Simply put: prayer is talking with God. But how do you teach someone to talk to someone else, you might ask.
There are a lot of books on the market teaching us about how to communicate with other people: Crucial Conversations, Never Split the Difference, Conversation Hacks, and How to Win Friends and Influence People just to name a few. I believe the disciples must have sensed that the conversations Jesus had with the Father were of great significance. So, they asked Him to teach them to pray. They essentially wanted to know how to talk to God.
And Jesus being the awesome teacher that He was, did not give them a specific set of words to pray
instead He gave them what was meant to be a template or pattern if you will -that we now refer to as The Lord’s Prayer- followed by a few principles that we will call ‘prayer hacks’ to guide them as they had conversations with God.
In like form, I’m going to share an acronym that can be used as a template when talking to God.
Confession-standing in agreement with God stating the things we’ve done wrong or neglected to do.
Thanksgiving-telling God we appreciate Him for specific things that He does or has done or will do.
Supplication- Asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly
This template embodies principles that Jesus gave in the Lord’s Prayer as well as other commands found throughout the word of God. I will discuss two of them more in depth in upcoming posts. As an added bonus in this series, I’ll throw in some ‘Prayer Hacks’ that will enhance your communication with God and thus your life and the lives of those for whom you pray.
For now, I will simply do as Jesus did and give an example of a prayer that follows this particular pattern.
Oh Lord You are Holy, and You alone are worthy of all my praise. If I could speak 1,000 different languages all at the same time, I STILL could not say enough about how awesome you are! Thank you, Lord, for waking me up this morning and for keeping me safe and sane throughout the day! Please forgive me Lord for disobeying You and giving in to fear when I should have trusted in Your word and listened to Your voice the first time. I pray that you would comfort those that are experiencing loss and distress during this time. In place of a heavy spirit, give them joy that they might laugh, sing and dance again. I also pray that instead of feeling loneliness, I might feel Your presence in a real and tangible way Jehovah Shamah. I love you, in Jesus’ name Amen.
**The first prayer God turns His ear to is the prayer of salvation. We must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to have this type of audience with the Father because the Bible says that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Him. Praying in the name -or rather the power and the authority of Jesus is what grants us access to the Father. It is not a stamp we throw haphazardly at the end of a prayer. When we talk to God as believers, its tantamount to going to the bank with a blank check that Jesus -His son- has already signed for us. So it’s in Jesus’ name =because of the blood of Jesus that I have the right to access and walk into the presence of Holy God, sit at His feet, lay in His arms and talk to Him whenever I feel like it.