NO SINGING, BUT LOTS OF PRAYER
For several weeks now we as a church have been in a particularly unique season where we’ve taken an extended break from worshiping though song. For those who haven’t been to The Well, yes, that means there is no music and no songs sung!
We love singing. We believe the people of God ought to be a singing people who praise the Lord with a loud voice. Though in this season we pause from worshipping corporately through song, we eagerly anticipate, in the Lord’s perfect timing, the day where we will worship in this unique expression again.
So, if we don’t sing, what do we do?
Throughout history Jesus’s church has structured its worship gatherings in a variety of ways. We are committed to ordering and forming our worship gatherings with intentionality, for the purpose of making much of the God we worship, and for the spiritual formation of His people. In this season, we’ve taken intentional time to pray strategic prayers for our church and our city.
Sadly, if we are honest, our time spent praying on Sunday rivals the amount of time in most people’s personal prayer lives. This ought not be so. We have a great privilege in prayer. Prayer is like breathing for the Christian. If you don’t breath you die. If we don't pray, than spiritually we will wither and die. We must learn to pray.
The Bible teaches we are to “pray continually” and are to be “devoted to prayer” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Colossians 4:2). Prayer is communicating a message to God; it’s speaking to God as you would a friend. The Apostle Paul asks the church in Rome to labor with him in prayer because prayer takes work (Romans 15:30). Prayer is hard work, and yet, it is most vital!
My hope for us as a church is that we would grow as men and women who pray, and pray diligently. So, over the past few months as we’ve set aside time for strategic prayer, my hope has been that it would greatly help our personal prayer life.
The great english preacher Charles H. Spurgeon said prayer is the powerhouse of the church. But how do you actually spend time in prayer? What does it look like and how do you do it? On Sundays, my goal is to give us some practice and examples of what time in prayer could actually look like in our daily lives. To assist you in times of personal prayer, I’ve found it beneficial to incorporate a method that helps guide our praying.
Yesterday, we prayed through the acronym A.C.T.S. -
A‐ Adoration. Pray prayers of adoration to God. God is worthy of our praise and adoration.
It is my experience that prayers of adoration are often the hardest for Christians to pray. The Psalms are filled with prayers of adoration. Psalms are a great place to search for help. Grab your Bible, find a Psalm where you see the psalmist praising or adoring God for who He is, and use that as a model for your prayer to God. As an example, we prayed through Psalm 18:1-3 on Sunday.
Another way is to think about what you adore about God the Father, Jesus: God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Tell Him through prayer.
C— Confession. Confess your sin to God. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Through the gospel we have forgiveness and eternal life. The act of confessing our sin before God helps us remember the magnificence of God’s unending and unconditional love and grace towards us through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The more we remember the gospel, the less we willfully choose sin. The gospel is what gives us power over sin.
T‐ Thanksgiving. When you confess your sin and remember that Christ came to save sinners like us, you can rejoice! For those who’ve been saved by Jesus, we have much to be thankful for. Prayers of thanksgiving is a time where you thank God for who He is and all that He has done. Specifically thank God for what He has accomplished and what He is doing in your life right now.
S‐ Supplication. Supplication is a fancy word for asking. This is a time where you would ask God for things. There is nothing too big or too small to ask God. James 4:2 says “we have not because we ask not”. So ask. Jesus says, “ask, and you will receive that your joy may be full” (John 16:24 ). So ask! James 4:3 says “you ask and don’t receive because you ask with the wrong motives”. So repent of selfishness and spend time asking God for things you need and desire for your life and for others’ lives. Jesus loves to answer prayers.
So, set aside time each day this week to pray. And pray. Don’t pass up the glorious opportunity we have to pursue intimacy and relationship with God through prayer.