By Not Known
The Bible challenges us with its call that we ‘pray continually’ (1 Thess 5:17).
This does not mean entering a monastery and spending every waking hour on our
knees. (Although, some time praying on our knees is a good reminder of our
submission and dependence on the Lord!). It means living the whole of life with an
active awareness of God and purposefully inviting him into life’s walk.
How should we pray?
The story of the Pharisee shows that not all prayer is worthy of God (Luke 18;9-14).
An unworthy prayer might be the Pharisee’s prayer of self-congratulation, or a
Prayer in which we fail to confess sin, or in which the needs we present for God’s
attention are mostly trivial and self-centred extravagances.
The Bible teaches us to pray. It also teaches us how to pray. It further shows us how
to pray. This is seen in the few recorded prayers of Jesus and in the prayers that
start most of Paul’s letters. But the model prayers are mostly found in the Psalms.
There we find model prayers for times of joy and lament; for thanksgiving and
needs; for confession and adoration.
One familiar pattern is to have a balance between prayers of Adoration, Confession,
Thanksgiving and Supplication (ACTS). Consider these Psalms that illustrate the
different kinds of prayer;
Adoration: Psalm 95, and especially vs 1-3 where God is exalted as the great
God and great king.
Confession: Psalm 51 , which is a model prayer of facing our sin, seeking
forgiveness in God alone and then looking to move forward With him.
Thanksgivings: Psalm 98. for example, look at points of thanksgiving about
Supplication: Psalm 98. The Psalmist is unafraid to bring a range of needs
to the Lord for his answer, in his way and in his timing (vs2,9,15-19,22.23).
Let’s worship God and declare his worth by praying to him. But let’s make them
worthy prayers that are God-centred and which bring an appropriate balance.