appointment with God, ask Him to remind you throughout the day to thank Him for something, to say a sentence about someone you have been praying for, to confess your attitude after a co-worker makes you angry, etc. Now if you do this, expect that it will happen! God will keep showing up in your day. You’ve got to love that!
So as you get going, the way a lot of us have been taught is a model of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6. Here it is broken down in a way that we can understand. It’s the acronym ACTS…
A = Adoration, Acknowledging Gods Attributes, Acknowledging His Greatness, Acknowledging His Thoughts and Plans are So Much better than mine! And the list goes on and on and on… “Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory [is] above the earth and heaven.” Psalm 148:13 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 “Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders.” 1 Chronicles 16:9
- El Shaddai(Lord God Almighty)
- El Elyon(The Most High God)
- Adonai(Lord, Master)
- Yahweh(Lord, Jehovah)
- Jehovah Nissi(The Lord My Banner)
- Jehovah-Raah(The Lord My Shepherd)
- Jehovah Rapha(The Lord That Heals)
- Jehovah Shammah(The Lord Is There)
- Jehovah Tsidkenu(The Lord Our Righteousness)
- Jehovah Mekoddishkem(The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
- El Olam(The Everlasting God)
- Jehovah Jireh(The Lord Will Provide)
- Jehovah Shalom(The Lord Is Peace)
- Jehovah Sabaoth(The Lord of Hosts)
God is God alone. There is none like Him. He always was, He always will be. He is our savior and Lord and king and redeemer. “3But thou art holy, O thou that inhabit the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3 God inhabits our praises and by starting our prayers in this manner, we invite Him into conversation with us. How awesome is that! “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. 3 Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100
The verses that command us to praise go on and on. And if we don’t, “But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cryout!” Luke 19:40 So, you get the point; that’s about enough of that.
C = Confession, Forgiveness, Change Me, Wash Me, Purify Me “My son, I implore you, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and give praise to Him; and tell me now what you have done. Do not hide it from me.” Joshua 7:10 “ I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.” Psalm 32:5 “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” Psalm 130:3
We’ve all got things, we’ve all got junk. Whether it be putting something before God, having a bad attitude or going postal on your spouse (ya, I did that.), it’s something we need to tell Him about and trust Him with. Obviously He already knows, and yet we think we’re capable of hiding something obvious from God. It makes me laugh. It’s funny, because today, the day I am writing this, God showed me something. And seriously, I thought I was right in thinking this particular way. But it apparently is a sin in God’s eyes. So He’s helping me get over it… Thank God He doesn’t leave me to my own devices. So I want to stop and pray this prayer together right now –
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24
So what is it for you? If you prayed that prayer, be rest assured, if not this morning, in the next days and months, He will bring it to your mind! Trust me on this! And 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” He also tells us that everything will be brought into the light. So you think you’re hiding something from God, but your not – I’m not. He knows. I challenge you to pray this prayer every day; to invite God into your stuff and just wait and see how He will change it!
So tomorrow we we will be doing part two – Thanksgiving and Supplication (Requests) and answering the age old question, “So, What Now?”