Let's talk about prayer. Notice how people who do great things for God invariably have their lives plugged into the incredible power of God's love and God's mercy through prayer. It is an art many of us need to learn. We know that prayer is the most powerful form of energy that one can generate because prayer is what links us to God, building our relationship with Him.
Keith Miller has suggested a pretty good formula for how our prayer is broken down. In order for prayers to be balanced, Keith says that most prayer should involve at least four parts, with the acronym Acts: A-C-T-S. First, A which stands for Adoration, a time when we are still and allow God to be God. During this part of our prayer time we are to center our thoughts completely upon God as part of adoration is our praise. Before bringing your wish list to God, praise Him for who He is and what He has done and is doing for us. Then, there is Confession, a time when we are honest with God about ways we have failed Him, our neighbors, and ourselves. We confess and humbly ask for forgiveness. We need to remember that if there is sin in our heart, there is going to be a leak in our prayers. Sin short-circuits our power of prayer. Every prayer should contain confession and cleansing. Just as clogged arteries must be cleared in order for the blood to flow easily, the prayer channel to heaven must be freed from the debris of sin in order for prayer to flow to God. The third letter is T which stands for Thanksgiving, a time for expressing gratitude for the many gifts of God’s love. Take plenty of time to count your blessings and to acknowledge God as the source of all good gifts. You know, there is real healing in thanksgiving. To acknowledge God’s generosity helps to save us from depression, from self-centeredness, from smallness of spirit. “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” Did you know that it is almost impossible to praise God and to be depressed at the same time? Finally, according to Keith Miller, this part of our prayer time should conclude with Supplication, that is, offering concerns up to God, making our requests to God. In Matthew 7:7 it says, “Ask, and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Couple key areas of prayer; First is be PERSISTANT – NEVER GIVE UP. Persistent prayer moves the heart of God. The world is full of people who say, “I’ve tried prayer and it didn’t work.” I’ve always wondered why we give up so quickly on something as important as prayer, while we invest significant amounts of time, money, and effort on enterprises far less important. Prayer is an art and takes practice. There was a concert pianist who said, “If I miss practice for one day, I know it. If I miss two days, the critics know it. If I miss a week, everyone knows it.” Practice. Discipline. That’s essential to prayer. We trust that and we act on that, even at those times we aren’t sure God is there. It’s a matter of regularity, a matter of discipline. Everyone loves the vista from a mountain top, but it’s the valley in which the fruit is grown.
Prayer is the most under-estimated, under-utilized power on earth. The greatest power you and I wield is the power of prayer. Whether or not that power is in the church depends on how many church members are praying persistently. Satan cannot cope with the power of prayer. 2 Chronicles 7:14. "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." There is a great debate going on in this postmodern world about the power of prayer. While it is refreshing to watch prayer documentaries on TV, and read scientific studies about the impact of prayer on health, we need to be reminded that prayer is neither a show to be watched, nor a science to be studied. Prayer is a relationship to be enriched, a relationship with God, and a relationship with all human kind. So let us behold its mystery and bow in humble adoration.