Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Listen: 1 Thessalonians 5
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a young church in Thessalonica, Greece where he encourages and challenges them in a variety of ways. Near the end, he gives them some practical advice. He advises them to pray constantly, and to be sure to surround their prayers with joy and thankfulness.
It’s easy for us to get into a rut in our prayer time by continually asking God for things. We only turn to God every time we want him to fix something that goes wrong or gets hard. While he certainly wants us to ask him for things—that isn’t all prayer is about. Prayer is just as much about humbly submitting ourselves before God and allowing him to develop our character to be more like Jesus.
One helpful model for praying is called ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication). This model suggests that we start by praising God, confessing our struggles and sins to him, follow by thanking him for things he has done and finally asking him for things we need. While this might not be a perfect model to follow every time you pray—it is a great place to start.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Try praying today using the ACTS method. Or you can continue your 25-day journal challenge from December spending time each day journaling about gratitude, filling and identity. Using this journal card, write three things for which you are thankful. Then tell God how you feel and ask him to fill you with a fruit of the Spirit. Finally, end by stating who you are in Christ. Consider making one of these methods, or a combination of both, part of your regular routine.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.