Hello Through the Word family! And congrats to all burger lovers in Tennessee, as In-n-Out is getting ready to open new locations!
We are in a short series on essential habits that will help you grow in your faith. Last week we talked about hearing from God through the Bible, and this week the conversation continues as you talk to God in prayer.
Prayer is a way to communicate with God, worship him, and ask for his help. In the gospels, Jesus often went away to pray to His Father and made sure He taught His disciples how to pray (check it out in Matthew 6:9-13).
Why is it so important to pray? Well, for starters, it’s a great way to worship God. Most of us probably associate the word “worship” with songs we sing at church, but worship is giving honor and reverence for God, and we can do that in many ways, but prayer may be one of the simplest ways to worship! We can speak directly to God, giving him thanks for who He is and what He has done in our lives.
Prayer also changes our perspective on life. We can have a terrible day, but when we begin praying, our entire attitude can change. Psalm 73 starts with a complaint to God about the prosperity of the wicked. Still, his heart begins to change as he continues, “When I tried to understand all this, it troubled me deeply, till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny” (Psalm 73:16-17). As the writer cried out in prayer, his heart was transformed, and he experienced peace.
So, how do you start a good prayer habit that is more than just thanking God for your meals? Start by setting aside a time for prayer. Now, don’t begin by trying to pray for an hour! Try beginning with 5-10 minutes. It can be first thing in the morning, on your commute (podcasts off), or at night before bed (but be warned, you may not want to do it when you are already in bed–it’s the fastest way to fall asleep).
Also, it’s good to use a model at first. The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 makes an excellent model to use, as does what I used when I first started my prayer routine. It’s known as ACTS prayer, and it goes like this:
ADORATION: First, start by praising God for who He is and what He has done.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins and ask to be forgiven.
THANKSGIVING: Thank God for what he has done for you or others you have been praying for.
SUPPLICATION: It’s a big word that simply means to present your requests to God.
It’s a simple model to get you in the right mindset for prayer. As you spend more time in your new habit, your prayers will flow more comfortably, and you probably won’t need a chart to help anymore. Also, check out Peyton Jones’ 3-day plan on prayer, available here!
So give it a shot! Set aside 5-10 minutes today to start your journey into a new prayer habit!
And speaking of prayer, when you pray for us — please include what’s mentioned here in this video outlining our 2023 goals. It’s an interview of Pastor Kris with Jason Bouwmeester from Fuel FM in Traverse City, Michigan.