LAWSON HEIGHTS ALLIANCE CHURCH
God is actually three persons in one: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit actually lives within every true believer in Christ (See John 14:16-17).
The Bible says that the Holy Spirit, as He lives inside you, is your counselor, to help you understand the truth revealed in God's Word: "The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26, NIV).
The Holy Spirit will:
> teach you
> guide you
> strengthen you in your times of need
Talk with God often.
Talk over your problems with Him. Let Him bear the weight of your troubles (See Matthew 11:28; 1 Peter 5:7).
Praise and thank God for who He is and for what He has done for you. Admit your weaknesses. Confess each specific sin that you are aware of. Pray for others that they, too, may receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Suggestions for your daily devotional time:
As you end your daily time with God, commit the day and yourself to Him.
There is no formula to prayer -- it is simply conversing with God. But before we talk about how to pray, consider what prayer is and does. Warren and Ruth Myers state in their book "31 Days of Prayer": "Prayer keeps us aware of Him as our Source and opens our lives to receive His greater bounty. Prayer also links our lives with God's exciting purposes and power. More importantly, it brings us into a love relationship with God, rooted in realizing how much we need Him and our choosing to depend on Him. The more we pray, the more we're able to let God meet our emotional and spiritual needs and love others through us. Prayer ushers us into an experience with God, with a growing sense of wonder, delight, and gratefulness."
In regard to how to pray, remember that prayer is essentially talking with God as you would talk with an earthly parent who loves you and wants the best for you. God is your heavenly Father who loves you perfectly. The ACTS model will probably be helpful to you as you learn how to pray. ACTS stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
Adoration means worship. We encourage you to begin your time of prayer by adoring and praising God. Praise Him for who He is and for all that He has done for you. God delights in your praises!
Confession, the next component, means agreeing with God about the things that you have done wrong. It's a time to express sorrow about what you have said, thought, or done that is not pleasing to Him. Ask God to forgive you for these things, and then believe that He does so freely. When you confess your sins, you receive God's cleansing and this helps to remove any barrier in your communication with Him (read 1 John 1:9).
Thanksgiving basically means being thankful to God. Thank Him for His love, protection, and provision -- to name a few things.
Supplication is the final component, and this means praying for your needs and for the needs of others, such as friends, family, your pastor, missionaries, government leaders, and persecuted Christians around the world. You may want to pray for such things as God's guidance, wisdom, and opportunities to serve.
Keep in mind that the ACTS model serves as a guide to help you, not a rigid formula to follow. There is no "canned" approach that you need to take; just talk from your heart. There are additional steps that will help. Carve out a specific time to pray each day. Pick a quiet place where you can be alone with God. You will also find a special blessing if you begin your time by reading the Bible. Select a passage to read (download a Bible reading plan) and spend some time thinking about it deeply. Reflect on what God is "speaking" to you through the passage. Ask God to help you apply what you are learning. God wants you to share your heart with Him, and He wants to share His heart with you -- this can take place anytime, day or night!
Prayer is spiritual communication between man and God, a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God but also listen to Him. Prayer to God is like a child's conversation with his father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things he needs.
There are many promises in God's Word to encourage us to pray, such as: "He shall call upon me and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him" (Psalm 91:15); "And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear" (Isaiah 65:24); "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7). The Scriptures tell us that we are to pray for one another and also assure us that God hears and answers prayer.