Last week’s blog, A Living Tradition, explored the general idea of Christian practices and rituals that form our living tradition which moves us closer and closer to Christ. This week we look more closely at one of these essential traditions of the Christian walk – Prayer.
One of the greatest gifts from God is the ability to pray. Prayer has been a vital part of many cultures, religions, and denominations within Christianity. Prayer can be done privately or with a body of believers. According to John Piper “Prayer is the way you walk by the spirit and the way you walk by faith. Prayer is the breath of the Christian life.”
Through prayer we worship the Lord, confess our sins, thank him for his blessings, and pray for the needs of others and ourselves. Scripture not only teaches us how to pray, but Christ himself gives us examples such as in Matthew 6:5-15 where Jesus instructs the disciples and then gives them a specific example that we know as The Lord’s Prayer. To help guide your prayers, consider these two questions: 1) what type of prayer are you praying, and 2) what is your physical position (standing, kneeling, etc.)?
As you go to the Lord in prayer, think about why you are praying and focus on the type of prayer you are lifting up to the Lord. A good way to remember the different types of prayer is through the acrostic of ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
Adoration – The celebration of the qualities of God as revealed in scripture and as experienced in the lives of the people. Adoration is often the most difficult type of prayer because it requires a vivid sense of God’s presence. In this form of prayer, we do not ask anything of God, but rather express our love for him and Christ.
Confession – The Lord has called us to come to him, confessing our sin that has separated us from him, and asking for his forgiveness. God affords us every opportunity to confess our sins and to be forgiven because of Christ on the cross. We should take up our cross daily and deny selfish desires and choose a righteous direction, yet know that we can confess our sins to God when we fail.
Thanksgiving – Prayers of Thanksgiving are indeed important as we all have reasons to be thankful. Prayers of Thanksgiving allow us to remember what the Lord has done for us. Praising God in both the good and bad times affirms our faith in him.
Supplication – The supplication or petition is bringing our requests for the needs of others and ourselves to God. It is more than just submitting our requests to God, but instead, submitting them with the mindset that we should humble ourselves and become supple before God. When we pray in this way, we are asking God to help us image Christ and form us into what he has called us to be.
There are other types of prayer such as a Prayer of Intercession – praying earnestly for the needs of others, and seeking God’s will for their life, Prayer of Agreement – when two or more people come together and agree with one another and with the Word of God that something specific will be done, and Prayer of Faith – knowing God’s will and having confidence in his Word, praying it and receiving it from him. Incorporating all of these prayer types in your prayer life can change your heart in an incredible way.
Scripture also teaches us about the physical positions of prayer. Although communication with God does not require a designated physical position, our mind and posture changes with prayer and gives expression to the attitude of our hearts. Some positions for prayer may be directly related to the type of prayer you are praying. Lying prostrate before God symbolizes humility as it acknowledges our unworthiness and the need for God’s mercy. Kneeling before God acknowledges the Lordship of Jesus Christ and is a sign of earnest appeal and humility. Bowing before the Lord is a sign of reverence and an expression of worship, conveying an attitude of honor, faith, gratitude, and acknowledging that all things come from the Lord’s hand. Standing before the Lord represents our position in Christ’s righteousness and can symbolize our preparation for battle and our readiness to serve. Sitting before the Lord reminds us that all believers are seated with Christ in heaven. Looking up to the heavenly places demonstrates from where our help comes, indicates an intimate fellowship with God, and displays confident faith. Stretching your arm appeals to God’s sovereign power and reflects God’s redeeming work of salvation.
As you go to the Lord in prayer, coming before a living God, focus on what your prayer is and the position in which you are praying. These two elements of prayer can effectively guide your prayers and have personally helped me mature in my faith and strengthen my walk with Christ.
For those of you who would like to join with others to pray we offer several opportunities at Camelback.
Sunday Evening Prayer
Sundays | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm | Room 103 | Led by Doug White
Missions Prayer Time
2nd Sunday of the Month | 9:00 am – 10:30 am | Room 205 | Led by Pastor Julian
Monthly Prayer Time
Last Sunday of the Month | 9:00 am – 10:30 am | Room 209 | Led by Gary Balok
Family Prayer Gathering
Sunday, November 6 | 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm | Welcome Center | Led by pastors and elders, children are welcome!
Many members are part of a church prayer chain that prays for needs in the body and beyond as they come up. To sign up for the prayer chain, or to share a prayer request, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Luke Lusted - Website
Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Luke first felt God's call to lead and serve in the music ministry of the local church while pursuing his Bachelor's degree at Louisiana Tech University. He earned his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the University of Arizona. While Luke has served in numerous professional capacities including Artistic Director of a large choral organization, chorister in professional choirs, and composer and clinician for schools and churches across the country, his heart is pastoring and using his gifts to glorify Christ and His kingdom.