Thursday, November 24, 2011

Supplication Comes Last

I pray a lot. I'm talking to God pretty much all the time, but what is it that I am talking to Him about? If I were to record all my prayers and analyze them, the vast majority would be petitions, requests, and groans that words cannot utter. Very few of my prayers are prayers of thanksgiving and adoration, and even fewer are prayers of confession. Several times while praying with a group of friends we have decided to begin by simply praising the Lord and thanking Him for His goodness, without asking for anything. It is so hard!

Philippians 4:6 tells us to make our every request known to God in prayer with thanksgiving, but just a few verses prior Paul says, "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice." We are to pray without ceasing, and we are also to rejoice in the Lord without ceasing. That to me, is an indication that the majority of my prayers ought to be adoration and thanksgiving.

Many people are familiar with the ACTS model of prayer. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. Notice how praising the Lord and confessing our sin comes before asking Him for extra favours. As believers He has given us all we need; He has blessed us beyond measure by giving us Himself. We should be wary to ask Him for additional blessings if we have not yet fallen on our faces before Him in humble awe of His vicarious sacrifice; if we have not begged Him to remove our iniquity and draw us closer to Him, and if we have not danced before Him with songs of thanksgiving on our lips.

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