Effective prayer cannot be reduced to a magic formula. God does not respond to our requests because we have the right ritual. He is more interested in our hearts than in our words. John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress, said, "In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart."
As we are looking at prayer, the first word in our ACTS acronym is Adoration. In studying the Lord’s prayer, we see He begins in the same way, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” Other versions say, “May your name be kept holy.” One of the girls asked me what hallowed meant: Sacred. Holy. Sanctified. Blessed. Consecrated.
Often, I find myself starting my prayers by complaining or asking. “Lord, why me? Why do we have so many car problems? Please provide us with a new car. I hate the cold! Why have you called us to Northern Illinois?” I don’t know about you, but starting off in adoration of the One who created us tends to put my mind and heart in the right place. When I begin by focusing on all the wonderful attributes of Christ, all of my complaints and wants somehow become trivial.
Psalm 117 says, “Praise God, everybody! Applaud God, all people!
His love has taken over our lives;
God's faithful ways are eternal.
One way to begin in adoration is by reading a Psalm of thanksgiving or praise. As you read, your heart will respond and you will continue to praise and worship God from a grateful heart. Another, is to write or say out loud the different attributes or names of God that have meant a lot to you in the past week (Provider, Calm in the Storm, Alpha & Omega, etc.)
The Message's version of the Lord's prayer is formatted differently, but I love the adoration part:
You're in charge!Personal Challenge: How are you communicating your adoration to God?
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!