Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Quiet Time With God--The Lord's Prayer--ACTS

When Jesus' disciples saw Him praying, they knew they were seeing something important, something special. The had seen Jesus going off by himself to commune with His Father, and they wanted to learn how to pray also. So, they asked Him. This request of the disciples is written in Luke 11:1-4:

1One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."

2He said to them, "When you pray, say:
" 'Father,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
3Give us each day our daily bread.
4Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation. "


Now, we know that Jesus taught in parables--stories so that people could understand what He was telling them based on their own experiences.

This prayer has been used over and over--said just as is--and there is nothing wrong with that--as long as we stop and think what each sentence means to us personally in our relationship with God. I know that growing up, we always said this prayer at the end of each church service. This became more of a memorization habit rather than a true prayer. We were just saying the words with no thoughts, no feelings--just words said out our memory bank.

Peggy left a comment on my previous post regarding the ACTS prayer pattern. And yes, Peggy, that is exactly what I was doing!! I will often take a Scripture, read it, reread it, ponder over it and then pray the Scripture in my own words using the ACTS prayer pattern.

What is this-the ACTS prayer pattern? It is very simple to remember:

A-----Adoration:

Come to the Lord, praising Him for who He is, awesome, mighty, powerful, creator of the universe--however you are feeling that is wonderful about God to you today. Tell Him how much He means to you and how much you love Him!

C-----Confession:

Confess your sins to God. Ask Him for forgiveness, repent.

T-----Thanksgiving:

Thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon you. Tell Him how grateful you are and given Him a great big 'Thank You"!!

S------Supplication:

Tell God what is on your mind, your concerns, your needs, what areas you
need help in. Ask Him questions about what is going on in your life at the present time. Pray for others, asking God about the needs and concerns need to be met in their lives.


Jesus often went off alone, to a quiet place, early in the morning. I, myself, am a morning person. I am at my freshest early in the morning, there are no distractions, no one vying for my attention. So, my quiet time is in the morning, before I ever start my day. I've tried to have my quiet time at the end of the day, and I, unfortunately, have a tendency to doze off in the middle of my prayer time.

So, here are our assignments for today:

  • Determine when your freshest time of the day is and commit this time to the LORD.
Any of you who know me, know that I am definitely a morning person. My time of arrival
at my work is 7 a.m. However, I arise usually between 4:30 and 6 a.m. I am at my
freshest, and this is my time to devote to my "quiet time", my time to spend uninterrupted
with God, talking with Him, listening to Him. I have committed this time to Him, and Him
alone. This begins as a discipline that soon becomes a wonderful habit to look forward to.
And remember, if you don't show up, God is still there waiting for you!! As Firefly stated
in her comment, He is just waiting for you to arrive, and He will reap great blessings in
your life!
  • Find one of your favorite Scriptures--read it, reread it, ponder over this and write a prayer to God using the ACTS prayer pattern.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so
that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit....
Roman 15:13

My Father, I know that You are Lord over all, capable of all things great and small. My
praise is for You and You alone. You are the God of hope, joy, peace, love, kindness,
patience. Am I deserving of all of this from You? And yet, You still love me. How can I
even begin to thank you for your love and kindness? Still my heart this morning and
fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I am able to show Your love, Your hope, Your
peace to everyone I encounter today.

I confess to You, LORD!! You know my sins--and yet You still love me! I confess to You
my anger towards others who have caused pain in the life of my children. I have forgiven,
but yet sometimes these emotions come flooding back to me, and I need to go back and
forgive yet again. Please help me to forgive so that You may forgive me of my sins.

And today, Lord, I thank you. I thank you for loving me, for guiding and directing me--
always towards You, focusing on You--giving me the strength to carry on. I thank you
for providing for me, even when I was far from you, You still provided my daily needs.
You have bestowed blessing upon blessing upon me--my spiritual family, my children,
and more than anything else, Your own Son--Jesus. Where would I be without You in
my life? I, thank you, Jesus, for sacrificing Your life for me--yes, for me--so unworthy,
so sinful, and yet You still saw me, loved me and gave Yourself for me.


Today, Lord, I ask you to help me to see others as You see them, not as I see them--just
as you see me--not the person that I am, but the person that I can and will become
in You. Let Your hope overflow in me so that others will come to You and feel Your
love and peace in their lives.

I pray for my children, particularly my son at this time. He is so full of anger, self doubt,
and letting the past control his life. Please help me to help him let go of this so that he,
too, can come to you and feel your love and peace in his life. I know that you can move
mountains, and I am humbly asking you to soften his hardened heart. I commit myself
and my son to You because only You can do this in Him, and I need your help, power,
might and strength.

I also pray for my friend, Linda, suffering from so much back pain. Please heal her,
Lord. Ease her pain. Guide with Your wisdom all that are caring for her in this time
so that she may recover and continue in Your work. And again, a thanks--thank you for
sending Linda into my life and for her obeying You--guiding me back to You. I will never
turn my face from You again.

All of this I pray in Jesus' most Precious Name,

Amen.



  • Using "The Lord's Prayer" as a model, take each line and write what this means to you personally.
Our Father in Heaven: My Father--You reign above me, You created the
universe and all is in Your control.

Hallowed be Your Name: You are Holy, wise, loving, mighty to save.

Your Kingdom come: May Your Kingdom reign here on earth as well as in
Heaven. May we always look ahead and focus towards
the day when Jesus comes again.

Your will be done: May Your will control my life, not my own. May I always
look to You for answers and guidance.

On earth as it is in
Heaven: Let Your will reign here on earth, God. Make Your will known
to us. Help us to become more Christ-like--day by day,
moment by moment--as we will be in Heaven.

Give us this day our
daily bread: Please provide for us our needs for this day and this day
alone, just as You did for the Israelites. Help me not to
worry or be concerned about tomorrow knowing that You
will provide for me day by day.

Forgive us our sins: Forgive us of our sins as we confess to you, O LORD. Help
us to repent and mend our ways so that we may be Holy in
Your sight. Cleanse my heart, mind and soul of all I confess
to You.

As we forgive those who
have sinned against us: Help me to forgive those who have sinned against me. Help
me to completely forgive, and when I realize that I have not
to willingly come back to You for the help and guidance
that I need.

Lead us not into
temptation: Help me to stay away from people, places and things that
may lead me astray from Your will in my life.

But, deliver us from evil: Help me to realize when the evil one is at work in my life
and to seek You even more fervently during these times
so that You may guide, direct and deliver me. Keep me
safe in Your loving arms and embrace.

Amen: So be it--Your Will be done.


  • Write a list of the things you have talked with God about today.
Joy
Peace
Love
Hope
Trust
Forgiveness
Anger
Control issues
The Lord's Prayer and what it means to me
Healing for my son and Linda

Tomorrow, I'll share some of of my own journalings, how to find your own quiet place (if you don't have an idea of this already) and committing this time and place to God.

Beth


4 comments:

HisFireFly said...

Devoting time to Him will yield you untold riches. Just to be in His presence!
He awaits your arrival....

Peggy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peggy said...

Blessings Beth~ Thank you so much for your precious insights and the greatest prayer of all from Scripture!

You are so right about when you "puppet" a prayer and not really pay attention to the meaning of the words. Your example of ACTS is so beautiful.

I'm not an early morning person
...but I have time set aside at both ends of the day. Not early a.m. but 8:30 praise & worship & 9 WORD...Daily Manna...sometimes until 10. Prayer throughout the day but quite sure at night & unlike you, it keeps me awake until I have covered all areas. I cannot fall asleep & sometimes I'm wakened at 3 just to chat & listen! He knows HE has my full attention & no distractions.

I Love what His Firefly said!Come link your post to my Super Sunday!
and see what I did...

Peggy said...

AWESOME! I should have read these posts in seque
nce! Blessings Beth...off to church & my filled Sunday but I so enjoyed all of your moving prayers! Tears again! But they really are like Yours, tears of JOY! You are nowhere a baby Christian, your prayers are beautiful! I love what you did with Romans 15 & the Our Father! I echo:
and say..."deliver us from evil"
"Help me to realize when the evil one is at work in my life and to seek You even more fervently during these times so that You may guide, direct and deliver me. Keep me safe in Your loving arms and embrace."
and give us a discerning spirit to realize immediately that it is not the person or circumstance but the enemy trying to mess up Your perfect plan for us & Your purpose in this Kingdom for those we love!

I love you and am praying in one accord! May your prayers be a sweet fragrance to Our Lord & reach His Throne of Grace then pour forth His blessings on you & your household!