“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” – Psalm 7:17
How do you begin your prayers? Do you say the same thing every time? Do you wish you had better words to say when you pray? Do you struggle to pray? I find that the hardest part of praying is getting started. There are so many things that compete for our attention. To find a small moment, draw still, and just begin to pray is my struggle. And when you start, what do you say?
I have learned that the best way for me to start my prayers, is to simply say thank you to God for who God is. This practice comes from a prayer outline that I learned when I was a youth in Sunday School. This prayer outline is called A.C.T.S. This is an outline that directs you to pray these important parts of prayer:
A – adoration
C – confession (“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins -1 John 1:9)
T – thanksgiving (naming the things that God has given and done for us)
S – supplication (asking for the things we need)
I try to start my prayers with a time to simply adore God. I offer my gratitude for who God is. It is often a simple statement like, “Loving God, I thank You that You are our God who is filled with mercy and grace.” When I start my prayer with gratitude for God’s character, I find that I relax in my time with God. When I remember who God is, I am reminded that God is worth my time and my focus. When I begin my prayers with gratitude for who God is, I am reminded that God is a loving God who wants to spend time with me… with all of us, His children.
I want to encourage you to take a moment, pause, and offer gratitude to God for who God is. God is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. God is worthy of our gratitude, not only for what God does for us, but because of God is who the scriptures say God is. I can think of no better way to begin this week than to offer to God, “the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.”
– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship