How to Pray to God

The “ACTS” model is just one way to enter into a time of prayer with the living God. I like it because it helps me set my heart straight before God as I am praying and not just spew out some vague prayer. Not that I don’t do that often, or that short, simple prayers are wrong or not specific enough for God to understand, but I love the way the ACTS model makes prayer more worshipful.

silhouette photography of hanging rosary
Photo by Vanderlei Longo on Pexels.com

I think it is important to reiterate that this model is not the only way to pray. Prayer is talking to God. Simple. The ACTS model create an in-depth prayer posture and is a helpful tool for organizing one’s thoughts and covering all the bases in prayer. That is not to say that one prayer or one prayer session is lesser than another if one part of ACTS is not mentioned. Let’s not get legalistic about praying, people. The truth is, some of y’all may love the ACTS, while some of you find it entirely unhelpful. That is perfectly okay, and each person is entitled to their own opinion. However, on this post, I pray that you read with an open mind and leave encouraged. Let’s jump right into explaining the acryonym.

The “A” stands for adoration. This is a time of lifting up God and acknowledging His attributes. Adoring God just sounds lovely, doesn’t it? It’s a time of speaking the truth about God back to him. It’s affirming truths about God that help expand one’s vision. An example of adoration might sound something like this “Lord Jesus, you existed before the beginning of time and created the stars and the galaxies. You are God over the entire universe and also the God of each of your people’s heart. You are mighty to save, the Lion and the Lamb. We worship you, O God!”

The “C” stands for confession. This is a time to humble oneself before God and confess any sin before God. It’s a time to admit where we have wronged God or others and fallen short of His design and His glory.

The “T” stands for thanksgiving. Transitioning to thanking God helps grow our faith and belief in God’s abilities. It helps us focus on how God has kept His promises and always been faithful. Thanking God helps us trust God more by purposefully acknowledging the goodness that He has blessed our lives with. Thanking God and believing Him for what He will do is part of this segment of ACTS.

And finally, “S” stands for supplication, aka presenting our requests to God (Phil 4:6). At this time, we ask God to meet our needs and the needs of those around us. We cry out to Him and ask for His protection, provision, wisdom, guidance, etc. We call on the great and mighty power of the Lord God who was and is and is to come.

grayscale photography of people raising hands
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

My own example of ACTS praying earlier this evening:

Adoration: God. You alone are wise. Your wisdom is different from the “wisdom” of the world. Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Your ways are higher than my ways. You are high and lifted up and 100% good. You are sovereign, just, perfect, righteous and holy, holy, holy. Father, you are the living water and forever satisfying. You are my strong tower, my rock, my refuge. Father you are the vine from which all life grows out of. You are the Creator of life and all that it entails. You are so creative and awesome.

Confession: Father God, I confess that I do it wrong so often. So often I am led astray by my desires and don’t wait on your provision. God I feel like I’m wandering around in the wilderness sometimes, having passed the same rock over and over again. Sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to reach my goals. Father I confess that I don’t trust you a lot of the time. I don’t trust your timing since I confess that I’m always running ahead. Lord I feel double-minded at times and hypocritical. I feel deceitful and paint things in a way different than they actually are because I don’t feel like using my brain to voice the words correctly.

Thanksgiving: Father thankyou for loving me. Thank you for your Holy Spirit who is my guide and my Comforter. Thank you Jesus for rescuing me and showing me how to walk. Thank you for your grace, your forgiveness, your justice, your mercy, your unending love, your forever plan of redemption and justification and salvation. Thank you for leading your people. Thank you for calling each of us by name. Thank you that you have given me a name. Thank you for giving me purpose.

Supplication: Father lead me. Lead us. Have mercy on your people. Thank you for your mercy, your grace. But thank you also for your justice. Lord, do whatever it takes to make us a people fit for your service. Prepare our hearts as good soil to receive your word. Help us apply it. Lord fan the flame in our hearts that burns for you. Lord grant your people a measure of faith so great that we would be yearning for you. Burning for you. Desiring You more than anything in the world. Lord I pray that we would think of you first in the morning. Lord I pray that we would turn to you first in times of thanksgiving and necessity. Father you are all-powerful and almighty and more than able to answer these prayers. Thank you that you hear our prayers and thank you that the prayers of a righteous man are effectual. I love you Lord. Thank you so much for using me for your glory. Bring glory to your name! In Jesus name, Amen.

I hope this was helpful brothers and sisters! The point is to start somewhere in your prayer life with God. Start praying more. Start talking to God more. Make time for God. What if you ceased for 5 minutes a day before God and talked or listened? I’ll do a post on listening soon. God bless you all… If you liked this post be sure to “like” it! xoxo!

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Thankyou

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

I thank You

Thank You

THANK YOU

THANKYOU

THANK YOU

Thankful.

Grateful.

Cared for.

Heard

Comforted

Loved

Blessed

Adopted

Included

Made righteous

Equipped

Taught

Trained

Provided for

Thank you. Thank you so much. I know that you heard me and answered. After all this time, which is like a blink to you, you answered. You gave me a reply. You protected me and guided me. You brought me to this point, to this place. You’re so full of mercy and so full of grace. All other things my mind can erase. Til there is only you. Til all I see is you, and all I know is you. I know you to be true. I know you to save. Your word is the only thing that staves off my hunger and thirst. I yearn for you and you fill me up.

I take a breath and gasp no more. I look over to my bedroom door. I’m thankful. I know I’m here because of you. I’m thankful. Thankful. Thankful. Thankful.

You have made me so free. Not carefree, because you taught me to care. But you teach me what to care about and how to care. You give me the tools and give me the wisdom and then you coach me through it. You’re so personal and present… Just what I’m looking for. Just what I always am asking for. Thank you for your attentiveness to me.

Thankful. There’s not a single place I would rather be than here with you. Father. Thank you for meeting me in this place.

xxx

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Being Still

in your presence, O Lord, is so difficult.

I think of the story of Martha and Mary, and how Martha was running all over the place getting upset over this and that. Jesus told her that Mary “has chosen what is better” by sitting at his feet, completely attentive to all he was saying and doing.

Lord, it has been somewhat of a strange week. Today is Friday and it seems as though the week absolutely flew by in a sense. Some days feel so long and fruitful, and others… painstakingly mundane. I yearn for tomorrow, and hope that I find the greatest contentment in all that it brings.

Lord I guess the unknowing has gotten me down here and there. Even though you specifically spoke to me in a devotional saying that we are not to worry about what the future holds. That we are only to trust in you, Lord, keeper of our souls, finisher of our faith. What peace there is in that.

Lord, I thank you for the many conversations about you as of late. About the gospel, about the Truth. About the person of Jesus. Thank you Lord for history. Thank you for historians. Thank you for evidence. Thank you for proof. Thank you for all of the people that dedicated their lives to discovering the truth. Thank you for all the people that set out to disprove the truth and ended up being saved by what they found.

Thank you Lord, that you are unstoppable.

And that includes all of us that are saved. All of your children. Thank you God for saving me and giving me eyes to see what’s true.

And I thank you Lord, for leading others to your truth. Thank you for softening hearts. Thank you for making people ready to receive truth. Thank you Lord for fertilizing the soil. Thank you for planting seeds. Thank you for raining truth. Thank you for working, always working. For your great plans. For bearing fruit in season when the time is right. You’re the Only One who knows what the future holds. And I THANK you so much for holding my future!

Lord God, help me put You first. Help me do all of the things. Thank you for helping me take on new territory. Thank you for going before me and laying down each and every step that I will take. Even the confused ones where I go back and forth, sometimes literally, before making a decision.

Thank you for helping me decide what to do tonight. You put that obstacle in my path, and it was good. It was necessary. It was helpful. It was perfect. I am THANKFUL that You placed it there. Lord, please help me to see EVERY obstacle in my path as a blessing from you. Since I believe you are in all of the details. 100% of the details.

100%.

Not 99%, and the other 1% left to chance.

100. You are the God of everything. The One over it all.

I love getting to know you. Thank you for slowly teaching me how to love You and others better.

xxx

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Freedom

I would like to take a moment to thank God for answering prayer. I had been praying to Him about getting clarity on a situation for almost two months, and I not only received that clarity, but He graciously revealed to me a couple of ways of how He was working in the situation the whole time.

Dear Lord, thank you so much for showing me what you have shown me. Forgive me for coming to you briskly and briefly, praying hastily, not waiting long enough for an answer, and then doing things my way anyway.

Thank you for this amazing opportunity to slow down, what with all that’s going on in the world. Lord, you didn’t have to cause a worldwide pandemic to get me to lay down in green pastures!!!! But I appreciate it ;-P ha ha ha.

Lord, the time and space that you have blessed me with over the last few days has been an amazing reminder of how important it is to seek you ALWAYS. ALL WAYS. In ALL things. You know all, you see all, your power is over all. I’m foolish for not tapping into that more often.

I’m grieved for not spending as much time with you, my brilliant, generous, loving Provider, as I ought to. I want to. I want to. I want You! Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for listening to me. Thank you for your long-suffering.

Time to go to work….

Have an awesome Saturday everyone…. Look for the blessings…. Look for HIM <3

xxx

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Joy

The difference between happiness and joy is this: happiness is fleeting and joy is a state of being.

By the power of the Holy Spirit I can remain joyful throughout any situation. No matter how many fiery darts are flying in my direction; darts of disappointment, discouragement, disdain, detestation (wow, this is a word… I like it!!! even though it means “intense dislike” hhahah 🙂 )

As the darts roll in, I can let them roll off. My back, that is.

How?

Because of the knowledge of the Truth that I am in Christ Jesus and was bought by His blood when He died on the cross 2k years ago. I trust Him with my life, and know that I stand victorious with Him against any schemes that the enemy might conjure up.

So. That being said.

I’m at an interesting time in my life. I am still working as a private, in-home caregiver. I also just started a new endeavor doing direct sales. Direct sales can be discouraging if I choose to focus on the outcome of my reach-outs. What I mean by this is simple: rejection.

Nobody likes to be rejected… but if you are working in direct sales, you have GOT to get used to rejection. Not everyone is going to like the products, want the products. Some people may even get nasty. But I know this to be true: the war is not against the flesh and blood, but in the spiritual realm. So when people take out their negativity and hatred on me, I must choose to look past it and believe that (1) it ain’t about me (2) it certainly ain’t about vegan, chemical-free, anti-aging shampoo and skincare (this is what my company offers! <3 ) and (3) I have a real opportunity to shine the light of Christ to each individual through my response to people.

Notice I said “response” and not “reaction”.

A person’s emotional intelligence (EI) can be observed through the way they deal with certain situations. When someone is being difficult, I could mirror back their pettiness and anger to them (as they might expect me to do), or I could treat them with love, compassion, and forgiveness and choose to focus on listening to them and helping them in whatever capacity. This is not to say that we should be rugs.

Don’t be a rug. Repeat: do not be a rug. I don’t want anyone to enable anyone. We are not to be enablers of bad or rude behavior.

But loving? Yes. We should all always be loving. I will listen to you. Even if you come at me from a horrible angle. Because I KNOW that it isn’t about me. Whatever work the Lord has me doing is for my sanctification, His glory, and for the sharpening of other people; be it shedding light in a dark place, encouraging others when they feel alone, enhancing somebody’s life by simply entering into their life.

Being a child of God is a big responsibility! But God didn’t leave us to do it alone. We are empowered by His Holy Spirit.

One of my favorite prayers is this: “Lord, please redirect me if I need to be redirected. Thankyou for always leading me down your path of righteousness. Lord, please line up my will with yours, and kill my desire for anything that isn’t in your will for my life. I want to live according to your design. I want to live life to the full, through the lens of grace.”

Something like that.

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No two prayers are ever the same. None of that ritualistic stuff. I talk to God like I talk to any other person. Openly, honestly, with transparency, authentically. For God knows the words we’re going to speak before we even think them. Isn’t that amazing? Psalm 139 says “even before a word is on my tongue, you know it altogether”.

Lord, you knew that I was going to write this post this morning. You knew that I wanted to go to the early service but then I got held up … and this is the result of that. Lord, I pray that this post and these words blesses somebody. I pray that these words were exactly what somebody needed to hear today. Lord, I thank you for your presence with me right now. Thank you for the opportunity to do laundry this morning. I thank you for my car. I pray that you help me travel safely. Thank you for being able to worship today. Thank you for my lunch meeting. Thank you for the afternoon meeting. Lord help me make good use of my time later. Thank you for my sabbath this weekend. Thank you for restoring me. Your presence is so sweet. Thank you for teaching me how to choose you. Thank you for instilling within me the desire to seek you. I need you. I NEED YOU. Not only do I need you, but I WANT YOU. Do I believe you when you tell me that you’re the lover of my soul? That you love me with an everlasting love? When love is in the air, I just want to HEAR from the person. I can’t wait to SEE the person. I can’t wait to COMMUNE with the person. I VALUE and RESPECT the person. I want this with you. 

I want to hear from you.

I want to see you.

I want to commune with you. 

I value you. I respect you. I trust you. 

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Whatever your vessel is that God has given you to work in, lead in, be a part of, perform in it for His glory. For HIS glory. For God sees the heart. He knows our motives. Do you trust Him?

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xxx

V

confession

is freeing.

Bringing things to light.

Shining a light on darkness.

Bringing things to the surface.

I remember being underwater in the pool as a child. My friends and I would have “tea parties” where we would exhale all the way in order to plunge ourselves down to the bottom of the pool and then we would sit indian-style or lounge on the pool floor and pretend to drink tea. With our pinkies up, of course. 🙂

The tea parties didn’t last very long because we didn’t have gills. 🙁

hehe

so after about…. well, I was going to write a minute but I think in reality it was only like 10 seconds hahah…

so after about 10 seconds… we would shoot up to the surface and breathe deeply. Ahhhhh oxygen. Satisfying oxygen.

Go ahead, take a deep breath right now.

It’s wonderful, isn’t it? That God gave us O2. Thank God. Though sometimes we feel like we can’t breathe because we need to surface. We’ve spent time on the floor of a deep pool for too long.

That’s what confessing feels like.

I did that earlier today. So freeing. Like I can breathe again.

.

..

..

.

If my friends and I didn’t resurface we would have drowned. That is a little dramatic, but it’s true. We can’t breathe under water. We can only hold our breath for so long, and then we would pass out and drown.

I think a similar thing happens when we don’t confess. We drown. We’re meant to confess.

James 5:16 says:

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

 

The reason James gives for confessing your sins is “so that you may be healed”.

Makes perfect sense if we think of being stuck in our sin as drowning at the bottom of a pool. We gotta surface and breath and live.

When we bring our darkness to the surface, others can be our oxygen. They can breathe life into us with prayer and encouragement and help keep us accountable. Not that they have to even necessarily say or do anything further after the confession. Just knowing that other people know is great accountability. We’re all on this journey together and we all are going to find ourselves underneath the surface at one point or another. I promise you, surfacing is the best decision you will ever make. I know it was for me today. And that was literally a few hours ago.

Fact is, I don’t want to drown. I don’t want to struggle with my breathing. I don’t want to struggle. I don’t want to entertain struggling. If I choose to go to the “tea party” I want to make sure I bring my diving gear.

For the christian, that means the spiritual armor. Read Ephesians 6:10-18 in your bible. Or google it.

Each part of the armor is equally as important. We must protect ourselves in whatever environment we’re in so that we don’t struggle.

The word says that those in Christ are free. And that we are new creations. I am healed. I am restored. I was made new.

So now I must walk in that truth. And if ever I find myself drowning at the bottom of the pool, push off the floor and surface immediately. Breathe in life-giving breath. Confess any sin. Pray and ask for prayer. And be more prepared next time.

That’s all for now.

xxx

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LOVE Y’ALL
V

 

 

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This post is going to be a collection of the thoughts running through my head this morning coupled with prayers to my Lord Jesus Christ. Do stick around, a nugget is waiting for you!

Hey Lord, good morning. Thank you for this morning. Thank you for my rest last night. Thank you for feeling sufficiently rested. Thank you for making me strong like an eagle. I run and don’t grow weary. You teach me how to care for myself; and I thank You.

I want to talk about salsa dancing. My mind has wandered back to my night of dancing the other night several times this morning. It captivates me. I was pursued by many that night. Old flames, new sparks. None of which know or love you. But I wait. I wait. Oh, how I wait.

I think of myself in high school and college when cute boys showed interest in me and I thought “I like them”. Did I like them because they liked me? I have to watch for that now too. Here’s the difference between younger me and older me; old me and new me:

I’m not settling. I have a standard. The man I’ll date and eventually marry will be a born-again believer. A man sold out for Christ. A man who isn’t afraid to speak boldly about the Name above all Names; Jesus Christ. The living God. The Messiah, my King.

Old me didn’t have that standard. In fact, I didn’t have much of a standard. Cute, funny, showed interest… I didn’t date jerks… usually. *facepalm*.

Anyway. Lord, please contain the wanderings of my mind. Please help me keep useful thoughts in my thought train and not spend so much time on thoughts that aren’t useful. It’s crazy because lately I realized how much time I actually dwell on the hypothetical. The over-analysis of every facet of life. Thinking about the “what-ifs” and the “should-have-beens” etc. etc.

It takes a whole lotta time and a whole lotta energy. I am now going to go read the Word of God so I can fill my mind with His view. His perspective. I’m going to read the Word so I can

put on the lenses of Truth

posture my heart towards Him

put myself in a position to receive grace

practice the presence of God

contemplate the person of God

meditate on what God says in His Word and how it affects my life

I’m going to drink my coffee.

I’m also going to drink in life through the Word

Lord, please help me focus while reading your Word this morning. Thank you for giving me new life and new thoughts and new ways of doing things. Thank you for breaking down old walls and patterns and for giving me Your power to change. Thank you for loving me and making me feel loved. Thank you for your glorious promises and for being a Promise-keeper. I could talk about your magnificence all day long. I think I do a lot and people don’t know how to feel about it. I don’t think I need to come down to earth in this regard… I want to bring Your fire! Wherever I go. Because You are Immanuel; God with us. 

xxx

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God’s way

It’s hard doing things God’s way. It just is.

The christian life calls for death to self. It’s hard to live in a culture that promotes self-love and being self-focused, a “self-made man”, independence, and making your way to the top. It’s hard to go against our nature of self-centeredness.

Lord, when my mind’s default setting is me-focused, I am constantly fighting back my will and my desires of the flesh. Velvet says “I want to be in a relationship and wish it didn’t have to be a christian one”. Yet your word teaches me that I am not to be unequally yoked. In other words, the person I marry will be a christian. Sure, I could choose to marry a non-believer, but why would I; when your word says:

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3

When I delight and meditate on your law, you bless me, and whatever I do prospers. Lord, you don’t have to do that. You don’t have to do any of it. But you do. And I’ve seen your blessings. I’m experiencing them right now. You have been SO good to me, and you continue to be. I don’t worry about money or my home. I don’t worry about finding enough work. I no longer worry about being content with what I have and who I am and what I look like. I know I am loved by you, and you have sent so many people to me that love me too. 

Praise be to God for revealing His word and His way to us.

Praise God for sending his Holy Spirit to us to give us vision to see and understand His Word and His way.

Praise God that when we fall, we are forgiven. That when we wander, He calls us back. He graciously calls us back. Lord, you don’t have to do that. You don’t have to call us back. But you care. You are so caring. You are so welcoming. You are so loving. You want me around. Despite how many times I leave you. How many times I choose other things over you. Despite how distracted I am. How I place other things before you and ahead of you. How I somehow justify not doing the work you’ve called me to do even when you reveal to me that there aren’t any excuses left. I want to say that I’m ready to work. I want to say I will do the work. But it has to be you. You have to do the work through me. I can’t do it God. I’ve got nothing. 

Please keep me from being distracted. 

Thank you for teaching me what brings peace. Thank you for revealing what things are temporary. Thank you for teaching me that you alone satisfy all of my needs. But I thank you Lord. For giving me good gifts. For blessing me with a good, fulfilling life. 

Don’t let me fool myself God. I don’t want to trade the Promised Land for temporary satisfaction. Please Lord, let me not trade it. Please stop me from trading it. 

xxx

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I obeyed

and I feel a lot better. I obeyed because my Father told me to do something.

My Father knows what I need. He knows what I lack. He knows the areas that I have to grow in. He challenges me. He comforts me at the same time. He walks alongside me.

He was with me tonight when I had a hard conversation.

Confrontation is not my favorite thing. It’s actually really hard for me. It’s difficult to confront people about things that bother me. I’m not great at it because I don’t want to hurt the person I have to confront. I have been trained to walk on eggshells my whole life; never wanting to hurt anyone or experience the possibility of an adverse reaction. Anything to avoid conflict. But God is teaching me how to have hard conversations. He keeps impressing upon me — with His Holy Spirit– times and opportunities to talk about the hard things.

And it wasn’t so bad. Nobody bit my head off. Nobody yelled at me or threw anything at me. Nobody sneered at me, scoffed at me, or mocked me. What I said was received, and received well. Seemingly.

Though time will tell. Time will reveal the fruit of last night’s conversation. But I had to say the things I said. They were eating me from the inside out. And I feel better now. And I trust the Lord!

The fruit of the Spirit of goodness means telling someone the truth even when it hurts. It’s saying it out of a place of love, and in a loving manner. But often times it’s hard to do.

Watch my video on kindness/goodness! 🙂  https://youtu.be/Z2N2JKbtm_0 🙂

Lord! Thank you for this Monday morning. Thank you for a sufficient amount of sleep. Thank you for a comfortable bed and a place to wash my face and a way to hear Your Word. Father thank you for hearing my prayers telling me to pray. Thank you for being patient with me and teaching me to rely on You completamente por todos. I love you <3

xx

V

 

 

 

Trusting Him

Do I trust Him

Do I trust His Holy Spirit

Do I trust His message that He lays on my heart?

Will I be obedient even if it’s uncomfortable. Even if it’s painful. Even if it means hurting someone that I care about? Even if it means telling the truth when the truth could hurt?

Even if it means tough love?

Yet He comforts me and says “I am with you and will never leave you or forsake you.”

And I feel that He is with me and I thank Him for sticking with me even during times of suffering the consequences of my own sin. He is with me even when I am experiencing the repercussions of my own bad choices. And He has my hand in His hand and He says walk this way my child, walk with Me. Come and drink of the living water, which is the only water that satisfies. And He leads me, and He carries me, and He comforts me, and His love for me is stronger with each step that we take.

Lord Jesus… I trust You. I thank you that you have given me a spirit not of fear, but of power, love and self-control. Thank you for being with me and for leading me along the paths of righteous for Your name’s sake. Thank you for using me as your vessel. Thank you for teaching me to move forward in faith. Amen.

xx <3

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