Wherever you go to church, make sure you experience God. Church is not just about learning something, laughing, or music; it is about experiencing God.
Come to church not with an attitude that is waiting to be entertained or served, but with an attitude that desires to hear from God, receive cleansing from Him, and obey Him.
This week, Pastor Miles led the church through a prayer acronym. He encouraged everyone to use this prayer model to help us stay focused in our personal prayer time wherever we are.
A - Admire
I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. Psalm 9:1
Spend a few minutes thanking God for the things He has done in your life. He is holy, honorable, trustworthy, and worthy of your praise. Even in our darkest times, we can say we love God and acknowledge His grace, mercy, and strength.
"Dear Lord, thank you for Dear Lord, I praise you for "
W - Wait
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
This part of prayer can be so hard for us, but we must wait for God to speak to us. Be ready with your pen and paper.
How do you discern God's voice? Test it - is it Biblical? God does not speak in opposition to His Word. Sometimes that little voice in your head is not just you. Have you ever heard the little voice telling you to do something you don't want to do, such as forgive a person? Apologize? Serve?
"I love you, Jesus " Say this and then just listen.
C - Confession
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10
In confessing, you are saying, "Yes, I agree I have sinned," and you are agreeing to turn from these things and begin walking the other way, with God. Be deep. Be specific. Repent from your wrong behaviors, attitudes, actions, motives. The more you confess, the more He is able to cleanse you.
"Dear God, I confess as sin "
I - Intercession
Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. 1 Samuel 12:23-25
In addition to praying for those you love, pray for someone that you don't like, someone that hurt your feelings, or someone that lied to you or stole from you. Ask God to make your enemies blessed by His presence.
"Dear Lord, I lift in prayer to you Dear Lord, please bless "
P - Petition
Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:2-4
Petition comes near the end of the prayer time because we need to be in touch with how much more important God and others are compared with our own desires. We admire God first, putting Him first in our prayer time. Then we pray for others to acknowledge that there are people out there worse off than we are. Last, we lift up our own requests. It is easy at this point to focus on tangible things, but try asking for something invisible - a clean heart, pure speech, or the power to stop gossiping.
"Dear God, please bless me with "
A - Admire
Blessed be the LORD, because He has heard the voice of my supplications! Psalm 28:6
Close your prayer time with a few more minutes offering honor and awe to God for who He is.
"Dear Lord, I praise you for "