Written by Derek Hughes. Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash
I like structure. Systems. Formulas. Patterns. Even those who thrive in spontaneity, still appreciate some predictability in their lives. We all like the fact that Netflix will automatically play the next episode in the series rather than jump ahead three seasons… or switch to a different show altogether! You appreciate the fact that traffic lights always go from green to yellow to red. Just imagine the chaos that would ensue if we didn’t have that predictable pattern on our roads!
Over the next four posts, we want to give you a pattern for your prayers. That doesn’t mean this formula is the only way to pray. It doesn’t mean that you always have to follow an outline when you pray. This is just one helpful method that ensures our prayers cover some key topics. The outline is simple to remember. ACTS. Adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. We’ll start with adoration.
Adoration is giving praise or honor to someone or something. In the life of a believer, that someone is the one true God. Adoration is praising God for who he is and what he’s done. We see prayers like this all throughout the bible. The biblical authors often draw attention to specific attributes of God like his greatness and power (1 Chronicles 29:11), his glory and majesty (Psalm 8:1), his love and faithfulness (Psalm 36:5). What attributes can you praise God for in your own prayers?
The biblical authors also highlight the unique ways that God has worked throughout history: the way he spoke to Moses (1 Kings 8:56), the way he delivered Israel out of slavery in Egypt (Psalm 105:26–38), the sending of the Messiah (Luke 2:29–32). In fact, some of the prayers of adoration in the bible read like concise history lessons—reminding God’s people of the timeline of God’s redemptive actions. What might such a prayer look like in your own life? How have you seen the sovereign hand of God lead and guide you and your family?
Before you move on from here, take a few moments to pray a simple prayer of adoration. Call to mind some of the attributes of God. Think about some of the particular ways that God has worked in your life. Then, give him praise for those things. If you’re feeling stuck, that’s ok! Turn in your bible to 1 Chronicles 29:10–13, Psalm 8, or Psalm 92 and use those biblical prayers as starting points.
May the Lord make us a people of prayer!