I just finished the chapter A Pattern for Prayer where Hybels described his own "imbalanced prayer life" and then how he combatted it with a prayer routine.
"And I can tell you from personal experience where imbalanced prayer leads. Sensing the carelessness and one-sidedness of your prayers, you begin to feel guilty about praying. Guilt leads to faint-heartedness, and that in turn leads to prayerlessness. When praying makes you feel guilty, pretty soon you stop praying."
Then I was reminded of this post...
originally aired on April 25, 2008.
At school this morning, I found out that one of Christopher's classmates had been having some difficulties. I decided to take some time to pray for this precious child as I was driving home. As I prayed, other requests flooded my mind. A family member who had recently been robbed. A friend who had minor surgery. A friend who's daughter was sick. And on and on...
I started getting a bit overwhelmed. You've been there, too. There isn't enough time in the day to pray for every need, Lord. What do I do? How do I help?
And gently He reminded me of A.C.T.S.
A.C.T.S. is a format of prayer that is often used when people ask, "How should I pray?"
Adoration -- Praising God for WHO He is
Confession -- Asking God to forgive our sins
Thanksgiving -- Thanking God for WHAT He has already done... and will do...
Supplication -- Intercession -- Bringing our requests to God
Have you ever had times where you know something, but you're reminded of it all again... as if it were a brand new thought? Perhaps the Holy Spirit reminding you? That's what I had today.
It was as if God were saying to me, "Sheri,
Put ME back on the throne. Remember, you are talking to the God of the universe, here. (Adoration)Wow! When I actually got to the "supplication" part, I felt a real peace (because I had been wondering how I was going to "fix" all these things...) I could release these requests to God in full certainty and trust.
Humble yourself before ME. Remember WHO I AM and who you are. (Confession)
Remember all the times you have sought ME and I have answered you. I AM faithful. (Thanksgiving)
Now, in light of WHO I AM, who you are, and WHAT I HAVE DONE...
Present your requests to ME. (Supplication)"
I always thought A.C.T.S. had been a very dictatorial style. Now, I see it as a way to get in the right frame of mind...
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
P.S. Hey, Jen, this is the verse that has come to my mind as I am praying for you this week.