As we saw on Monday from 1 Thessalonians 5, growing in closeness to God involves learning to live prayerfully, delighting in God and depending on God throughout the day in every situation.
Aside: Can you still remember 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18? Revise it now. It begins, “Rejoice always…”
However, as we seek to develop the daily habit of a dedicated prayer time, we should aim to include a range of different kinds of delighting and depending, guided by Scripture.
There are many systems people use. We will build on one of the most popular ones, based on the word “ACTS.” It uses four steps, which are all ways of either delighting in God or depending on him:
- A: Adoration (= worship and love) — delighting
- C: Confession — depending
- T: Thanksgiving — delighting
- S: Supplication (= asking) — depending
Over the coming days, we will work to build each of these into your daily prayer time, as an ingredient in your “prayer breakfast”. If you already have a prayer system, adapt these notes to what you are already doing.
The first step is Adoration. Whereas thanksgiving is praising God for what he has done for us, adoration is praising him simply for who he is. It is allowing our minds to fill with the unchanging truths of God’s nature and character, so that our hearts fill with wonder, awe, and love for him.
And because we are aware of God’s presence when we pray, adoration is telling all these things to God—telling him what we know he is like, and expressing our wonder and love (Ps. 92:1-2).
As we worked through the Lord’s Prayer, we saw truths about God which you can use to meditate and adore him. The God we pray to is our Father; he is holy; he is the king; he is wise and good; and he cares about us.
The Bible is also full of expressions of God’s faithful, unchanging love and mercy, which he poured out in the cross of Jesus:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. (Ps. 103:8)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)
Spend a few minutes remembering who God is and what he is like, and praising and blessing him for it. You can use the truths above to help, or look up one of the passages below. Don’t worry about whether or not you feel enough “wonder, awe, and love.” Simply focus on God himself.