Today, I want to continue on the topic of prayer and how it is so important to our relationship with God.
Matthew 6:5-13 (HCSB) “Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward!  But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.  When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words.  Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him.  Therefore, you should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy.  Your kingdom come. Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And do not bring us into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. [For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]
Some versions omit the text in brackets at the end of verse 13.
I want to discuss the Model Prayer because [a] it is a familiar passage…[b] and it truly IS how we should pray. We often think of prayer as asking God to give us things or do things for us. However, prayer is much more than that! It is our only way of talking to God! Even though, he is omniscient and omnipotent (all-knowing and all-present), we should still want to talk to Him like He is our friend. God doesn’t need big words and long 30 minute prayers. He wants to think about Him constantly, instead of saying, “I prayed for 30 minutes this morning, so I don’t need to pray anymore today.” I struggle with this, but we should have a constant conversation with Him.
The ACTS prayer is good guide, but you shouldn’t stick to this as if it’s the only way to pray!
A doration ~ We should constantly praise God, for WHO HE IS, not just for what he has done. Psalm 150:6 Let everything that breathes praise the LORD. Hallelujah!
C onfession ~ Although God already knows we messed up, we should confess as an acknowledgement that we were wrong in our thoughts, words, or actions. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
T hanksgiving ~ Just as we should praise Him for who He is, we should thank Him for ALL HE HAS DONE! Psalm 100:4-5 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His Name.  For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.
S upplication ~ (or Petition) This is where we can pray for ourselves and intercede for others. This is where your prayer list comes in. 🙂 Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition, let your requests be made known to God.
Remember that above all, God doesn’t need you to follow a set list of rules…He just wants to talk!