There are always seemingly new ways to pray coming out… language being changed, in my younger years it was changing to be “more authentic”. Is that still what they say? I’m old enough now to be just outside the fringe, so the grassroots angst reaches me after it has brewed for a while. What is brewing now? What I see is some of my brothers and sisters in Christ patterning prayers not from the Spirit of supplication that is poured into true believers, but from the world. The world’s movements and language have crept in.
Fun little bit of history, for those who may think “ACTS” or adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, is something new, no–it has roots from the ancient church. In medieval times, instead of the trite acronym, many writers had these same “ingredients” to a healthy prayer life but in a differing order. It is good to be reminded of what prayer can consist as you seek to develop the habit of “prayer without ceasing.” If you begin to develop a habit of prayer where you converse but never revere, never adore, never offer up thanks or praise, never simply sit in His presence in silence, because you are “keeping it real,” then your prayer, beloved, is not real.
How can we guard our hearts? How can we set our minds on the Spirit so there will be no room for the world or the flesh to dominate our prayers? How can we pray from our posture of ever abiding in Him, and He in us?
Abide in His word, beloved, and you will truly be disciples (John 8). Reading and meditating on Scripture will lead you into some of the deepest and most authentic pouring out of your heart, unburdening your spirit, ceaseless prayer with thanksgiving (which is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus!).
Let your requests be made known unto God–but in the manner in which His Spirit of supplication leads us, not in the fashion of those who demand, declare, use mediators other than Christ, or who pattern their thoughts and desires after the latest versions of ‘spirituality’ devoid of His Spirit.
A morning prayer from 2 Corinthians 5
“1 For we know that if our earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens.” Oh LORD, thank you for the hope I have in You, that is eternal in the heavens! You have gone to prepare a place for me, and that place is not here-and-now, help me when I despair, to remember this hope. Fill _______ with this sense of hope also…
“2 For indeed, in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3 since in fact after putting it on, we will not be found naked.” Oh how glorious it will be to have put on the glorious…yet here I groan. I will not pretend I have no groanings…I lift it all up to you…[the time to mention all that comes to mind, your own burdens and those of others you are in fellowship with]…
“4 For indeed, we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a pledge.” It is so good to remember that You have prepared me for this purpose, this is Your day, You have truly ordained all my days. And Your Spirit dwells in me, oh thank You! A pledge, a promise; I will trust You to keep Your word, You are faithful. Today I feel as though I cannot wait any longer for “what is mortal to be swallowed up by life.” The state of this world seems so…ugh, there are no words. My own situations…the burdens of others… Strengthen us to wait, by the power of Your Spirit.
“6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight— 8 but we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.” If Paul could be imprisoned, beaten, shipwrecked, abandoned by ‘friends’ and tortured, and of good courage–the truly You can do that same work in me, in my church, in my family… I want Your courage motivating me, making me stand firm. I feel acutely the pains and want Your balm.
“9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.” Honestly, this is rarely “our” ambition, so many are kicking against You and wanting to please themselves, find fulfillment here-and-now, and experience the peace of the world. Or, treading water, and simply trying not to drown in the quotidian demands upon us. Guide and direct us into this true ambition! Teach us what pleases You; grant us wisdom and courage and delight to walk in what pleases You. Especially concerning [great time to mention personal situations you are seeking His guidance in; pour it out beloved, He hears and cares and will give wisdom!].