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    131
    ENJOYING PRAYER

    A Pleasure to Talk to God
    by Marcee & Nelson Bennett

    Many distractions keep us from enjoying prayer. Our minds wander. Or we don't know what to say, so we use the same words each time we pray. Sometimes we don't even feel like trying. It becomes drudgery instead of an occasion when our soul is renewed and our heart is filled with joy.

    One way to make out time with the Lord a joy-filled experience of intimate communion is to use the Scriptures as a guide. Most of us have learned to pray and read the Bible as separate, unrelated activities. But if we join them in a coordinated experience, prayer will become a meaningful conversation with God as we respond to what He has said to us through His Word.

    Our greatest prayer priority, therefore, is to set aside ample quality time to listen and to think about ehat God is saying as we read the Scriptures. We must first let Him speak to us through His Word so that His thoughts shape what we say back to Him.

    Listen to what God is Saying

    A simple, helpful tool as you meditate on Scripture is the ACTS outline (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). If you use this outline as you read the Bible, you will learn to hear what God is saying in His Word. Then you can respond to Him in prayer.

    Here's an example of how it works. First read the following verse from Romans 8:

      "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Rom.8:31-32)

    Now, using the A.C.T.S outline, ask yourself the following questions and then respond in prayer to the Lord. (Note the example for each and fill in the key words of your response.)

    Adoration: What do these verses tell me about God?

      1. Example of a prayer response: No one is above You, our Almighty, undefeatable Lord (v.31)
      2. Your response: ____________________________________________________

    Confession: What shortcomings so I see in my relationship to God and to others?

      1. Example: I do not always completely rely on You to care for me (v.31).
      2. Your response: ____________________________________________________

    Thanksgiving: What has God done for me, my family, my friends, or my Church?

      1. Example: I am so very grateful today for the sacrifice of Your Son for my sins (v.32).
      2. Your response: ____________________________________________________

    Supplication: What should I ask God to do for someone else, for me, for my Church?

      1. Example: Lord, impresss on my brothers and sisters in Christ that You are in control of their lives and that they can trust You completely (v.31).
      2. Your response: ____________________________________________________

    The outline is merely a framework to help you respond to what God is saying to you. It must never become a mechanical formula. As you use this guide, you'll find that some Scriptures pertain only to one part of the outline. That's okay! But as you meditate on the Word, always try to hear God saying something to which you can make a thoughtful, prayerful, heartfelt response.

    Try using this method regularly. Learn to enjoy prayer!

    This page was created on 17 April 1998
    Last updated on 17 April 1998

    Reproduced with thanks