Key Elements in Prayer

“Therefore pray in this manner: Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.”

— Matthew 6:9

In our day of short attention spans, it is often hard for people to learn how to pray effectively. Too often we come to God with all sorts of petitions and intercessions like, “God bless Uncle John and Aunt Sue and Grandma,” and we are sending prayers all over the place, yet the sender is broken down. We have no ability to have prayers answered because we ourselves are often not right with God. Of course, there is more to prayer than petition. We should include in our prayers, prayers of:

  • Petition, which is asking something for yourself,
  • Adoration, which is praising God for what He is,
  • Thanksgiving, thanking God for what He has done,
  • Intercession, praying for the needs of other people, and many others.
  • I like to use the ACTS formula for prayer. First is Adoration—to spend time in praise of God. Second is Confession of sin. Third comes Thanksgiving. Fourth comes Supplication, which includes petitions and intercessions.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to begin in praise, then to petition God for His will to be done. Next comes a request for our daily needs. After that is a request for forgiveness of sins, along with a commitment to forgive those who have sinned against us. Next comes a very important petition that we not be led into temptation, but delivered from the evil one, that is, from Satan, is the best translation. Finally, it closes as it opened—with praise and adoration, for our God is great.

Lord, give me strength for today to spend meaningful time with You in prayer. Forgive me for my mind wandering. Thank You, Jesus, that You are seated at the right hand of the Father, and You are even interceding on our behalf. Help us to always remember that…