Learn to pray. Sounds easy, but in reality, challenging. It was for me. I remember the first time I heard those words; I thought, ‘How hard can it be?’ I found out praying can be difficult. It can also be very self-centered, a kind of vending machine God prayer life where we want what we want, and we give very little in return. Prayer can also mirror what I call “flare prayers.” In other words, we only seek the Lord in emergencies.
In today’s lesson, we will look at prayer. We are taking our material from the little booklet titled, Beginning Steps – A Growth Guide For New Believers.” Step 5 – Learn to Pray is our topic for today.
Ready? Let’s do this.
“The best way to get to know someone is to talk with that person often. God longs for you to know him. The Bible is full of invitations to enter into a deep, personal relationship with God the Father.
“If you seek him, he will be found by you” (1 Chronicles 28:9).
In Jeremiah 24:7, speaking of those who would become followers of Jesus Christ, God says, “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord.” Conversing with God is called prayer. Prayer is a conversation, not a monologue. It includes speaking to God and hearing from God.
Jesus set the example for us. (read Mark 1:35)
Jesus taught the necessity of prayer. (read Luke 18:1)
What did the disciples ask Jesus to teach them? (read Luke 11:1)
Why should we pray continually? (read 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
The acrostic ACTS will help you to begin developing your prayer life.
A – Adoration
C – Confession
T – Thanksgiving
S – Supplication
1.Adoration is praise focusing on who God is. Look up the following Scriptures – Psalm 145:3; Psalm 147:1, 5
2. Confession is acknowledging your sins before God to receive forgiveness. When you received eternal life, a relationship with God was established, which will never be broken, but our daily fellowship with God can be hindered by unconfessed sin. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”
Therefore, when you sin:
- Confess the sin when you realize you’ve committed it. (read John 1:9a)
- Receive His promise of cleansing. (read 1 John 1:9b)
- Claim victory over temptation. (read 1 Corinthians 10:13)
Take time now to ask God to reveal any unconfessed sins. Write them down, ask God’s forgiveness, and claim his promise of forgiveness.
3. Thanksgiving is expressing gratitude to God for specific acts. When does God say we should give thanks? (read 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
What can you thank God for today? Write them down and thank him.
- Spiritual blessings?
- Physical blessings?
- Material blessings?
4. Supplication is making requests and expressing desires to God. They may take the form of personal petitions or intercession.
Petition is asking God for your needs. (read John 15:7 and Philippians 4:6-7)
Intercession is praying for the needs of others. (read Exodus 32:30-34 and Romans 10:1)
Prayer is communication with God. It has to be learned, and it must be practiced.
Without looking back, what are the elements of prayer?
It is important for you to spend time each day in prayer. When would be the best time for you to pray? For me, it is before everyone else wakes up. It’s also when I go for walks and at night before I go to sleep. I talk to God throughout the day.
I hope this lesson on prayer has been helpful. Take time now to thank the Lord for today and all he has done for you. Ask him to strengthen and guide you each day. We have two more steps to go. Stay with me.
Disclaimer: The above material was taken from the book titled “Beginning Steps – A Growth Guide For New Believers” published by the North American Mission Board.
This little booklet was so helpful to me. I hope it helps you as well.
Join me tomorrow as we look at Step 6. I can’t wait!