Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:24)
Because of what Jesus has done on our behalf, we now have the privilege of entering into the presence of God in prayer. Think about it this way: the Creator of the universe, the “High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy” (Isaiah 57:15), has invited us into His presence to commune with Him—not only daily, but moment by moment.
Since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Because of the cross work of Christ, we do not need to go through the church, a priest, or any kind of temporal mediator to gain access to God. Those who are in Christ have access to God 24/7, because Jesus made a way for us through His sinless life, sacrificial death, and supernatural resurrection 2000 years ago.
So let me ask you this all-important question: What does your prayer life look like? Do you consider it a privilege to enter into the throne room of God’s grace? Or has prayer turned into a ritualistic practice that you perform without giving it much thought?
As church planters for the last five years, my beloved wife Kim and I have had this simple truth brought home to us with great clarity: the only way forward as a church is on our knees. We have a church filled with prayer warriors who consider it one of life’s greatest privileges to enter into the presence of the Creator and Sustainer of all things.
If you feel like you’re struggling to offer articulate prayers, try using the ACTS formula to help you practice the privilege of prayer:
A = Adoration – Prayers of praise and adoration are the foundation upon which Christian are to build their lives.
C = Confession – Prayers of confession uttered from hearts filled with a godly sorrow are one of the marks of the true child of God.
T – Thanksgiving – Prayers of thanksgiving for all God has done, is doing, and has promised to do—including those painful providences—demonstrate the maturity of the person who is growing in their faith.
S – Supplication – Prayers of petition—that is, asking God to supply our needs—are good and right and necessary, and our God loves to hear them just as much as a human father wants to hear from his child who is in need.
Now, every prayer you utter need not include all parts of the ACTS acrostic, but it does serve as a reminder to keep you from spending all your time in supplication, while missing the incredible blessing of the other three areas of privilege in prayer.
If you spend any time reading the Gospels, you know that Jesus frequently withdrew from others so that He could be alone in prayer. May His example encourage us to consistently practice the privilege of prayer.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!