We all have storms in our lives. It is the nature of a fallen world to whip up the wind of despair, which creates waves that seem bent on taking us under. The Lord is well aware of this and has this message for you. He is waiting to do for you, what He has already done for so many others.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalms 107:28-29)
God is waiting to hear from you. Talk to Him; He longs to hear your cry. Through prayer, the Lord can calm your storm.
Prayer is not a difficult endeavor; it is simply you talking with God. The most difficult part of prayer is faith. If prayer is to be effective in your life, it is necessary for you to know that the LORD exists and is alive today. You must also have the faith to believe He is listening, and that He is fully capable of, and willing to, answer your prayer.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6, ESV)
We are not going to soft-soap this subject just to give you some sense of relief; doing so would only harm you in the end. If you desire the LORD’s help, you must be pleasing to Him. You can only be pleasing to Him if you have confidence in Him. You can only be pleasing to Him, if He is pleasing to you.
Being pleasing to God has nothing to do with who you think you are today. You may be concerned that you are in such a bad condition that you could not possibly be pleasing to him. This could not be farther from the truth.
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
According to Romans 3:23, Jesus knows that we are sinners and that we all fall short of His glory. The above verse does not imply that we must be without sin to be pleasing to the LORD. As Hebrews 11:6 says, we [sinners] must have faith in Him if we are to “please Him.”
This scripture (Hebrews 11:6) also makes it clear that if He does not exist, it is not possible to “draw near to God.” In other words, asking someone who does not exist to intervene in your life is just a waste of time. It is logically impossible for nothing to have an effect on something. As a reasonable adult, you would not expect your childhood imaginary friend to babysit your children today.
It is also necessary for you to believe that He is listening and is willing to make in you, the necessary adjustments that will bring about real change in your life. This action on God’s part is the reward spoken of in Hebrews 11:6. It is through your faith in Jesus Christ that you are rewarded with this gift of prayer response.
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. (Psalms 34:17, ESV)
It has already been established that no one can claim to be without sin. It is by being pleasing to the Lord that one can be counted righteous. Romans 10:4 tells us that even though we are sinners and violators of the Law of God, Jesus, through our acceptance of Him, has (in spite of our failure) redeemed us out of our sentence of death. By choosing to have faith in Jesus Christ we become, in God’s eyes, one of the righteous.
Psalms 34:17 (above) acknowledges that we as fallen humans, now known by God as righteous, will find ourselves in trouble. That is correct; Christians made righteous by being pleasing to Jesus Christ are still going to find themselves in trouble. Through this verse, The LORD tells us that if you seek Him, He hears you and will rescue you out of your troubles.
In our lives, it is very important to know with whom we are dealing, especially if we are looking for help with some sort of trouble. It is a common occurrence when seeking any type of help, to experience people who have no clue what they are doing, that have no real interest driving their initiatives, or simply do not care for us at all. Having the ability to require a résumé from those with whom we plan to interact, would make it easier to evaluate, upfront, their interest, abilities, and concern for us. It would be easier to trust them, or as we say, have faith in them.
Right now, you may be at a point in your life when you desperately need someone’s help. Not the kind of help your neighbor can give, but some very real, specialized kind of help that only God can provide. If you are not sure that God is interested in you, knows you well enough to be effective, and is able to love you the way you need loved, take a look at his resume. It concisely details just how well He understands you and every need you have. It will only take you a few minutes to read – although we suggest you take your time and read it more than once. Please do not think it too elementary of a read. As basic as you may think it is, read it with a true desire to understand the LORD’s interest and qualifications in you, so that you may begin to pray with confidence and faith. God’s résumé begins with Genesis 1. Take a few moments and read this chapter (Genesis 1), even if it is just to serve as a reminder.
We believe that since you are involved in this study of prayer, you at least want to believe that God is listening, or are already sure of it. Either way, you need to take the next step. If you are one who hopes God is listing, you just need to give in to Him. Faith is not something that comes naturally to the human being; it comes to us through an intentional effort – it is a choice.
In this, your time of need, you are reaching for a resolution to some problem or condition that you alone have not been able to solve. By now, whether or not you openly acknowledge it, you know the world offers you no hope.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Give in to faith. Settle down and know that if you are pleasing to Him, there is nothing the LORD cannot do in your life. If you will simply choose to trust in Him, you will be able to relax and let go of your anxiousness. Talk (pray) to the Lord; tell Him (supplication) what is burdening you. Let your prayer bring peace to you because you know He hears you. Be excited that you have actually connected with God.
Jesus offers an example of how to pray to God in Matthew 6:9-13, but know there is not a wrong way to pray. As we mentioned at the beginning of this lesson, prayer is not complicated – just talk with the Lord.
Billy Graham Ministries offers this easy to follow prayer guide that you can use if it helps you feel more comfortable.
Adoration means worship. We encourage you to begin your time of prayer by adoring and praising God. Praise Him for who He is and for all that He has done for you. God delights in your praises!
Confession, the next component, means agreeing with God about the things that you have done wrong. It’s a time to express sorrow about what you have said, thought, or done that is not pleasing to Him. Ask God to forgive you for these things, and then believe that He does so freely. When you confess your sins, you receive God’s cleansing and this helps to remove any barrier in your communication with Him (read 1 John 1:9).
Thanksgiving basically means being thankful to God. Thank Him for His love, protection, and provision just to name a few things.
Supplication is the final component, and this means praying for your needs and for the needs of others, such as friends, family.
A.C.T.S. is based on the following prayer example given by our LORD Jesus Christ.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Mathew 6:9-13)
If you are in agreement with all that has been said in this lesson, and have not yet done so, it is time to pray. If you would like our prayer team to join you in agreement, please fill out the form below. There is a space where you can tell us for what you are praying.