100 Ways The Bible Can Change Your Life: #39 Get On Your Knees
Christopher D. Hudson
Few things in the spiritual realm are more confounding than prayer. After all, if God already knows everything—and if he already has a plan in place for everyone—what can we hope to accomplish by talking to him?
Obviously there are complicated theological answers to those questions. But all we basically need to know is that the Bible puts a lot of stock in prayer. Just look at these words from the apostle James:
If you are having trouble, you should pray. And if you are feeling good, you should sing praises. If you are sick, ask the church leaders to come and pray for you. Ask them to put olive oil on you in the name of the Lord. If you have faith when you pray for sick people, they will get well. The Lord will heal them, and if they have sinned, he will forgive them.
If you have sinned, you should tell each other what you have done. Then you can pray for one another and be healed. The prayer of an innocent person is powerful, and it can help a lot. Elijah was just as human as we are, and for three and a half years his prayers kept the rain from falling. But when he did pray for rain, it fell from the skies and made the crops grow. (James 5:13–18)
If we acknowledge that prayer is important, our next step is to figure out how to pray; that is, what to say to God.
One of the most popular prayer models is called ACTS, an acronym for four key elements of prayer: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.
Adoration The best way to start any prayer is by telling God how awesome he is. The more specific you are in your praise and the more time you spend in adoration, the better your experience will be.
Confession The things we do wrong get in the way of our relationship with God. To make things right, we need to confess them and ask for his forgiveness.
Thanksgiving It’s one thing to be thankful for the countless things God does for us; it’s quite another to tell him, in detail, just how thankful we are.
Supplication After we’ve told God that we recognize how incredible he is, asked his forgiveness, and thanked him, we can talk to him about our requests.