Luke 6.12 Now it came to pass in those days that He (Jesus) went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (NKJV)
Today we will look at the first of four areas of prayer: Adoration… knowing God and understanding who God is. By the way, this acronym of A.C.T.S. used for structuring prayer is hardly an original idea of mine. It has been around in various forms for a long time. I am simple elaborating on the points in my own words.
To help you keep perspective, here is a review of four basic areas of prayer:
- Adoration (Titus 1.16; Psa 99.5) – worshiping God, recognizing His supremacy, acknowledging who He is, humbling ourselves before the reality of Him
- Confession (Psa 69.5, 1John 1.8-9) – recognizing, admitting and asking forgiveness for the sin in our lives
- Thanksgiving (1Thess 5.16; Psa 26:7) – showing gratitude for God’s blessing and the simple realization that we have received all that we have (1Cor 4.7)
- Supplication (1John 3.22; James 4.3-4) – expressing our needs, asking and believing God will grant our requests
As our understanding in these four areas increase, our prayer life will cease being a burdensome duty (1John 5.3) and become an exciting (Phil 1.3), powerful (James 5.16), fulfilling (Acts 10.31) part of our existence that is as natural, enjoyable and satisfying as eating, drinking or breathing.
You may be wondering at this point how a one page devotional is going to cover the infinite subject of adoring, worshiping and understanding the reality of God. It won’t. A 10,000 page book couldn’t begin to scratch the subject.
But that exact thing helps to make our point today. Knowing God is not a subject to be learned like a college class. It’s asking God every single day to increase the depth and accuracy of your understanding just a little more. Step by step, bite by bite, piece by piece… like a blurry picture that slowly comes into greater focus.
When you begin your time with the Lord each day try asking Him something to this effect:
“Lord, in the very best way that I am capable of at this point in my walk with You, I acknowledge You as Creator, Master, King, Savior and Lord. Father, today I ask you to increase my grasp on that… make it clearer, make it more real, make it more accurate so that I may be in even greater awe of You tomorrow.”
Our Lord honors the sincere desire to want to know Him more fully. We are not punished for our inability to grasp the Infinite God, but blessed abundantly when our petition is for a greater measure of clear vision.
I believe at times we are dulled by sprititual complacency into assuming we “know who God is, so let’s move on to other things”. I encourage you to make it a daily request of God that He increase your understanding and bring you closer to the true reality of who He is. It will transform your life.
Here’s some thoughts to spur your contemplation of God and plow up some fresh soil in your spiritual imagination:
- God created us, drew us, saved us, protects us, cares for us… then rewards us with eternal life as if we deserve it. Ever thought about the nature of our God who does everything for us, then rewards us for what He alone did?
- How awestruck are you at the fact that the Creator of the Universe, who at this moment is holding the Universe together by His sheer existence; who is conducting the orchestra of earthly events, governments, plans, leaders, societies and nations; who controls the rain, the sun, earthquakes, harvests, the sea, hurricanes and all the aspects of life on earth; who is at this moment assuring and overseeing that His will is accomplished perfectly in every act or decision made at every moment… that this same Creator will, at your request, turn His full attention on you to comfort you, teach you, guide you and bless you?
- Have you ever pondered the God, who in eternity past knew man would sin; yet created us anyway? Then He sacrificed Himself, forsaking Himself from Himself, then raised Himself from the dead while never ceasing to exist; to give us an eternal life with Him that we don’t deserve and if left to us we would squander, neglect and forsake anyway?
- Have you ever tried to grasp a Savior that could never cease to be God, but for a time was a man just like us? Who knew from eternity past the torture and suffering He would endure for men he had not yet created; and instead of deciding He had better things to do with His eternity, created us anyway so that we could enjoy eternal blessing at His expense? Ever soaked in the mind boggling task of comprehending that?
Begin your prayers by entering into God’s presence, asking Him to bless you with increased understanding of who He really is and a glimpse of His true reality (for that is all we could bear at any one time).
Next time we will apply the same focus to sin and confession.
Lord help us each day to increase our understanding of Your true nature. We can spend an eternity and still not get close, but just a new taste each day is enough to keep us awestruck at Your majesty. Amen.
Contemplation: Do you ever find yourself skipping to “something new” when it comes to taking time to “know God”? Is knowing God the same thing as adoring Him? Can you adore Him without knowing Him?
Application: Your adoration of God is only as deep as your knowledge and understanding of Him. Your knowledge and understanding is only as deep as the time you devote to Him.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?
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