How have you been taught to pray? Do you follow a specific format when you pray? Do you need something to ignite your prayer life? Consider the following 6 elements of ACTIVE prayer:
Some of us have been taught to pray by the acronym ACTS, but I have recently been taught a new acronym: ACTIVE. In either case, the “A” stands for adoration. So, what is adoration, and how do we have adoration for God?
“Adoration is intense admiration culminating in reverence and worship, together with the outward acts and attitudes which accompany such reverence.”
Adoration helps us to get our minds off all of life’s distractions – anxieties, problems, and fears – and allows us to focus on the One with all the answers. According to Psalms 103, we are to bless and praise our LORD, for he is the One that redeems us.
We begin our adoration by remembering what God has done for us. How He saved us, blessed us, and is with us each and every step of the way towards His kingdom. Think on Him and praise Him for all that He has done and will do for us. Chip Ingram, founder, teaching pastor, and CEO of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry, says,
“When we adore God, it requires that we look up to Him and acknowledge Him for who He is – the Creator of two hundred billion stars in the Milky Way but also our perfect and loving Father.”
Therefore, start your prayer with adoration for the One who deserves nothing but praise and worship.
Now, let’s look at the “C” which stands for confession.
Most believers think that they did all their necessary confessing when they accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Some will consider confessing when they really blow it and do one of the “big” sins. But…
When was the last time you confessed your needs and failures to the LORD? I have come to understand that we need to confess daily. Yes, daily. Scripture makes it clear that things like being unloving, a gossip or busybody, a liar or lacking self-control, being lazy, jealous, angry, envious, arrogant, and proud, are all sins that need to be confessed and forgiven.
Think about it: when was the last time you raised your voice in anger or irritation to another? When was the last time you had some unkind words for another? I can’t think of a day when I haven’t had a bad attitude or a wrong thought. All sin, no matter how big or small, needs to be confessed so we can be right with God.
We also need to confess that without Him we can’t accomplish many of the things we are asked to do. To follow His mission plan requires that I request his help daily. Confession reminds us that we need our Lord for everything that is good and holy and pure.Confession reminds us that we need our Lord for everything that is good and holy and pure. - Martin Cicero Click To Tweet
When we look at the “T,” we see it stands for thanksgiving. In times like this, you may think you have nothing to be thankful for, but that is far from the truth. You and I belong to a God who is in control. He knows what is best for us and He goes out of His way to make sure that we are growing more and more like Him.
You might be surprised when you see the actual definition of the word “thanksgiving.” According to Webster, thanksgiving is “a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness.” It is about thanking God for His goodness toward us.
So, what is it that fills your heart with thankfulness? Are you grateful for your redemption? You have been saved by the blood of the Lamb, and now you have a home waiting for you in the kingdom. Praise God!
Most people spend their lives looking for meaning and purpose. Without meaning and purpose, life tends to look hopeless. For those of us who have accepted Christ as Savior, we were created and saved for a purpose, and our lives have been given meaning as we serve the King of the universe. Thank you, Lord for all that you do and all that you will do. Thank you, Lord for making me whole!
Now it’s’ time to look at the “I” which stands for intercession. The dictionary defines intercession as “the action of intervening on behalf of another.” In prayer, it is where we stand before God on behalf of another. We are asking God to intervene in the life of another.
This could include praying for a sick friend, for a couple whose marriage is in trouble, for the salvation of a loved one, for a broken heart. Today this would include praying for a nation that is spiraling down the wrong path at an escalating rate of speed.
Greg Pruett, the author of Extreme Prayer combines intercession and supplication as part of the “I” because they are both requests – requests for others and then requests for self.
This is important because some of us tend to think our needs are insignificant, so we think, “Why bother God?” In a roundabout way, we are saying we don’t need God’s help. No matter how little, it seems God wants to be involved in our lives, and it reminds us that we need Him for everything. “I need you Lord” is a cry of power.
Our heavenly Father is waiting for you. It’s time to ask for others and then to ask for ourselves.
The “V” stands for Vanquishing Satan. With all that is going on around us, don’t get caught up in the physical. Yes, we must take a stand, but the real battle is spiritual.
At first I thought everyone had gone foolish, but I have come to realize that Satan has unleashed his demons on this nation, and if we want to make a difference, we must pray that God will deal with Satan and his assistants now.
After I pray my adoration for God, and confess my sins and my need for His help, and thank Him for all our blessings, and then pray for others and myself, it is time to plead for the revival of this country.
We must pray that God will keep Satan away from us and our families and our homes, and I even pray that he is vanquished on the street on which I live. We must ask God to keep Satan away from our church family, and whenever Satan raises his ugly head, God will give us the wisdom and power to resist and overcome whatever Satan tries to throw at us.
The battle is real. Pray for our politicians, that they will see the light of the gospel and stop listening to the lies of Satan. Pray for the courage to face both the spiritual and physical lies of this world with the truth of God. Make a difference for now and for eternity.
The last part of the ACTIVE prayer is “E” for Extreme Prayer. Jesus made some wild claims about prayer, and the extreme prayer is when we trust God to answer those wild promises of Jesus. These are the “whatever you ask in My name” prayers.
Asking in Jesus’ name is not simply tacking “in Jesus’ name” to the end of our prayers. Asking in His name is asking for what He would ask for. In Jesus’ name means praying for the mission of God to be fulfilled in His way and in His time.
It is not the “name it and claim it” type of prayer that we hear so much about. It is not about our comfort and wealth. God promised to meet our needs and help us to become who we were meant to be. He may not answer my prayer for a million dollars, but He will answer my prayer to help me develop the character of Christ in me because this brings glory to the Father.
Our local church’s extreme prayer is asking God to double the size of our church this year, in the midst of the Coronavirus. In the last 25 years, we have never doubled our size, so if we doubled our size during these conditions, it would be an act of God, not something that we did.
This will do many things for us. It will bring glory to God as others see what is going on, and it will bring confidence to our prayers in knowing God is working with us to make things right for the unbeliever to believe. Keep on ACTIVE praying.
Application of ACTIVE Prayer
I have found that the ACTIVE prayer is helping me. It has kept me focused so that my mind doesn’t so easily wander. This has greatly improved my time with the Lord.
I have noticed that my prayers can be somewhat repetitive, and I don’t like hearing the same thing over and over, so I was searching for a way for my prayers to be real and refreshing.
On one of my runs, I was thinking about how, when I was dealing with adoration, I found myself using the same two or three words to describe how I see God. And then it seemed like He told me to use the letters of the alphabet to adore Him.
So I started with “A.” I came up with awesome, amazing, artistic, and authentic. The next day was “B,” and I struggled some with this one. Finally, I came up with beautiful, brilliant, and bold. The third day was “C,” and I was beginning to get the hang of this. It has made my prayers more alive and interesting. I tried captivating, caring, and compassionate.
I am enjoying my time with the Lord more than before, and I don’t feel repetitive. It feels so good to have something so simple add a little zest into my prayer life.
Have you found something that has brought back that spark into your prayer life? Are you willing to share it with others? Drop us a short note & tell us what has sparked your prayer life.
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