We believe firmly in the power of prayer. In fact, that is the third pillar in The Four Pillars of Harvest Bible Chapel. We believe that God wants to hear from us. We also believe that God answers prayer because we've seen Him answer them in so many amazing ways! Whether we have been praying for years or we're new at praying, we can all improve in our relationship with the Lord through this wonderful means of communication. There are really no formulas for talking to God, but when we 'order our prayers', as David says in Psalm 5:1-3, our alone time with God can be much more fruitful. Ordering our prayers means that we should not just wonder aimlessly through our prayer time, but rather be organized in our thoughts as we talk to the Lord.
You may have heard of the acrostic ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication). This is a really good method to help us order our prayers! What follows is a similar acrostic that I created that was helpful in our own family teaching time. I called it ,"Our PART in Prayer". Praise, Agreement, Requests and Thanks make up this acrostic, each component having some corresponding Bible references and also a sample of how we might pray.
I hope you find this to be useful in your family and that it ignites a new flame of passionate prayer in your lives.
PRAISE (Matthew 6:9, Psalm 145)
God is worthy of my worship and adoration. He loves to hear how much I love Him for who He is. God never grows tired of hearing praises from His children. I can praise God in my prayers by declaring His worth and greatness and majesty.
"Lord, You are awesome and amazing. You alone are holy and mighty and powerful. There is no one like you, God. All glory, honor and praise belongs to You, O Lord"
AGREEMENT (Proverbs, 28:13, 1 John 1:9)
I need to regularly confess my sins to God in prayer. Confessing is not telling God something he doesn't know. He knows everything. Confessing is actually telling God that I am in 'agreement' with Him about my sins. I need to tell God about my specific sins. Being specific is helpful in gaining victory over them.
"Holy God, I am unworthy to come into your presence. I have sinned against you. I have spoken in ways that are not pleasing to you and I have had a rotten attitude. I have not trusted you and I have not been content. I have not loved You God, with all my heart. I confess these things before you Lord because I know that you are a forgiving God and I need to be cleansed from my sins".
REQUESTS (James 4:2, Phil 4:6, Matthew 7:7)
The Bible says 'we do not have because we do not ask'. Our Heavenly Father wants to provide for me like an earthly father wants to provide for his own children (only infinitely more so!). I should tell God what my needs are. These could be material needs, spiritual needs or health concerns. I can also make requests on behalf of others too. After I make requests of God, then I should eagerly watch and wait expectantly to see how God will answer.
"Heavenly Father, because I am totally dependent upon you, I ask for your help in many things. I haven't felt well this week and I need your healing touch in my life. I have a test at school tomorrow; please help me to understand and recall everything I've learned. I need your help in resolving a personality conflict at work. I have a friend who lost his job. Please provide for his family's every need".
THANKS (Psalm 100:4, Ephesians 5:20, Colossians 3:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Telling the Lord how thankful I am is so very important, regardless of the circumstances I may find myself in. I should not only thank Him for the good things in life, but also for the difficulties and trials. Because I am utterly dependent upon God for absolutely everything, showing my appreciation and gratitude is well pleasing to Him. Thankfulness glorifies the Lord!
"Thank you, Lord, for all you are and all you have done. I am so grateful for the gift of your Precious Son who purchased my salvation on the cross. Thank you for how you always provide for me: my food, my clothes, my house, my family. Thank you so much for the stability in my life and for the people who care about me. Thank you even for the hard times I am going through because I know that you will teach me something through it”.