My daughter said she didn’t have anything to pray for when I asked her to open up with prayer so because my first priority in these videos is to tend to the needs of my children the topic today turned into discussing prayer. The A.C.T.S. model of prayer popped into my mind as one way to think though how to approach the Lord in prayer. Different examples came to mind as we talked through what each acronym meant and talked about some examples.
“A” can stand for “Adoration” or “Acknowledgement” or “Attributes of God.”. This can be simply reminding our own selves of who it is that we are praying to; reminding us of the holiness of God. (Examples given: God is all-knowing. God is almighty, all powerful. God is eternal.)
The next letter in A.C.T.S. is C. “C” stands for “Confession.” It took a while to think of something here. I confessed that I’m not as loving to people and willing to sacrifice for others like Jesus did. I need the Lord’s help to change my heart because I want to follow Jesus in every way. Sometimes when I read the Bible and really think about what it says, sometimes God shows me my own self. It’s not pretty. I have heard it said that the Bible is like a mirror revealing everything about us, flaws and all. Another way to help consider how we may be off track is to examine our desire to even spend time with God. I’ve heard it said that what you choose to focus on, your heart will follow. So what are we thinking about? What are we focused on? What are our eyes fixed upon? The greatest commandment in the law, Jesus answered when asked, was to love God and to love people. Is God first in our life? Taking time to examine our life is important. Are we okay with everything as it is? If we don’t take time to examine ourselves and where we are headed, we might be well on our way in a direction we didn’t intend to go. Where is all of our time, attention and devotion going? This may be the opportunity we need to slow down and reset. (Example given for Confession: “Only focusing on God when I have to.”) Do we want to change this at all or are we fine with the way this is? So for me, as their mom, I know to continue to pray for my children in this area. I could SEE this in their life but having them acknowledge where they are is a great start. Now I know that I cannot change my children’s hearts; only the Lord can do that. So I continued.
“T” stands for “Thanksgiving.” What am I thankful for? What is going right in this time? In all of this, we are all being challenged in our own ways and losing our schedules, our routines and our sense of control over our lives can shake our foundations. Choosing to have an attitude of gratefulness can cause us to focus on what is good. What are you thankful for right now in your life? It took a moment to think about what we were thankful for but once the juices got going it got a bit easier. For me, praying WITH other people expands my own perspective and prayers. (Examples: I’m thankful that I know God and have expereinced his peace all throughout this time. I know where I am headed. Thankful for our room. Our house. Internet. Food.)
I couldn’t remember in the video what “S” stood for but now I know it means “Self.” You pray for yourself last is one main point in using the A.C.T.S. prayer model. However, in the video, all I could think of what that the “S” could stand for “Silence.” (This was taken from the T.A.C.O.S.S. method of prayer- blog post here.) Take a moment to be quiet before God. Clear my mind from everything else; it is so hard to NOT get distracted. When I want to focus on one thing, other things pop up- especially if what I need to do is important. We can choose to spend time with God but having intentional focus in this time affects the quality of our time with God. Just having great intentions does not translate to success (just think of exercise, home cleaning- both areas that I would LOVE for it to be better but it’s just so hard to get started). I related the example to my children about picking up and learning their new instruments starting in September. They agreed it was very hard and intimidating in the beginning but now, with consistent practice and accountability, they can play. Also my daughter’s love for music and her instrument and even teaching herself Ukulele has grown. I remembered my time of trying to read the Bible on my own. In the beginning it was also hard until someone who knew more than me took notice and invited me to a consistent time of Bible Study each week. (I wrote about that here a while ago.) I know that developing our relationships with God can feel overwhelming especially when we are just starting out. SO I pray that you would catch this desire and love for God.
Even if you are like my children in that they have different parents; one follows the Lord and the other does not and so chooses to live life on their own terms. We all make our choices and live it out each day. I pray that you will seek out truth for yourself. You say you know what God has done. You say God is first, but do your actions show it? You say, yeah I trust God but your foundation is completely shaken. Is it that your foundation wasn’t actually in the Lord? Or was it that your foundation isn’t so deep? May we get into God’s Word that we can explore it on a regular basis and know more about this God we serve. Is God actually faithful? Will God actually provide? We can know and truly believe these things when we keep going back to God because we value His relationship with us in our life. So these are prayers that we can pray for our own S- Selves. We need to Lord to help us in these matters, we cannot “fix” them on our own.
As soon as I hit “finished” on the FB Live video, my daughter tells me we didn’t read any verses today! I’m sorry that was definitely the plan to read through some chapters in John, or it was my plan, but maybe God had other plans. I am asking for prayer about this time and so I try to be mindful of what is happening as I prepare and what my children say. So, today since our spontaneous talk about prayer ended up being the sole focus of our time today here are a few verses that I referenced (in my mind) as I was sharing. Are there other passages that you would include? What other ways would you respond to friends and family who have genuine questions about prayer?
God, you spoke this earth into existence from the reading of Genesis Chapter 1. Your words carry weight and power. Our words, our tongue is also powerful but who can tame it?
‘And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” ‘ Genesis 1:3,6,9,11,14,20,22,24,26,28 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/GEN.1.3,6,9,11,14,20,22,24,26,28
‘And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. ‘ James 3:6-10 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/JAS.3.6-10
‘Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ‘ Ephesians 4:29 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/EPH.4.29
‘But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. ‘ Romans 10:8-10 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/ROM.10.8-10
Jesus prayed sometimes by waking up early and going away and spending time with God the Father. Sometimes He prayed in private. Sometimes He prayed in public speaking out loud on purpose so that others could hear what he was saying.
‘Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” ‘ John 11:40-42 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/JHN.11.40-42
Forgive us Lord when when only care about ourselves. Help me with that God, I know in some ways I am still very selfish. I pray that our children would have their own personal relationship with you. I pray that they can weather any storm because their roots are deep within you. Would you work in their lives in a way that I cannot do. May they know that you are preparing them, even in this season for whatever you have for them to do. Help bring to our minds ways in which we can connect with you today. I know this relationship and true love for you starts with you loving us first. Help us to love you back with all of our heart mind and soul so that we can love others the same way that you have loved us. Help us to get it right God.
‘”Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” ‘ Matthew 22:36-40 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/MAT.22.36-40
‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ‘ John 13:34-35 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/JHN.13.34-35
Even if we are yours, we can still forget and go our own way. Help us Lord. Give us the power and self-control to come to you. Help make reading and understanding your Word less confusing. Give us someone who knows you and follows you so that we can ask them to help us get into a right relationship with you.
‘For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ‘ 2 Timothy 1:6-7 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/2TI.1.6-7
We can choose to panic but I choose to trust in the name of the Lord. I choose to count on the one thing that I know that God never fails. I’m thankful that I made a priority (thank you God) to develop my relationship with YOU before disaster struck but there is no time like the present to put God back into #1 focus in our lives. What are you looking at? What are you thinking about? What are you dwelling on? I choose to believe God and the things that He says. If God says He won’t fail, then I’m going to believe that He won’t fail. If God says He is faithful, then I’m going to hold Him to it. My prayer is that I won’t forget God in all the things that He has been teaching me all of my life (even before I realized He was there). Even in thinking about some of the things that have happened in my past, I do not blame God. (I think Gen 50:20.) I know the state of people and I’m just glad I know God now. I want the same opportunity for other people that they would come to know Him too. This is the amazing grace of God!!! I believe God will use all these things that happen in our lives to draw us closer to Himself. I pray that those that don’t know Christ would come to know Him. And for those that DO know Christ, I pray that their actions would show the love that they say they have for people. So, what are you focused on? What will you say, “Yes I Will” too? That’s something we each need to go back to God about spending time and asking Him.
Thank you SO MUCH for joining in and praying for us and others around the world. I pray this time encourages you to dig into your Bibles and to seek #truth and the understanding that comes from the Lord. This is our 4th week of “no school at school” as everyone continues to go to school online to minimize group gatherings and help prevent the spread of the #coronavirus here in #Daegu, South Korea. I am thankful for our local leadership’s efforts. I am in prayer as I see the news of the spread around the world. I will continue this “Bible Time & Worship” online ministry as long as God gives me the ‘go’ to be used in this way. If so, I plan to be on at noon (Daegu time) via FB every Monday – Friday. Remember, God is able and #Godisbiggerthanxyz (any situation we may be facing); In HIM we continue to place our hope. Sincerely, Sejana
#homeworship #thankful #familyBiblestudy #Killthevirus #Godisbiggerthanxyz #onlineministry #discipleship #faithoverfear #bestrongdaegu #parenting #yes I will
Looking for a Bible Study to watch and consider during this time? Try these: https://sejanashines.com/2020/03/07/bible-time-worship-every-episode-summary/