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30 Day Prayer Challenge

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I never really knew how to pray and talk to God in a meaningful way until a friend taught me a good model to follow.  "ACTS" was the acronym that I learned to help me pray more.  It stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.  Using these categories as a guide, I began to interact with God in a more intimate and structured way.  Recently, I was taught another great model, based on the Lord's Prayer.  By following the general outline of Jesus' model prayer for his disciples, you can also pray in a more intimate and structured way.  To really change your prayer life, you should try this for 30 days.

lords-prayer-hand-model

Matthew 6:9-15

9―This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

Jesus' disciples had asked him to teach them to pray.  Using this model prayer teaches us to pray in a certain way.  Here's the outline:

1. Our Father... - start by thanking God that he is your father!  He wants to have a relationship with you!

2. Hallowed be your name... - hallowed is a word meaning reverence - it's another way of expressing worship and praise for God.  Most people jump right into praying about their needs.  Begin with worship and focus on God rather than your own needs.

3. Your Kingdom come, your will be done... - moving from worship leaves us realizing how great God is!  At this point we bow before him, acknowledging His purpose and plan.  We humbly pray for his will to be done and we lay our plans, goals, and will down before His. 

Pause after this aspect and sit quietly, listening for God to speak to you.  Remember, prayer is a conversation, so listen also!

4. Give us today our daily bread... - now it's okay for us to move into a time of praying for the needs that we have. 

5. Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors... - Ask God to search your heart and to reveal any sins that you need to confess to Him.  Ask Him also to reveal anyone that you need to forgive or anyone that you need to ask for forgiveness.

6. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil... - now we ask God to protect us and deliver us.

7. For yours is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, amen... - just as we began with worship, so we end with worship!

30 Day Challenge...Pass it On

I encourage you to try this model prayer for 30 days and see how God uses His word and His model prayer to strengthen your relationship with Him.  By using your hand as a guide (as pictured above) you can easily remember this model prayer and teach someone else how to pray! 

Don't forget to keep them accountable.  We need doers of the word, not just hearers.  Check in with them a few days later and ask how they are doing with the prayer challenge.  By doing so, you will reinforce application rather than information based discipleship.

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This outline can be found in the "First Steps" manual, available as a free download from www.e3partners.org

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