Simply put, prayer is communicating with God. When we pray, we express our devotion to our heavenly Father. We also invite Him to talk to us as we talk to Him.
Though God is at work drawing us to Himself long before we receive Jesus as Savior, relationship with Him doesn’t truly begin until the moment of salvation (John 14:6). Praying with a clean heart is also vital to successful prayer. We cannot expect God to answer our prayers if there is any unconfessed sin in our life or if we are harboring an unforgiving spirit (Psalm 66:18; Mark 11:25).
For God to answer our prayers, we must have a believing heart and ask according to His will (Matthew 9:29; 21:22; 1 John 5:14-15).
God’s Word commands us to pray (Luke 18:1; Acts 6:4; Mark 14:38; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; 1 Timothy 2:1-2).
We pray to have fellowship with God, to receive spiritual nurture and strength to live a victorious life. We also pray to maintain boldness for a vital witness for Christ.
Prayer releases God’s great power to change the course of nature, people and nations.
We pray to the Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. When we pray to the Father, our prayers are validated by Jesus Christ. They are interpreted to God the Father by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:26-27,34).
God’s Word commands us to “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We can be in prayer throughout the day, expressing and demonstrating our devotion to God as we go about our daily tasks.
God wants us to be in touch with Him constantly wherever we are. We can pray in the car, while washing the dishes or while walking down the street.
Although prayer cannot be reduced to a formula, certain basic elements should be included in our communication with God:
Together, the four elements form the ACTS acronym.
To adore God is to worship and praise Him, to honor and exalt Him in our heart and mind and with our lips.
When our discipline of prayer begins with adoration, the Holy Spirit has opportunity to reveal any sin in our life that needs to be confessed.
Thanking God for who He is and for the benefits through belonging to Him, enables us to recognize that He controls all things — not just the blessings, but the problems and adversities as well. As we approach God with a thankful heart, He becomes our strength.
Supplication includes petition for our own needs and intercession for others.
Pray that your inner person may be renewed, always sensitive to and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Pray for others — your spouse, your children, your parents, neighbors and friends, your nation and those in authority over you.
Pray for the salvation of souls, for a daily opportunity to introduce others to Christ and to the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Finally, pray for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
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