Prayers that Pierce the Ceiling

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If you’re like me, you often have those times when your prayers don’t seem to be going anywhere. You feel like you’re just wasting your time, because it doesn’t seem like anyone (Anyone?) is listening. There may be a relatively “simple” fix to the problem. 

How to Pray

You are most likely aware of the ACTS method for prayer: Adoration; Confession; Thanksgiving; Supplication. Most of us are really good at the supplication, and we might be persuaded to give thanks when something goes our way, or when we get something we want. And if we’re feeling guilty about something, we might confess that. More on that later. 

But where we break down is Adoration. How much time do you take before you start praying to think about the One to whom you are addressing your prayer? What do you know about Him? What do you think He knows about you? Do you think He cares? The way you answer those questions will make a tremendous difference in the way you approach prayer.

I recently read a book by Donald Whitney entitled Praying the Bible. I tried it, and I’ll have to admit at first it felt totally awkward! But try this. Next time you sit down to pray, pick a psalm. Pretty much any psalm will do, but you can google “praise psalms” to get started.

Open your Bible to that psalm, and start praying it to God. Pray whatever comes to your mind. Here’s an example of how to pray using Psalm 108:

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” 

There’s so much I don’t know about you, God. But I want to praise you, and I want to make sure others learn about you.

You have set your glory in the heavens.” 

Oh, the sunrise this morning was so incredibly beautiful. I wonder how you come up with all those colors! Thank you, God, that you designed such beauty for us! When I watch those colors change and stretch across the sky, it makes me think of You.

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” 

I’m in awe that you listen to my prayers, and that I don’t have to be eloquent, because you love even my “baby talk” when I’m talking to You. You are my protector.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” 

Oh, God! You know me. You know me inside and out, and love me anyway. Thank you, God. I love you!

You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.” 

I praise you, God, for the blessings you have given to me.

You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their  feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.” 

Thank you, God, that you have entrusted to me the guardianship of those things you have made. I praise you for the gifts and talents you have given me to enable me to do that work.

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” 

Oh, Lord. You are so much more than I can even imagine. 

Now, clearly this is not all you can adore God for as you read through this psalm—you might not even choose any of the thoughts I’ve listed here—but it gives you an idea. When you have completed this assignment, your mind will be focused on God, and you will find that your prayers will be far more directed to His will in your situation, rather than yours. You will find that the ceiling will disappear as you approach God’s throne!

Back to confession. As you focus more on God and what He is, you will discover how much you fall short of not only what He is (which, of course, you can never attain), but also what He requires of you. This will lead you automatically into a time of confession. From there the thanksgiving and supplication will just flow naturally. You will come away from your prayer time knowing that you have encountered the Living God. Do you still have questions about how to pray? Get in touch with us on social media.

Go Deeper on How to Pray

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