I started thinking about the HOW of prayer. In Christian circles there is a lot of talk about ACTS prayers; the acronym for Adoration Confession Thanksgiving and Supplication. Have you ever wondered just how to pray prayers of adoration? If the acronym includes Adoration and Thanksgiving, that indicates that there is a difference between the two. Adoration is different from saying, "God, thank You for Your love".
A few years ago I made a commitment to spending a couple of hours one day a week in prayer for a specific need in our church. It was a time of learning a lot of the hows of prayer. One day as I was praying, I started thinking about a catechism question that I learned as a girl. The question is from the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and there is a terrific story about how it happened that I will share another time, but the question is, "What is God?". What is God? How in the world would anyone dare to answer that question or begin to come up with any kind of answer to that question? Through a lot of prayer! The answer that was discerned after days of prayer was this: "God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth."
That was the beginning of how I learned to pray prayers of adoration. I would confess to God that:
His being has no limit in space or time and never changes.
His wisdom has no limits in space or time and never changes.
His power has no limits in space or time and never changes.
His holiness has no limit in space or time and never changes.
His justice has no limit in space or time and never changes.
His goodness has no limit in space or time and never changes.
His truth has no limit in space or time and never changes.
As I thought about these things and prayed these things, I thought about what the Bible says about Who God Is. The verses that I kept coming back to are the verses from Galatians 5:22-23. It says:
"The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law" (Are you singing the song?)
So God is love and the source of all love.
God is joy and He is the source of all joy.
God is peace and He is the source of all peace.
God is patient and He is the source of all patience.
God is kind and He is the source of all kindness.
God is good, and He is the source of all goodness.
God is faithful and He is the source of all faithfulness.
God is gentle and He is the source of all gentleness.
God is the source of all self-control.
As I prayed through these attributes I was overwhelmed by them. Some days it was all I could do to move on to the other parts of prayer.
Mr. Marvelous often says that prayer does not change God, it changes us. We have certainly lived that in our lives! As I learned to pray prayers of adoration, I learned that one of the things this accomplishes is to help me better keep my focus on God. And as I keep my focus on Him, more than me, I am changed.
Hope this is helpful to you today!