A.C.T.S of Prayer

Greetings in the Name of Christ,

If you have been attending the Wednesday evening Lenten gatherings then you probably know that our Lenten focus is on learning a variety of ways to pray. Prayer is an essential element in the walk of faith, facilitating an ongoing conversation and relationship between us and God. Although there are countless ways to pray, all prayer essentially comes down to four main elements: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Our prayer stations on Ash Wednesday helped us to walk through each of these elements of prayer but for the benefit of those who were not there and for those who want a ‘refresher’ I will explain each of these elements in greater detail.

Adoration: “Praise the LORD, all you nations! Worship him, all you peoples!” (Psalm 117:1). Put simply adoration is the “praise” of God in our prayers. Most notably our ‘adoration’ of God occurs in the opening lines of prayer when we address God (i.e. Mighty Creator, who redeems us and sustains us through your merciful and steadfast love).

Confession: “Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!” (Psalm 51:10 CEB) In this element of prayer we acknowledge all of the ways we have failed to live rightly, through what we have done and what we have left undone. While addressed to God, we acknowledge not only the ways in which we have strained the relationship between us and God, but also acknowledge the ways in which we have failed to serve God through right relationship with others.

Thanksgiving: One of the most common elements of prayer, thanksgiving is when we are mindful of all the ways in which God is present in our lives and the blessings which God bestows upon us and others. The challenge of this element of prayer is to “give thanks in every situation” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Supplication: “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions” (Philippians 4:6). Oftentimes it is our needs that drives our desire to pray. Supplication is that opportunity to pray for God’s action in the world on behalf of ourselves or others.
As we continue on our Lenten journey I pray that in our explorations of the various forms and ways of prayer that each of us finds new and meaningful ways to grow in our faith as we incorporate the discipline of prayer into our lives. Just as the Bible instructs us to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) may we continually find ourselves nourished, enriched, instructed, and empowered by our conversations with God that we may live lives worthy of the Gospel and as witnesses of the Good News to all the world.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Tara